It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: Your child is hurt, but you don’t know how to help. It’s in situations like these when EMS crews are truly invaluable, which is why Austin- Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) paramedic Chance Bergstrom was recently honored with a Lifesaving Award for resuscitating a 14-year-old boy. Cobler was named the best paramedic in Idaho’s Treasure Valley as part of the “Community Champions“ awards held by local news station KTVB and Idaho Central Credit Union. Thousands of community members voted online for their favorite nonprofit organizations and first responders. “For me, it’s not hard to be passionate about EMS,” Cobler says. “Patients often describe their event as the worst day of their lives. As an EMS provider, I have the opportunity to offer them a little bit of comfort and compassion during that time. If I can add just a little bit of good to that worst day, then I have done my job. How can you not get excited about that?” State lawmakers are now paying attention to this disparity as the state’s medics cry out for justice. Two separate bills extending death benefits to EMS workers are making their way through the state legislature, including Senate Bill 43, the John Mackey Memorial Act. This save follows on the heels of three other recent saves off-duty ATCEMS personnel were involved in: Just as he was about to go home after a shift, Mark Hawkins helped saved the life of a 50-year-old runner who collapsed in cardiac arrest outside the EMS station; Danielle Henson helped save a 15-year-old boy in cardiac arrest at a local swimming pool; and Craig Smith helped save a young boy who was being repeatedly submerged in a local river after falling off his inner tube. Tragedy struck Jessamine County, Ky., when one of its paramedics, 40-year-old husband and father John Mackey, EMT-P, died after being hit by a car while inspecting damage on his ambulance. “Our families depend on us and it’s incredibly scary to think about what will happen if we don’t make it home for our family,” says Keith Widmeier, BA, NRP, FP-C, EMSI, a paramedic from Kentucky. “What better way to honor those who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect their community than by ensuring their family is cared for?” We give a thumbs up to Bergstrom and his ATCEMS colleagues for acting quickly, even while off the clock. Their heroism shows that helping others is much more than a job description– it’s a way of life. It’s no surprise that Cobler won this award with how much she loves her job. We give a thumbs down to states that continue to refuse to give EMS the line of duty death benefits afforded to other first responders. We’ll hold out on giving Kentucky a thumbs up for now, but remain hopeful that one of the proposed bills will soon make its way into state law. Bergstrom was driving in the parking lot of a local shopping center when he saw a young boy collapse while walking with his parents. His mother was screaming for help, and Bergstrom knew he had to spring into action, even though he was off duty. We give a thumbs up to Cobler for her continued dedication to emergency medicine and providing quality patient care. We also give a thumbs up to KTVB and Idaho Central Credit Union for giving community members the opportunity to honor EMS workers for their contribution to the communities they serve. “Unfortunately, it took a tragedy like John Mackey dying to push this bill forward. Hopefully, his legacy will carry this legislation through,” Widmeier says. Widmeier also encourages medics across the country to contact their local representatives and senators to let them know all first responders deserve equal benefits, and to show support for this type of legislation on social media. Tragedy struck again when his family realized they’d only get line of duty death benefits from the federal government, and none from Kentucky. When firefighters and police officers die while on duty, Kentucky gives their families $80,000, plus a tuition waiver to a state college. Medics, however, are left out of receiving these benefits. The lifesaving work of first responders often goes unnoticed. Let’s face it–no one is in this industry for the fame. And while we don’t do this job for the attention, it’s nice for the industry and outstanding individuals to get recognized every once in a while. Ada County (Idaho) Paramedics Battalion Chief Andrea Cobler is one of those individuals. OFF-THE-CLOCK SAVES COMMUNITY CHAMPION DENYING DEATH BENEFITS Bergstrom couldn’t find a pulse on the boy, so he began CPR. A police officer equipped with an AED soon arrived, and after two shocks, the boy’s heartbeat returned. It’s not just that Bergstrom was in the right place at the right time; he was at the right place, with the right training, at the right time, and had the right instinct to help.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore Believe it or not, an economic downturn is a good time to start a business. There are openings in competitive markets and breaks on start-up costs and overhead. Rents, supplies and other costs can be lower, and it’s easier to find qualified and affordable help. This makes it easier to offer a lower price for goods and services than larger, more established companies at precisely the time customers are looking for any way to spend less. (Read the full article on Kiplinger.com) Not only is it a good time to start a business, but the Obama Administer has plans to beef up the Small Business Administration to rebuild the programs — particularly the loan program — which suffered under Bush Administration budget cuts. (Read that report also at Kiplinger.com) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
Shawnee residents Jon Augustine, left, and Dave Williams are returning to Puerto Rico to help with hurricane recovery efforts. Photo courtesy of Dave WilliamsTwo Shawnee residents went to Puerto Rico last year to help locals recover in the aftermath of devastating hurricanes. After just a few weeks there, the two men saw that there’s still work to be done. This year, they’re going back.Dave Williams and Jon Augustine will volunteer through All Hands & Hearts, a nonprofit organization that assists with rebuilding communities. Williams and Augustine plan to work mostly on repairing houses. Many of the homeowners have applied to receive help from the nonprofit because they are 65 years old or older, have some type of disability, or both.Like their last trip, the Shawnee men said they will mostly help replace windows and doors, repair any cracks and eliminate mold. Most of their volunteer efforts over two weeks will occur in Yabucoa, a small city on the southeast side of Puerto Rico.More work left to be doneAugustine and Williams made friends with other volunteers while they helped with hurricane recovery last year. Photo courtesy of Dave WilliamsWhen the duo returned from their first trip in March 2018, All Hands & Hearts kept them current with updates about ongoing recovery efforts from hurricanes Irma and Maria. But even after a few weeks, they saw how much there is still left to do.Williams said he learned that 60,000 houses still need to be repaired.“We’re treating them like a red-headed stepchild, Puerto Rico,” he said. “They are Americans, and I don’t believe our federal government is really trying to help them. When I was down there before, I never saw one National Guard person. I never saw one FEMA person at all.“These folks don’t have the wherewithal to get it done, (and) the government’s not helping them financially. The message still isn’t out there that these people need people’s help,” Williams said.Hurricane damage on a house in Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy of Dave WilliamsWhile Augustine doesn’t have any roots in Puerto Rico, he feels drawn to the country and helping the locals.“I don’t think the government’s done a very good job for these folks,” Augustine said, adding that he wants to have a better understanding of the locals’ situation.Last year, many of their projects had involved initial response efforts, such as tree removal and roof repair, from the hurricane aftermath.The pair had traveled together that time, but they will take separate trips this time around. Augustine left Tuesday and will return in two weeks — he also plans to volunteer again in Texas later this spring from Hurricane Harvey. Williams will visit Feb. 7-22.“Once you’re there, it just does something to your heart,” Williams said. “You’ve just got to go back.”
Abramowitz reappointed GAL director March 15, 2017 Regular News Abramowitz reappointed GAL director Over 10,000 Floridians volunteer for the Guardian ad Litem Program, an organization whose mission is to advocate in court for the best interests of abused, abandoned, or neglected children. Gov. Rick Scott announced recently the program will continue to be led by one of its own volunteers, Alan Abramowitz, who has himself served as a guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteer for more than 10 years. “I am honored to serve Gov. Scott, my professional colleagues, and especially our 10,000 active volunteers as Florida Guardian ad Litem Office’s executive director,” said Abramowitz. Since Abramowitz’s initial appointment six years ago, the GAL Program has grown from 5,000 to more than 10,000 volunteers now representing the best interests of over 25,500 of Florida’s most vulnerable children. Under his leadership, the GAL Program has also championed legislation focused on the best interests of children being adopted, promoted normalcy in the lives of foster children, worked to enable teens in foster care to get driver licenses, and developed training to improve legal advocacy statewide.
Jul 28, 2011CDC issues new edition of public health emergency guideAn updated version of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors was issued yesterday. The all-hazards reference tool, first published in early 2009, provides information on activating a jurisdiction’s public health system and integrating it into the existing emergency response structure, focusing on the first 24 hours after an incident. The assessments needed and the actions to initiate are divided into the immediate (0-2 hours), intermediate (2-6 hours), and extended (6-24 hours) response phases. Also included is discussion of ongoing functions and tasks after the initial 24 hours as well as guidance on responses to specific incidents such as floods, earthquakes, and acts of terrorism. The manual is available in Spanish as well as English and has templates for users to record such individualized data as contacts, assignments, and assessment of preparedness levels. As stated by CDC, “The guide is not a substitute for emergency preparedness activities and is not intended to replace existing emergency operations plans, procedures, or guidelines within a jurisdiction’s health department.”CDC page with links to online versions, templates, and hard copy ordering informationDirect link to pdf versionECDC, CDC offer standard terminology for multidrug-resistant bacteriaWith the aim of improving surveillance for antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, a committee of experts from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the CDC has released a set of standardized definitions and terms for bacteria that are resistant to multiple drugs, the ECDC announced yesterday. The terms describe resistance profiles in several pathogens that commonly cause infections in hospitals and are prone to multidrug resistance: Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus species, Enterobacteriaceae (other than Salmonella and Shigella), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter species. The ECDC said harmonized definitions are needed so that epidemiologic and surveillance data can be reliably collected and compared across healthcare settings and countries. The definitions were published online yesterday by Clinical Microbiology and Infection. The article notes that many different definitions are currently used in the medical literature for “multidrug-resistant,” “extensively drug-resistant,” and “pandrug-resistant.”Jul 27 ECDC statementClin Micro Infect articleGene study sheds more light on German E coli outbreak strainThird-generation, real-time DNA sequencing of the complete genome of the German Escherichia coli O104:H4 outbreak strain by a group led by University of Maryland researchers found that it is closely related to other enteroaggregative strains of the same subtype but contains a prophage encoding Shiga toxin 2 and distinct virulence and antibiotic resistance factors. They published their analysis yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Their investigation involved new single-molecule real-time testing technology from their collaborators at Pacific Biosciences, based in Menlo Park, Calif. The researchers made genomewide comparisons of the outbreak strain with seven other diarrhea-associated E coli O104:H4 strains from Africa, four enteroaggregative E coli strains from other serotypes, and 40 previously sequenced E coli isolates. Findings suggest the strain emerged through horizontal genetic exchange, which can occur due to the plasticity of bacterial genomes. David Rasko, PhD, first author of the study, said in a University of Maryland press release that the outbreak strain isn’t a true hybrid because it only contains a small amount of DNA sequence from enterohemorrhagic E coli. He said scientists have not seen the unique combinations in the past, but with new technological tools may be identifying them more in the future. Rasko praised international researchers who have been studying the outbreak strain and sharing their findings. “This was an international collaboration pulled together in a matter of days. I expect we will see more collaborations like this to deal with new emerging pathogens in the future,” he said in the statement.Jul 27 University of Maryland press releaseJul 27 N Engl J Med abstractStudy: HVAC air sampling a valuable tool for bioterror responseA pilot project carried out in New York City in 2006-07 has demonstrated that a “native air sampling” (NAS) strategy could be implemented with effective public-private collaboration as a valuable and relatively inexpensive step in responding to release of an aerosolized bioweapon, according to a report in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. Theoretically, samples from the NAS filters from the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in commercial properties could help quantify the threat to the public after initial detection of an agent through dedicated air sampling (DAS). DAS, the first-line tool for detecting the release of weaponized agents, is accomplished through such initiatives as the federal BioWatch program. The authors say NAS could help determine the size and direction of a pathogen plume and would be far more efficient than environmental surface sampling and testing. The method, they write, “represents an untapped, scientifically sound, efficient, widely distributed, and comparably inexpensive resource for postevent environmental sampling.” Through the pilot project, the researchers were able to determine nominal building requirements for NAS locations (eg, 24/7/365 operation and emergency access), develop procedures to identify and evaluate candidate NAS buildings, design data collection and other tools to expedite building selection and evaluation, and write sample playbooks for emergency responders.Jul 27 Biosec Bioterror article
According to media reports late yesterday, documents released under FOI show the Australian Institute of Marine Science raised concerns about the inadequacy of modelling to measure how far dredge spoil dumped in the Great Barrier Reef for the Abbot Point coal port would travel. “It appears the government’s own marine research agency was warning back in June last year that the proponent’s modelling on how far the dredge spoil would travel was inadequate,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said. “It’s incredibly alarming that all of this dumping in the Reef has been approved without accurate modelling to measure how far it will travel, factoring in the impacts of wind, tides and ocean currents. “We’re talking about the Great Barrier Reef here – you can’t just dump 5 million tonnes of dredge sludge into this World Heritage Area without even knowing where it will end up. “The Abbott Government should revoke the approval of the Abbot Point coal port immediately and require the proponent to provide accurate modelling that shows how far the dredge spoil will really travel,” Senator Waters said.Queensland Greens candidate for Stafford, Anne Boccabella, said: “More than 60 000 Queenslanders rely on the Reef’s health for their job and yet the Abbott and Newman governments have ticked off on dredge spoil dumping without even knowing how far the sludge will travel. “Queenslanders love our Great Barrier Reef and we won’t stand by and let it be treated as a dump ground for the big mining companies, and the people of Stafford can send that message to the government at the upcoming by-election,” Ms Boccabella said.Press Release, July 1, 2014
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Manitowoc claims that the capacity and reduced ground preparation made possible by the MLC650’s VPC-MAX attachment are helping the construction company – Signature on the Saint Lawrence Construction (SSLC) – to stay on schedule.The VPC-MAX attachment raises the crawler cranes’ maximum capacity from 650 tonnes to almost 700 tonnes.The cranes are currently tasked with lifting 200-tonne steel girders for the bridge’s east approach. They will then be employed to lift 80-tonne precast concrete sections to construct the cable-stay bridge pylon, before erecting the 400-tonne lower cross beam in a tandem lift.On completion of the cross beam installation, the two MLC650 models will be used to construct temporary support towers and erect 200-tonne pier caps and additional girder.The bridge installation project is on track for completion by December 2018.www.manitowoccranes.comwww.newchamplain.ca