EMS News

March News

Congratulations Gail

A Richmond native, Gail LeFever has been in nursing since graduating from Richmond Technical Center in 1970. She has acquired a wealth of medical knowledge that spans 40 years and numerous jobs within the medical field. She began her career as an EMT with the Abingdon Volunteer Rescue Squad before becoming a Shock Trauma technician. In 2006, Ms. LeFever, along with her son and daughter, became EMTs through the James City County Fire Department before she continued her education to the next level as an EMT-Intermediate with her son. In 2006, Gail and her daughter joined the Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue. Today, she serves as a captain of Lower King and Queen Volunteer Fire Department, where her husband is currently a member. Though her crew is small in number of personnel, they provide outstanding care to the surrounding areas – a testament to the incredible hard work and dedication Ms. LeFever and her team bring every day.

Way to go Gail!

Heart Failure Signs & Procedures

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 5.7 million Americans suffer from heart failure, a condition in which the heart muscle is too weak or too stiff to pump sufficient amounts of blood throughout the body, impeding oxygen supply. The primary cause of heart failure is hypertension.

The following are clinical pearls for assessing patients experiencing heart failure exacerbation and essential information needed when calling to report to the emergency room.

  • Shortness of breath on arrival
  • Assess duration of breathing difficulty – new onset or persistent?
  • Does the shortness of breath occur with or without activity?
  • Breathing difficulty sitting up or lying flat?
  • Pulse oximetry
  • If chest pain accompanies shortness of breath
  • Assessment of lung and heart sounds
  • Assess for edema, especially facial, abdominal or lower extremities
  • Code status
  • Medications
    -Last time medications were taken (diuretics, blood pressure, etc.)
  • Essentials to call in report to hospital:

    • Presentation of client on arrival of scene
    • Lung and heart sounds
    • Initial pulse oximetry and treatment
      -Including nebulizer treatment delivered or CPPV device in use
    • EKG findings or present on arrival if unable to transmit electronically
    • Medications delivered and outcome
    • IV access
    • Code status
    • Next of kin if patient is unable to speak

    2015 EMS Expo

    February 28th marked the start of the free two-day event where first responders from across Virginia came together for one of the largest regionally held EMS training events. Over 500 EMS providers, nurses and law enforcement members took part in the 65 available classes in order to reach the required hours for recertification. Courses included the latest information on treatment of strokes, advanced airway skills and safe vehicle operations, just to name a few.

    The event is held at the Henrico County Training Center and is a great way to obtain required recertification hours. Mark your calendars for the 7th Annual Central Virginia EMS Education Expo, which will be held March 5-6, 2016.

    Congratulations to Garett Freeman, our First Quarter Employee of the Month

    A full-time paramedic with RAA since December of 2011, Garrett is a consummate professional with a positive attitude on and off the clock. Always wanting to help his peers achieve their goals, he is known to stay well after his EOT in order to lend assistance to other crews. Even on his personal time, Garett aids new employees with understanding protocol and documentation and gives tutorials on devices.

    Currently, Garett is the Chair of the Clinical Services Committee and leads by example, driving enthusiasm and engagement among his other employees. Simply put, Garett Freeman exemplifies why RAA provides world-class EMS personnel and we’re proud to have him on our team.

    Congratulations Garett and keep up the excellent work!

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    Good help began with the EMS at Forest View Volunteer Rescue Squad six decades ago.

    Sixty years ago this year, a group of nine volunteers assembled together with the sole mission to make South Richmond and Chesterfield County a safer place for its residents. In July of 1955, the FVVRS was officially created. Their first ambulance was a converted Buick Hearse, and a donated chicken coop served as the group’s squad building. By the end of 1956, they had 41 members, two ambulances and had run 85 EMS calls.

    Today, the FVVRS has over 125 members and 2600 EMS responses each year. Led by lifetime member and President John Hilliard and Operations Chief Dave Johnson, their vision for the future is as bright as ever. Armed with a new mission statement: “Pride in Service to Others” – Pride stands for, Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Enthusiasm. After 60 years of service, it’s clear to see the Forest View Volunteer Rescue Squad and its members back up their words.

    Welcome nurse manager, Antigone Branch

    Since she was a little girl, Antigone “Tig” Branch dreamed of becoming a nurse. And since 1994, after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Villanova University, that dream has been a reality. She began her career on a progressive step-down unit at a small community hospital in Reading, Pa., before focusing on becoming a CRNA. While her start was great, she aimed for more.

    In 1997, Ms. Branch decided to move to Richmond to work for VCU Health System in the women’s medical and surgical unit. After that unit closed in 2000, she was given the opportunity to work in the Emergency Department. There her passion continued to grow, and she was a member of the forensics team, chair of the ED council practice and later the organizational Practice Council. In 2010, after Ms. Branch obtained her Master of Science in Nursing from VCU, she managed the outpatient Internal Medicine Clinics at VCU, while working the ED on the weekends. In 2014, Ms. Branch joined the Bon Secours family at Richmond Community Hospital because of their shared commitment to building a healthier community through compassionate care.


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