Metropolitan Boston EMS Council Region IV Awards Ceremony Honors Cambridge EMS Providers

Professional Ambulance (Pro EMS) IT Department Recognized for Contributions to Region’s Technical Infrastructure


Cambridge, MA (November 2014) – Several members of the Cambridge EMS System were recognized at the Metropolitan Boston EMS Council (MBEMSC) Region IV awards ceremony on November 6. Awards were presented to Cambridge Fire Chief Gerald Reardon and Pro EMS Director of IT Tim Harren and Network Administrator Michael Dula. Also recognized were Margaret Buckley, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, clinical specialist in emergency nursing, and Dr. Jordan Wagner, Doctor of Osteopathy, both of Cambridge Health Alliance, as well as Danielle Thomas and Carl Rabickow of Pro EMS.


Cambridge Fire Department Chief Reardon was given the EMS Leader Award, which is presented to an individual EMS administrator who is a leader in EMS and serves as a role model for other EMS administrators throughout the region. Chief Reardon has been involved in EMS for over three decades and has made significant contributions and improvements to the healthcare and response system in Cambridge. Chief Reardon has worked tirelessly to provide extensive training, tools and equipment to Cambridge paramedics. He succeeded in bringing the Cambridge Fire Department to the ALS level, providing the highest level of EMS to Cambridge, and led the department to become one of only a few ISO Class 1 Fire Departments in the United States and the only one in Massachusetts.


Derrick Congdon, Executive Director of MBEMSC, presented the awards and spoke about each recipient’s contributions and efforts.


“Chief Reardon’s unwavering and continued support for many of the programs and endeavors over the years that have been brought forward for the betterment of the Region IV EMS system,” Congdon said of the Fire Chief. “The development of the Cambridge Fire Department as a nationally recognized agency that represents excellence has been accomplished by the virtue of the chief’s vision and leadership over the years.”


The Regional Director’s Award that was presented to Tim Harren and Mike Dula is given to honor an individual, foundation or service organization that provides exceptional support to EMS activities in Region IV. Tim and Mike undertook a significant project in transitioning the regional office’s technical infrastructure to an updated environment that provides increased efficiency and security.


In his remarks, Congdon noted that Harren and Dula were professional and knowledgable. “They sat in our office and studied what we currently had for technology, and were able to put together a clear plan to help the Region become more efficient in how we deal with access to files, email, protection and remote access. Throughout the entire process, they kept us informed of their progress and were always willing to provide straight answers to our questions,” said Congdon. “When the day came to switch over completely to the new system, Tim and Mike were there to make sure it worked seamlessly.”


About Metropolitan Boston Emergency Medical Services Council

The Metropolitan Boston Emergency Medical Services Council, Inc. (MBEMSC) is the agency designated by the DPH to coordinate the delivery of emergency medical services within the sixty-two cities and towns comprising the Metropolitan Boston Area. The  Region IV area, which extends north as far as Wilmington and Littleton, west as far as Marlborough and Hopkinton, and south as far as Wrentham and Hanover, serves as residence to over 2  million people, and accounts for close to 1 million emergency  department visits in the Region’s hospitals each year. There are 70 licensed ambulance services and 25 acute care hospitals in the Region IV area.


Upgrades to Incident Support Unit (ISU) Allow for Easier Provision of Services to Firefighters and Communities


Pro EMS recently upgraded the vehicle used as the Incident Support Unit (ISU), allowing the EMS providers to offer faster and more accessible service at fire scenes, major incidents, and special events. The features of the new ISU make it easier for individual providers to operate the truck and to access its equipment without assistance. In addition to providing rehab and support services, the ISU is activated for any mass casualty incident (MCI).


Pro EMS paramedic Nate Dubreuil has taken responsibility for overseeing the care and maintenance of the ISU, as well as training all Pro EMS field providers in using the vehicle.


“The primary purpose of the ISU is to provide medical rehab services for firefighters on an active scene,” said Dubreuil. “They have to take breaks from the fire, so they’ll come to our tent for water, energy drinks, snacks and medical monitoring. We check their heart rate and blood pressure, as well as oxygenation rate, carbon monoxide level, and address any complaints. Throughout the duration of an event, we’ll monitor the firefighter regularly in order to prevent the need for transporting them to a hospital.”


The ISU is stocked with a large tent that connects to a generator for inflation and interior lighting, and cooling chairs that have deep wells in the armrests so that firefighters can immerse their forearms in water, cooling their body temperature and reducing stress. Other items in the ISU include electric heaters, cooling fans and cots. Detail bags with basic supplies such as EPI pens, tourniquets, triage tags, and AEDs allow EMTs on scene to spread out away from the ISU itself and provide more effective triage and treatment of patients.


In addition to providing support to firefighters in all Pro EMS service areas, the ISU contains supplies that can help address needs of displaced families. The ISU carries blankets, sweatshirts, sweatpants and footwear of all different sizes. There is room in the truck for fire victims to change clothes and warm up (or cool down, depending on the season). A stock of comfort toys for children is also maintained on board. The care of pets is also covered with supplies of food, water bowls, and pet carriers.


The new ISU vehicle is larger than the previous truck, so it’s easier to organize the supplies and more items fit on board. Occasionally while restocking the truck, Dubreuil sees a way to reorganize the materials and make things even more accessible. Sometimes during deployment or training, someone suggests additions to the truck’s supplies based on experiences and actual needs at incidents.


“I like being part of the public safety arena,” says Dubreuil, whose father and grandfather were also involved in EMS and fire safety. “We see so many different situations every day and we never know what will happen on a particular day. It’s exciting and interesting.”



Pro EMS and Center for MEDICS Recognized for Participation in National Acute Stroke Registry and Training of Medical Students and Residents


Cambridge, MA (June 2014) – On June 19, representatives from Pro EMS and Center for MEDICS received special honors for pre-hospital stroke notification and medical student training. Pro EMS was recognized by the Massachusetts Coverdell Foundation, a chapter of the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry, for being the highest performer for pre-hospital stroke notification for a large service area, and Center for MEDICS received an award of thanks from the Cambridge Health Alliance for regular training provided to Harvard Medical School students and residents.


During the period of January 2011 through December 2013, Pro EMS paramedics reported all pre-hospital stroke patient encounters to the Massachusetts chapter of the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry (PCNASR). Funded by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the state of Massachusetts, in addition to several other states, established a reporting model to gather information from pre-hospital encounters with stroke victims to help improve patient outcomes.award


The CDC established PCNASR on a directive from Congress, and named the program after the late U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell of Georgia, who suffered a fatal stroke in 2000 while serving in Congress. Each year, more than 700,000 Americans suffer from a stroke. Strokes are fatal for one-quarter of its victims, while a similar number remain permanently disabled afterwards. The PCNASR aims to improve the quality of care for acute stroke patients and increase public awareness of stroke treatment and prevention.


Once a month, Center for MEDICS hosts Harvard Medical School students and residents for training in a variety of skills, including simulation, IV starts, I/O access, and more. Since these training sessions are the same ones given to paramedic students at Center for MEDICS, the patient transfer process is much smoother because both parties – paramedic and ER/hospital staff – have the same expectations and knowledge.



About Professional Ambulance Service

Professional Ambulance Service (Pro EMS) provides emergency medical services to the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts in conjunction with the Cambridge Fire, Police, Emergency Communications and Public Health Departments. Additionally, Pro EMS provides emergency medical services to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professional Ambulance has proudly served the citizens, students, and visitors of Cambridge for over 35 years. For more information, visit or call 617.492.2700.




Pro EMS Paramedics Assist in Maynard Mock Crash


On Friday, May 2, one week before prom, Pro EMS paramedics assisted the Maynard Fire and Police Departments in responding to a staged car accident. In the mock incident, two cars full of teens crash because one driver is operating under the influence of alcohol. The simulation encompasses a field sobriety test and arrest for the offending driver, the use of Jaws of Life to extricate one victim, and a fatality. Theater students from Maynard High School acted as victims and witnesses to the crash. The annual event, in its fourth iteration this year, reminds students of the perils of drinking and driving.


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Professional Ambulance Employees Join Fight Against Heart Disease on Wear Red Day


February 2014 – Employees at Professional Ambulance (Pro EMS) were seeing red on February 7, 2014, as part of the National Wear Red Day celebration to benefit the American Heart Association.


Hundreds of local businesses, community groups, hospitals, towns and schools signed up to go red to help raise awareness and funds to fight cardiovascular disease.


GoRed_ambulance-300Thousands of companies and organizations nationwide encourage their employees to wear red and donate $5 to the Go Red For Women® movement and receive a red dress pin. Funds raised through Wear Red Day help support the life-saving initiatives of the American Heart Association – awareness campaigns, prevention and education programs and cutting-edge scientific research.


“Pro EMS was happy to support the AHA’s Go Red campaign this year,” said Danielle Thomas, Director of Pro EMS Center for MEDICS. “It is our hope that this campaign will gain greater support within the pre-hospital emergency medical services field.”


Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, while stroke is No. 4.  Women often miss the symptoms of these diseases until it’s too late—explaining why cardiovascular disease is referred to as a ‘silent killer.’ The American Heart Association is working to raise awareness of these diseases and encourage women to take charge of their heart health by making simple lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating healthier, exercising more and maintaining a healthy weight. Women can find important health tips at, including online tools and health assessments such as “My Life Check.”



About Professional Ambulance Service

Professional Ambulance Service (Pro EMS) provides emergency medical services to the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts in conjunction with the Cambridge Fire, Police, Emergency Communications and Public Health Departments. Additionally, Pro EMS provides emergency medical services to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professional Ambulance has proudly served the citizens, students, and visitors of Cambridge for over 35 years. For more information, visit or call 617.492.2700.