Archive for July, 2013

NorthStar Pilots Mannequin Program

This article was originally published in The Daily Citizen, July 27, 2013. Used with permission. 

By Matt Burks

Hal is a 5-year-old boy who can talk, breath air, blink and even control his heart beat.

He is not a real boy, but his use by Emergency Medical Service personnel can save lives in the future.

Hal is a high-fidelity simulator mannequin — the first of his kind for EMS use in Arkansas. The Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC), a program of the Arkansas Department of Health in Little Rock, recently received Hal through the federal EMSC program.

Jack Hill, program manager for EMSC Arkansas, said there are 57 different EMSC agencies across the nation and each receive about $130,000 to operate the program.


“There is a lack of education across the nation when it comes to pediatric emergencies,” said Tonia Hale, director of operations for NorthStar EMS in Searcy. “Hal is a high-tech mannequin and you can do just about anything you need to do with it. It’s just like a real child and he’s going to help us be better prepared for pediatric emergencies in our communities.”

“Hal does just about everything but walk,” Hill added. “He can even generate his own cardiac rhythm and can dilate his pupils. The program is based on pediatric care, so this is a way to allow EMS professionals the opportunity to train on something that is realistic.”

Hill could have chosen any place in the state to debut Hal and the pediatric emergencies program, but he knew early on it would be Searcy.

“I’ve known Tonia for several years and we’ve had several meetings at NorthStar about this program,” he said. “We really wanted a service that isn’t too big or too small, that has a great relationship with emergency room personnel. How we picked NorthStar was based upon those criteria and they fit the bill perfectly.”

Hale said NorthStar employees are honored to pilot the program. More important is the knowledge the employees learned in the program, she said.

“The health department asked if we’d be interested in doing this and we jumped right on board,” Hale said.

Jeff Graham, assistant principal of Sidney Deener Elementary in Searcy, is also EMT certified and was allowed to participate in the program. He said he will share what he learned with Searcy administrators for possible future programs related to pediatric emergencies.

“I’m observing the training to better handle emergency situations involving a child,” Graham said. “This is a very neat program and it will be beneficial for everyone, including Searcy students.”

Patt Cope is a part-time employee of NorthStar and program director for the Arkansas State University-Searcy EMS program. She said what she learns in the simulation will help her better train students at ASU-Searcy.

Hale said all available NorthStar employees participated in the program Thursday on a rotation. She also said there is a plan to bring Hal back to Searcy in the near future.

“We trained on the medical side of treating the patient today,” Hale said. “Hopefully, in a few months, we are going to have a pediatric trauma patient scenario using the mannequin.”

Hill said Hal will return to Searcy after being introduced to EMS personnel across the state.

“High fidelity training is very popular in hospitals because of what they can do,” Hill said. “It’s nice to be able to provide that same level of training to EMS providers out in the field.”

There's Still Time to Enter Wall of Memories Contest!

35 Years of Opportunities is the theme this year and it’s at least 35 years of history. It’s not too late to enter the Wall of Memories and tell us about your service or department. There is also a Junior Division for kids of members. You need not be present to win, but we’d sure love to see you. Click here for full information and rules.

SEARK College Paramedic Interns Tackle the Streets of Memphis


One of the last clinical requirements handed down, by EMS Programs Director Scott Endres, to the students in his 2013 Paramedic Class at Southeast Arkansas College was to spend a weekend riding on the streets of Memphis. To accomplish these assignment students were given the unique opportunity to ride with the men and women of the Memphis Fire Department

The Memphis Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Service system is one of the first-based EMS systems in the United States beginning in 1966 with a fleet of eight emergency ambulances that handled approximately 8,000 runs during its first year of service. Today, the Memphis Fire Department is an all advanced life support (ALS) system operating 36 ALS ambulances, 56 ALS engines, and 21 BLS ladder truck companies. There are also 5 EMS lieuten- ants and one EMS Battalion Chief on each shift. The Memphis Fire Department has a total of 98 pieces of fire appa- ratus that are ALS capable with firefighter/paramedics available for emergency calls each day.

In 2011, the Memphis Fire Department responded on 106,328 EMS runs and transported 75,156 patients. There are approximately 500 firefighter/paramedics and 1,100 firefighter/EMTs in the Memphis Fire Department. The balance of firefighters are certified first responders. The Memphis Fire Department is the largest EMS system in the state of Tennessee and the mid-south.


Mr. Donald Eugene Girod – EMT#17246

May 9, 1968 – July 7, 2013

Don Girod

Don Girod

Don Girod, age 45 of Leslie, Arkansas passed from this life on Sunday, July 07, 2013 at the North Arkansas Regional Medical Center Ambulance Bay in Marshall, Arkansas. He was born in Merced, CA on May 09, 1968 to Loyd D. (Doc) and Faye (McIntosh) Girod. At the age of 2, Don moved with his family to Searcy County Arkansas. The remainder of his life was spent here in this beautiful place that he called home. On April 18, 1996 he married Sandra Horton. To this union two beautiful daughters were born—Brittney Ann and Kasey Dawn. He loved them very much.

Don had a variety of things he enjoyed doing. This included riding 4-wheelers; fishing and hunting; working; being a volunteer fireman; serving as a youth minister; chaplain; and being an EMT/Paramedic. He loved people and doing things for people. He was President of the Senior Class of 1986 at Leslie. Classmates have shared how he always made them smile and laugh. A former teacher considered him a special person and a friend. People who have called for an ambulance have told how he helped them and offered to accompany them on to other places if they desired. One childhood friend called him a good, simple and Godly man. Youth at church have referred to him as a father figure. Just someone he talked to shared that Don encouraged him to pursue becoming an EMT. So many people have mentioned his smile and friendliness. New arrivals to Searcy County have mentioned that he always made them feel welcome. A co-worker stated that although work would now be difficult, Don’s words came to mind, “You know the folks in this community and all of Searcy County still has to be taken care of and it’s up to you all to do it for me now….SO GET TO IT!!” He was a big man with a big heart. He cared about people physically and he cared about their souls and them having God in their life. All who came in contact with him will miss him greatly.

He was preceded in death by his father, Loyd (Doc) Girod.

Survivors include his wife Sandra (Horton) Girod and daughters, Brittney and Kasey of the home; his mother, Faye Girod of Leslie; his brother, Dewayne and wife Kathy of Hartselle, AL; his sisters, Sonya Wilson and husband Lonnie of Big Flat and Rhonda McMahan and husband Mike of Watson, AR; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, other family members, friends and acquaintances.

Donations are being accepted in memory of Don Girod at the Homebank of Arkansas, PO Box 1282, Marshall, AR, 72650.

Brad Adams to Provide Keynote Address at 2013 AEMTA EMS Conference

Brad Adams

Brad Adams

Since an accidental car fire changed the course of his life, Brad Adams has been determined to live a positively inspired and normal life. Through multiple surgeries and years of treatment he has triumphed over all obstacles. He has not merely survived, but he thrives in every day he has been blessed to live.

With his wife Charin and step-kids, Katie and Colin and Parker Logan, his first biological child on the way, Brad makes the most of every day. From his management position at Lowe’s to singing Karaoke and playing drums, he doesn’t live disabled. It’s more like ENABLED!