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UAMS College of Nursing – Pilot Study


Pilot Study: Exploring Mental Health Needs of First Responders in Arkansas

Cynthia Jo “Cindy” DeWitt


Cynthia Jo “Cindy” DeWitt, 50, of Hot Springs passed away June 22, 2014. She was born May 17, 1964 in Nashville, Arkansas to Reuben and JoJo Reed.
Cindy was a beautiful, friendly and vibrant woman. She was a devoted wife and mother who made everyone feel important. Cindy was Director of Sales for the Hot Springs Convention Bureau. She was detail oriented and wanted things to “be done right.” She loved her job and was proud to call Hot Springs home. Cindy was a member of First United Methodist Church, P.E.O. and was a certified meeting planner.
She is predeceased by grandparents, W.A. and Frances Reed and Wier Owens and Pearl Owens Pickett; and uncles, Alfred Reed and Terry Wier Owens. Cindy is survived by her loving husband, Larry Keith DeWitt of Hot Springs; daughter, Madison Rae DeWitt of Hot Springs; stepdaughter, Kameron DeWitt of Fort Smith; step-granddaughter, Gianna Grayce DeWitt of Fort Smith; parents, Reuben and JoJo Reed of Nashville; stepsister, Dr. Keitha DeWitt Holland and husband, Wes of Conway and their children, Meg and Max; uncles, Troy Reed and wife, Betty of Wheaton, Illinois and Thomas Reed and wife, Lucille of Cincinnati, Ohio; brother-in-law, Gary DeWitt and wife, Stacey of Dunwoody, Georgia and their children, Chandler and Keith; step mother-in-law, Mary Ann DeWitt of Charleston, Arkansas; several cousins; and many friends and business associates in Arkansas and surrounding states.

Funeral service will be 1:00 p.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist with Rev. David Wilson officiating. Burial will follow in Sardis Cemetery in Nashville.

Visitation will be 5:00-7:00 p.m. Monday at Caruth-Hale Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Relay For Life, Hot Springs Chapter.

Benefit Dinner for Joe Stephens and Family, Sep. 21 in DeQueen

Joe Stephens

Joe Stephens

Joe was stung by a wasp on August 4th and had an anaphylactic reaction and suffered Respiratory Arrest, also causing an anoxic brain injury. He was airlifted to Wadley. Joe is currently receiving Inpatient Rehab. He will then need to go to a brain injury rehab facility. Joe is employed by Air Evac Lifeteam and serves in the Arkansas National Guard. He has touched many lives while working in EMS. Please help us support our brother Joe and his family.

Saturday, September 21, 2013
Chicken Dinner $6.00, begins at 6:00 pm.
Auction to begin at 7:00 pm, followed by a live band.

Arkansas National Guard Armory
706 N. Lakeside
DeQueen, AR 71832

Donations can be sent to:

Joe Stephens
1223 W. Altena
DeQueen, AR 71832

If you have any questions or would like to make a donation, please contact:

  • Nichia Davis 870-784-0953
  • Megan McMahen 870-784-4747
  • Anna Bivins 479-234-9492

Download a flyer for the event here.

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.”

UPDATED: Proposed EMS Rules and Regulations Changes

This week during the Governor’s Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council Meeting, Greg Brown from the Section of Emergency Medical Services presented the 2012 proposed EMS Rules and Regulations. After some discussion, the council voted to recommend that the Section of EMS present the proposed rules and associated documents to the state for a cursory review.

It is important to remember the following regarding these proposed rules. This is not the start of the official administrative process. This is to allow the initial version of the rules to be reviewed by all stakeholders and to provide early comments and alternate solutions to the Section so that potential changes can be made prior to starting the official administrative process. That process will begin at a later time once these rules have been reviewed. Here is a list of the documents that are attached in no particular order.

1. The Proposed Rules in both a marked up version for you to see what was added or deleted from the current rules and the rules without markups.

2. The Proposed New Equipment List for all levels of permitted ambulances

3. A breakdown of the Proposed Scope of Practice by EMS license level

4. The Proposed Scope of Practice chart for all levels combined.

5. The Comment and Solution form.

UPDATE: 12/12/2012

The Trauma Triage Guidelines that were created earlier this year were inadvertently left off the original article about the proposed rules. It was the intent that this document be attached to the rules as a guideline for the trauma patient. This was addressed in the EMS Subcommittee to the TAC, the GAC and various committees and TRACS. Everyone should be very familiar with this document. Greg Brown, Section Chief of the Section of Emergency Medical Services anticipates that there will be a statement within the “trauma section” of the rules that reads as follows:

“The Field Triage Decision Scheme should be used when triaging trauma patients and for transport considerations.”

The comment and solution form gives you the ability to type your comments into the form. Please complete that form and send that back to Greg Brown if you have items that you feel need to be addressed. We ask that if you feel a proposed regulation is questionable or should be replaced or removed, that you also propose a solution.

*** DEADLINE ***

Please have all comments and suggestions returned to Greg Brown by January 1, 2013. This will give him time to make whatever changes are needed and present back to the GAC in February for recommendation to move forward with the proposed rules.

For more information, contact Greg Brown:

Greg Brown
Section Chief
Section of Emergency Medical Services
Arkansas Department of Health
5800 West 10th Street, Suite 800
Little Rock, AR 72204

2012 Conference Hotel Info Updated!

The hotel rates and reservation information have been posted on the AEMTA Conference website. Click here to check it out.

Thanks from the family of David Taylor

The family of David Taylor would like to thank each and every member of the Arkansas EMT Association for your thoughtfulness and support during this difficult time in our lives. Your presence helped to lighten our burden, and it was kind of you to take the time to share your memories of David with us. Your words were not only a comfort, but a source of strength for our family during this difficult time. From the bottom of our hearts we want you to know that we love and appreciate each and every one of our EMS family.

– Judy Taylor

Arkansas EMS Foundation establishes scholarship in memory of David Taylor, Sr.

David Taylor

David Taylor

The Arkansas EMS Foundation has established a scholarship fund in memory of David Taylor, Sr. who passed away suddenly on Nov. 5, 2009.

Please click here to learn more about the David Taylor, Sr. Scholarship fund.

Support the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South while you shop

Need groceries? Want to support the Mid-South Chapter? Purchase groceries using a Schnuck’s or Kroger card obtained through the Mid-South Chapter office, and the stores will send a donation to the chapter. The more you shop, the more money to grant wishes! Kroger cards have a $5 fee, but are loaded with $5 for your first purchase. To get your card, please contact Ashley Clark at 901-692-9510 or (TN or MS) or Carissa Godwin at 501-376-9474 or (AR). Click here to view the press release for more details.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Born in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his  ream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 66 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 172,000 wishes in the U.S. since inception. For more information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South, visit and discover how you can share the power of a wish®. If you know a child who could use our help, please call 800-264-9474.

Member Advisory: Swine Flu Reference Links

A special Thank You to the Vermont Ambulance Association and Vermont Emergency Management for creating this list.

Pandemic Flu/Swine Flu Situation Reports/Info: