We started as a small volunteer organization in 1965 and have grown as our community has. We currently cover over 400 square miles in Monroe County and handle over 3,000 calls yearly. Our coverage area includes Middle Smithfield Township, Smithfield Township, Porter Township, and portions of Price Township. Our main stations are on Winona Falls Road, behind Foxmoor Village, and in the Village Center in Marshalls Creek Complex.
This past week we celebrated Thanksgiving. A time to be grateful for all we have and for those around us that make our lives richer. Last weekend, Bushkill Emergency Corps celebrated and thanked the volunteers and career providers who care for our communities by providing often life-saving care when it is most needed.
Bushkill Emergency Corps officially went into operation on September 1, 1965. It was started by a group of 11 local residents with the purpose of “providing aid and benefit to humanity whenever and wherever required.” Within one hour of beginning service to the community, they
responded to the first call, a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The patient survived because they were there.
The organization is a community-based non-profit that provided emergency medical services to Monroe County residents of Middle Smithfield Township, Smithfield Township, and Price Townships. As of today, it is the only Emergency Medical Service (EMS) that has both
volunteers and career personnel staffing its ambulances. This past weekend was a chance to recognize all providers, but especially recognize volunteers who have served the organization in various capacities for reaching milestone years of service to the organization and community at large.
Recognized for 2 years of service in an auxiliary capacity was Nancy Cusack. Due to the pandemic, although he has 7 years of service, Captain Jonathon Kulick-Cummings was awarded his 5 years of service award. Longevity in EMS is a valued gift to the community. Two long-
serving volunteers were recognized for their service to Bushkill Emergency Corps. Receiving his 30 years of service award was Raymond M. Felmly and receiving her 40 years of service award was Gail Kulick. Both still serve our communities in active volunteer capacities.
Saving a life in the field requires a team effort and with the equipment and training of EMS crews today, the potential to save a life is greater than ever but never assured. EMS like many other services often runs in families. Members of a family often follow in the footsteps of one
before them and carry on the tradition of service, whether it be EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement, or the military. An individual who recovers to return home is considered a true life saved and is recognized by
awarding a CPR save the pin. This past year, a newborn infant was saved through the use of CPR and Advanced Life Support (ALS) measures provided by two crews of Bushkill working together. In this case, it was the husband and wife EMT team of Raymond M. and Nancy Felmly
joined by the efforts of the ALS team of Pre-hospital Nurse Raymond S. Felmly and EMT Ryan Felmly. A bad situation that had a good outcome.
There were many thanks throughout the evening, for the volunteer Board of Directors members, the volunteer officers, the volunteers and the career staff who keep the wheels rolling and the organization running. There was the thankfulness that a crew that was transporting a patient to the hospital a few weeks ago and were hit head-on by a passing car are both on the mend and the patient returned home unharmed.
But there was one special recognition that was acknowledged as a milestone that was recognized with a citation sponsored by Representative Rosemary Brown and an award presented by
Bushkill Emergency Corp to Raymond M. Felmly for 50 years of volunteer service in the EMS community. Having served 20 years in the state of New Jersey and having served the local community for the past 30 years as a volunteer with Bushkill Emergency Corps, his service was
recognized and applauded.
Our communities are blessed by the many volunteers serving in so many capacities, we often forget to say that simple sentence, “Thank you for what you do.” This evening was a chance to thank both those who serve in a career capacity as well as those who volunteer with no expectation of thanks.
January 2023 - After last week’s events at the Buffalo Bills game that caused Damar Hamlin to go into sudden cardiac arrest, there should be no question about the importance of a number of things. First, t the
importance of immediate Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), the need for early access (within 5 minutes or less) to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and trained personnel who know how to act at a moment’s notice.
Hamlin’s outcome is showing great promise. The fact that he received both CPR and the use of the AED immediately and the reality that trained personnel from the field athletic providers to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers all worked flawlessly as a team gave the
receiving hospital personnel the best chance to have just the developing outcome that we have all seen to date.
Those of us in the field of EMS recognize the importance of immediate response. We also know that having a positive outcome depends upon many factors, but certainly, in Hamlin’s case, a significant factor was his age, younger, physical fitness, and likely his overall health. It
contributed to his best outcome. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any age. A positive outcome is one that demands that the story be told. At the recent awards dinner for Bushkill Emergency Corps, a young mom told a story that had a happy ending because all the right people did the right things immediately.
The mother of an East Stroudsburg North football player, she and her husband were walking across the parking lot of the school to watch her son play in the game. As she was walking, she turned to her husband and said she didn’t feel well. Immediately after that, she fell to the
blacktop in the parking lot.
Her husband immediately took action. As a Paramedic with Bushkill Emergency Corps, he immediately determined that she did not have a pulse and simultaneously began CPR and called for help. Within seconds, a school security officer was next to him and helping with CPR. Since
the game was happening, there were athletic trainers, a doctor, and an ambulance present. Within seconds, all were notified of the sudden cardiac arrest and were directed to the incident.
The ambulance was immediately on the scene and 911 was called and an Advanced Life Support ambulance was on the way. Just to get the timing in mind for the reader, there was less than a minute left in the quarter before halftime. Keep this in mind.
The AED was applied, and it called for a shock to be administered, which it was. Then CPR was continued and another shock was advised. Done. As the AED did its job and those doing CPR did theirs, the stretcher was brought to the Mom’s side and she was loaded onto it. Amazingly, she began to become conscious and breathe on her own. CPR was discontinued and she was transported out of the parking lot to the now-waiting Advanced Life Support unit (ALS Paramedic unit).
She was transferred to the waiting unit’s stretcher (standby ambulance needs to return to the game) and she was treated with the proper ALS protocols as she was taken to the hospital. By the time she got to the hospital, she was fully awake and talking to her husband and the crew.
Definitely the miracle of all the right people and actions being taken at the right time. She was in the hospital for a few days and then was able to return home to her family. A life definitely savedby early CPR and early defibrillation.
Remember the note made about the time left in the game? Just know how quickly all this life-saving action took place, when the standby ambulance returned to the game, half-time still was not even over. That means that all that life-saving action took less than 12 minutes. When you hear the term "time counts", this proves that it surely does. Being trained in CPR and in the use of an AED takes only a couple of hours, and the results of using it when needed can be a lifetime. When the doctor told Damar Hamlin he won the game of life, he wasn’t kidding!
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Sterling Ct, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18302, United States
Join us for an evening of Jazz with the local talents of Nancy and Spencer Reed. This evening will feature a fundraising silent auction, a DJ, dancing, a special show by Nancy and Spencer Reed, and a special appearance by Eric Falcao. For more information, please call 570-223-1906.