Life Saving Bleeding Control Equipment Issued to Richmond Public Schools


Richmond, Virginia – October 16, 2017 – In a project to raise grant funding that began a year ago, the Richmond Ambulance Authority and VCU Health teamed up to provide 35 of Richmond’s Public Schools with Bleeding Control (BCON) equipment.  The equipment, prescribed by national Stop the Bleed Campaign, contains tourniquets, bandages and specially treated gauze dressings; all designed to assist with the clotting and control of bleeding.

Uncontrolled bleeding is responsible for 35 percent of pre-hospital trauma deaths and 40 percent of deaths within the first 24 hours. The Stop the Bleed campaign was launched in 2015 as part of a nationwide effort to reduce these numbers. Stop the Bleed aims to teach simple techniques to slow or stop life-threatening bleeding, believing that people already at the scene can help save lives before first responders arrive.

Active shooter or mass casualty incidents, most recently in Las Vegas and previously at Columbine High School (Denver, CO) and Sandy Hook Elementary (Newtown, CT) have become a reality of modern life and everyone must be prepared for training for the worst while hoping for the best. More than 300 people have been killed in the United States during what have been classified as active shooter and mass-casualty incidents since the Columbine High School shootings in 1999.

Chip Decker, CEO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority commented, “All too often, victims of active shooter or mass-casualty incidents bleed to death waiting for medical treatment. Responses to save victims have to be immediate, fully orchestrated and ready to go. This equipment and the associated training is clearly the way to go”.


The equipment, valued at $22,000, was funded by the VCU Auxiliary Fund to the tune of $5000 and then matched by the Richmond Ambulance Authority.  RAA then applied for and received an additional $12,000 from the Altria Companies Employee Community Fund (ACECF). Once funding was secured and equipment purchased, RAA and VCU Medical Center sent instructors to train all RPS Nursing and Security staff to ensure there is a trained member of staff on site at every school receiving a BCON kit.  The hope is now to continue to train as many staff as possible in the coming months.

“A trained person on site can make a lifesaving difference. As the only Level 1 trauma center in central Virginia, we know how critical it is to control bleeding quickly. A person can die from blood loss within minutes without care,” said Michel Aboutanos, M.D., medical director of the VCU Trauma Center.


The first packs containing the equipment was presented at the RPS School Board meeting on Monday by RAA Chief Executive Officer, Chip Decker and Beth Broering MSN, RN, FAEN Trauma Program Manager at the VCU Trauma Center.

“We appreciate this generous donation from the Richmond Ambulance Authority and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in providing the BCON equipment for our schools,” said Interim Superintendent Thomas Kranz. “The proactive thinking to create these kits as well as train all of our health services and security teams can make a life-saving difference in an emergency situation.  The safety of our students and staff is a number one priority, so these kits will allow us to be even more prepared to quickly respond should an incident or severe injury occur.”


#      #      #

About the Richmond Ambulance Authority
In 1991, the Richmond City Council and the city manager implemented an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system that placed the patient first and guaranteed its performance to the City’s residents.  Today, the Richmond Ambulance Authority responds to approximately 200 calls per day and transports, on average, 140 patients per day.  RAA’s emergency response times are among the fastest in the nation with ambulances on the scene of life threatening emergencies in less than 8 minutes and 59 seconds in more than 90% of all responses.  RAA is one of only 24 EMS agencies in North America accredited by both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services and the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.  RAA is also a Commonwealth of Virginia Accredited Dispatch Center.  For more information, see

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit and

About Richmond Public Schools

Richmond Public Schools (RPS) serves over 24,000 students, representing the region’s diverse socioeconomic mix comprised of 26 elementary schools, including one charter school, seven middle schools, five comprehensive high schools and three specialty schools. RPS has an expansive International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Lucille Brown Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School as well as the region’s first IB Primary Years Program (PYP) at Chimborazo Elementary School. U. S. News and World Report ranked Richmond Community and Open high schools among the state’s top public high schools with Franklin Military Academy being recognized as the nation’s first public military school.

To learn more, visit: or keep up on social media at




Resilience. Pride. Success. #WeAreRPS

Richmond Ambulance Authority named a Virginia Municipal League Insurance Programs (VMLIP) Risk Management Performance Award winner for 2017

Richmond May 16th The Richmond Ambulance Authority has been awarded a Virginia Municipal League Insurance Programs (VMLIP) Risk Management Performance Award for 2017. RAA was recognized Friday, May 12th at VMLIP’s 2017 Annual Meeting held in Glen Allen.

Each year, Risk Management Performance Awards are presented to members with a proactive risk management attitude and commitment, excellent loss experience and reporting time, or a significant improvement in their loss ratios. The purpose of the award is to encourage and recognize outstanding risk management performance.

RAA’s clinical education staff was singled out for developing and maintaining an in-depth safe ambulance operator training program for current and new ambulance operators. The RAA Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) is mandated by the Virginia Department of Health’s, Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) for all individuals operating an ambulance. The accompanying level of safe vehicle operation has resulted in lower-than-industry levels of ‘at fault’ vehicle accidents for RAA’s fleet size and a reduction in overall insurance premiums.

The award was also attributed to RAA’s efforts to preserve and protect IT and business infrastructure through Continuity of Business and Continuity of Operations Planning efforts. RAA’s Safety and Risk Management Director, Bryan McRay, said ‘a part of the culture of safety is focused on Risk Management as well as risk reduction. To this effort, RAA has been working with services offered by VML to do our best to provide for Continuity of Business and Continuity of Operations should a catastrophic event occur. These efforts are primarily focused on the business side of RAA. These include data storage protection and backup, important document preservation, and working to establish as many safeguards as possible to support the RAA mission in austere conditions should the need arise’.
VMLIP is the first and largest group self-insurance pool in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more than 35 years, VMLIP has provided auto, property, liability, and workers’ compensation coverage to more than 470 local political subdivisions across Virginia.

Richmond Ambulance Authority Training Manager Shannon Daniel Wins International Award for Her Contribution to Critical Incident Stress Debriefing for First Responders

Richmond May 1st, 2017: Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) Training Manager, Shannon Daniel, has been selected by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation to receive the 2017 Excellence in Training & Education award. The award, to be presented this week at the 14th World Congress on Stress Trauma and Coping in Baltimore, is given to commemorate an individual’s exemplary dedication and commitment to critical incident stress management.
Shannon is one of the founding members of the RAA Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team and is regularly on call to offer assistance to not only RAA’s operational staff but also to other agency members of the Richmond public safety community. RAA’s Chief Clinical Officer and coordinator of the CISM team, Wayne Harbour said, “Shannon has been a cornerstone of our debriefing program that has extended to our own staff and public safety partners. She is always ready to lead a debrief, which she does with compassion and willingness to go the extra mile for all involved.”
Shannon’s passion runs so deep that she has also made the area of CISM and the management of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) the subject of the PhD studies she is currently undertaking. Her knowledge and experience, combined with her Masters in Education, has meant that she is also an in-demand speaker on both the local and national circuits. She has presented at the EMS World Expo – the largest EMS conference in North America – and the Professional Development Conference at FEMA’s National Fire Academy. Locally, she is a regular speaker at the annual Virginia EMS Symposium and many other local events. Shannon was instrumental in the recent creation and production of an EMS awareness video created by the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of EMS to familiarize and educate first responders to CISM, Peer Support and PTSD.

About the Richmond Ambulance Authority
In 1991, the Richmond City Council and the city manager implemented an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system that placed the patient first and guaranteed its performance to the City’s residents. Today, the Richmond Ambulance Authority responds to approximately 200 calls per day and transports, on average, 140 patients per day. RAA’s emergency response times are among the fastest in the nation with ambulances on the scene of life threatening emergencies in less than 8 minutes and 59 seconds in more than 90% of all responses. RAA is one of only 24 EMS agencies in North America accredited by both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services and the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch. RAA is also a Commonwealth of Virginia Accredited Dispatch Center. For more information, see

Richmond Ambulance Authority Earns Re-Accreditation as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence from The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch

Richmond Ambulance Authority Earns Re-Accreditation as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence from The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Richmond Ambulance Authority was approved as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence on February 17, 2017 by the Board of Accreditation of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). Therefore, Richmond Ambulance Authority retains the distinguished honor of being the 66th Emergency Medical Dispatch Accredited Center in the world. Richmond Ambulance Authority is only the second ambulance service in the world and the first in the United States to attain accreditation six consecutive times.
The IAED is a non-profit standard-setting organization promoting safe and effective emergency dispatch services world-wide. Comprised of four allied Academies for medical, fire, police, and emergency communication nurse system dispatching, the IAED supports first-responder related research, unified protocol application, legislation for emergency call center regulation, and strengthening the emergency dispatch community through education, certification, and accreditation. An Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) is the highest distinction in 9-1-1 emergency communication services.
Richmond Ambulance Authority achieved re-accreditation for their continued compliance to the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) and the associated “20 Points of Excellence”. The “20 Points of Excellence” encompass international practice standards of excellence for Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD). This sustained culture of operational effectiveness addresses system oversight, quality improvement programs, and individual certification of all emergency call-takers. Re-accreditation is a voluntary accomplishment that demonstrates an unprecedented dedication to public safety from not only each individual within the communications center, but also the administration team.
In addition to being featured in the next issue of The Journal of Emergency Dispatch, Richmond Ambulance Authority will be recognized on The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch’s website (
Contact: Kim Rigden
Phone: 1-800-960-6236 ext 134
International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED)
IAED website:

Richmond Ambulance Authority Wins the 2016 Governor’s Emergency Medical Services Award for Outstanding EMS Agency

RICHMOND, Va., November 17, 2016– The Richmond Ambulance Authority is the 2016 Governor’s Emergency Medical Services Award winner for Outstanding EMS Agency.    The Governor’s EMS Awards were presented Saturday night during the 37th annual Virginia EMS Symposium in Norfolk where the winners were given a trophy and a certificate signed by Governor Terry McAuliffe.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named Outstanding EMS Agency of the year by Governor McAuliffe,” said Chip Decker, CEO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority.  “Richmond Ambulance Authority constantly strives to provide the finest prehospital care to the citizens of Richmond in a cost efficient manner, and our entire organization appreciates this recognition of our efforts.”

Richmond Ambulance Authority was selected for this award based on numerous achievements locally, nationally and internationally and overall contributions to the development of EMS.  In 2016, RAA had its busiest year ever with more than 65,000 calls for service, an increase of five percent over the previous year, with no loss in operational performance or response time reliability.

RAA’s partnership with the Richmond Public Schools (RPS) was also noted.  When the recent ‘Gwyneth’s Law’ was signed by then Governor Robert McDonnell requiring all graduating high school seniors to be qualified in CPR, RAA stepped in to support this inside the City of Richmond.  RAA conducted a survey to determine the number and locations of all RPS

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and provided the assistance needed to equip and bring RPS up to the appropriate level of defibrillators.  RAA then trained RPS health and physical education staff as American Heart Association certified CPR instructors to equip them with the requisite skills to teach the graduating classes.

RAA’s approach to teaching CPR has evolved over the years from an annual Great Days of CPR event to a weekly, on-request activity.  RAA has partnered with the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) to deliver CPR to every new tenant entering RRHA housing.  Since January 1, 2016 alone, more than 1000 citizens have received training.  RAA also has a Latino outreach CPR program where classes are taught in both English and Spanish.

In terms of clinical education and the promotion of best practices, RAA hosts the US Airforce Pararescue program for two-month clinical rotations, providing these USAF Special Operators with field experience and clinical placements.  RAA also runs a Pan American Trauma Society fellowship / observer program for trauma surgeons from Central and South America in order to help them understand the operations of a true trauma system which includes EMS, hospital and public health.  In addition, RAA provides Masters level academic lectures to graduate students and offers assistance and mentorship for thesis projects.

Over the years, RAA has created a number of signature programs to contribute to wellness, injury prevention and health.  The RAA led motorcycle rider safety program, Rider Alert, celebrated its fifth anniversary in early 2016.  Since its inception, the Rider Alert program has spread from Richmond to numerous states throughout the country and also internationally.  Seven countries now have Rider Alert, and the program is currently being implemented in Australia.  Today, more than 2 million Rider Alert cards have been distributed worldwide.  The Crossing Alert campaign launched by RAA in 2012 continues to provide inspiration for other localities to prevent distracted texting and driving via its attention-grabbing public service announcement video which remains available for all to use.

RAA also has an ongoing staff wellness program that ranges from trained Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) staff members to Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).  An example of these programs in action occurred during the March 2016 incident at the Richmond Greyhound Bus station in which a Virginia state trooper was killed.  All RAA staff involved in the incident, whether it was patient care or incident command, were taken out of service as soon as possible, debriefed and offered immediate CISM.  These management actions were gratefully received and a positive experience for all involved.

Staff are also supported in their personal and professional development, and the RAA staff wellness committee continues to deliver great programs such as the RAA Vegetable Garden,

made available for all to grow fresh herbs and vegetables.  This was initiated at the request of RAA employees who live in apartments in and around the city and had no other outlet to grow fresh produce.

The 2016 Governor’s EMS Award for Outstanding EMS Agency comes on the heels of numerous other prestigious awards won by RAA.  In the past 12 months, RAA was named the national Career EMS Agency of the Year by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians’ (NAEMT) and EMS World.  RAA also received the American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline Gold Award, for its excellence in rapidly treating heart attack patients and improving patient outcomes.   Additionally, individuals within RAA have received national recognition for excellence including an EMS10 Award, given to the 10 top innovators in EMS throughout the nation each year, and an American Ambulance Association (AAA) Star of Life Award.  RAA itself is the only governmental agency in Virginia to have received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) and also have its communications center named an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch.