RAA offers free child seat safety checks offered ahead of holiday travel

November 16, 2017

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -Heading into a holiday travel week, the Richmond Ambulance Authority is offering safety checks on car seats.

The Authority says four out of five car seats are used incorrectly.

Experts say if you have one car seat, the safest place is usually the middle of the back seat, but check your manual to see what your car makers recommend.

It’s also important to watch the recline of the seat in front of your child’s seat.

“Not leaned back too far on the seat. You know, compromising the positioning or the loosening of the seat belt of the car seat,” said Capt. Veronica Ruffin, operations community support manager of the Richmond Ambulance Authority.

If you’re traveling, be aware of how you’re packing your car.

“I probably would not put anything in that back seat,” said Ruffin. “Most people have an SUV or own something with a large trunk area. I would probably make sure I put less back there, but maybe tying it down. So if your car happens to be in an accident or a little fender bender you don’t have anything that might hit your children.”

Even if you do have the seat installed properly, continue to do regular checks to make sure it’s still installed well, and that all the straps are adjusted as your child grows.

The Richmond Ambulance Authority safety checks are:

  • 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20 at the Target on Forest Hill Avenue
  • 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21 at the Walmart on Sheila Lane

The safety checks are free.

This article originally appeared in

Richmond Ambulance Authority sees uptick in heat related calls


July 21, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Ambulance Authority says it’s seeing an uptick in calls due to the hot weather.

It’s around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon and Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) is responding to a call for an elderly woman feeling dizzy, light headed and hot. When we get to the scene, emergency responders put her on a stretcher and into an ambulance.

She’s expected to be OK. Supervisor Wes Wampler says the woman recently had surgery. He says when people have any ailments it makes it harder to deal with the extreme heat.

“The body can’t compensate for that heat and losing all that water the heart does not respond to it well,” said Wampler.

It’s just one of a number of heat related calls the department has gotten in the past two days with the temps being so high. Thursday, emergency workers found a man near the river who had obviously been outside too long.

“He was disoriented, he was not sweating he was very, very altered,” said Wampler.

Officials say it’s best to stay out of the heat when it’s this hot, but if you have to be outside, be proactive.

“Try to get you work done in the early morning hours or later evening hours if possible. Try to work in shaded areas. Make sure you stay hydrated. That’s probably one of the best preventative measures and individual can take,” said Jason Roach with RAA.

Roach says in the past they’ve also gotten calls for kids and pets left in cars. He showed 8News how hot a car can get sitting in the sun. Inside one car he shows us it’s 125 degrees.

“And that could be very detrimental to your kid’s health and your pet’s health,” said Roach.

Roach says everyone can help by being aware of their surroundings.

“Just check on anyone you know that you feel could be at risk,” said Roach.

RAA also makes sure their staff is ok. They fully stock their coolers before they go out and bring staff back mid shift to cool off.

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employee of the quarter

Employee of the Third Quarter: Angela Parker

Congratulations to Senior Accounting Specialist Angela Parker who is our Employee of the Quarter!

Angie started with RAA in November 2008 as our Bookkeeper/Accountant, and in 2014, became our Senior Accounting Specialist. For the past six years, Angie has done an excellent job processing and maintaining accurate records of accounting transactions; preparing reports and/or reconciliations for various accounting transactions or systems; works with Reimbursement to process and maintain Lifesaver membership applications and payments; assists in establishing and maintaining accounting control procedures; resolves accounting discrepancies. She is prompt in turning around purchase orders within 24 hours, has great working relationships with her peers, and assists in correcting other Department’s oversights and discrepancies.

Her colleagues have come to count on her attention to detail which helps to save RAA time and money. In short, Angie is a critical member of the Finance Department. This quarter, we honor her work ethic and commitment and to her position and are proud to have her as a part of the RAA team.

1,000-plus RRHA residents learn hands-only CPR

Sakiynah Jefferson and Auriel Cunningham pushed the chest of the plastic mannequins in sync with the instructor’s claps, which followed the approximately 100 beats-per-minute pace of the Bee Gees’ disco hit “Stayin’ Alive.”

The two were among about 40 people learning hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the Calhoun Family Investment Center in Gilpin Court last week.

Over the past year, more than 1,000 residents of Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority communities have been trained to do hands-only CPR.

The training is part of a broader citywide Richmond Ambulance Authority initiative to train as many people as possible to do the simpler CPR that consists of chest compressions only — no mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths.

“Eighty percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home or a private setting,” Michelle McLees of the American Heart Association said at the recent training.

“All of you now have the necessary skills to save someone in cardiac arrest. This could be a family member, loved one or a friend.”

People should first call 911 if someone is in cardiac arrest and follow the instructions of the emergency dispatcher, who also can give instructions on doing hands-only CPR.

The ambulance authority has provided the training to RRHA residents at new tenant orientation sessions.

As of Tuesday, 1,109 residents in RRHA public housing communities had completed the training, said Rob Lawrence, chief operating officer of the ambulance authority.

The training is not a substitute for CPR certification that is required for some jobs.

However, it aims to get more bystanders to consider helping while emergency responders are on the way.

Lawrence said the citywide initiative will continue for another year, and he answered other questions about the effort.

QUESTION: How many people have been trained citywide in the initiative?

ANSWER: Since we started our current campaign in April 2014, we have directly trained 1,972 citizens and issued 1,042 (CPR training) kits to enable people to train others.

The net training total is 5,045 people (if everyone passes the training).

Other parts of our CPR training have included Spanish language classes, police citizen academies, National Night Out, Great Days of CPR, school groups and church events.

We have trained select Richmond Public Schools teachers to be CPR instructors as well, so they can carry on the training within the public school system.

Our aim is to train as many people as possible.

QUESTION: What’s in the kit?

ANSWER: The kit, which is manufactured in a partnership between the (American Heart Association) and manufacturer Laerdal (Medical), contains an inflatable mannequin and an instructional video in both English and Spanish.

QUESTION: How is the program funded?

ANSWER: We have received grant funding to complete this program, including a Bloomberg Cities of Service CPR grant. We were gifted 500 hands-only CPR kits (no cash, just kits).

Altria Companies Employee Community Fund provided grant funding to purchase the training mannequins and further hands-only CPR kits ($24,000). This generous funding will keep the program running for at least another 12 months.

QUESTION: Have you had anyone report back that they have used the training to help save someone?

ANSWER: We have not had anyone come forward yet who has taken the class and then delivered CPR for real — but it’s only a matter of time.

This article originally appeared on

Richmond Ambulance Authority receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Award

RICHMOND VIRGINIA APRIL 29, 2015 — The Richmond Ambulance Authority has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

Unfortunately, a significant number don’t receive this prompt treatment. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. EMS agencies provide access to 12-lead ECG machines (devices that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat and can help medical personnel determine if a heart attack has occurred), and follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for the entire year, and treat at least eight STEMI patients for the year.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals. We applaud The Richmond Ambulance Authority for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

“The Richmond Ambulance Authority is dedicated to providing the best pre-hospital care in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by defining processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients in the City of Richmond,” said Chief Executive Officer, Chip Decker. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.”