January Member of the Month

Michael Hunter
Deputy Chief EMS / Communications Supervisor

Michael J. Hunter, a veteran of EMS for more than 36 years, serves as Deputy Chief EMS for Worcester EMS at UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMMC) University Campus in Worcester, Mass., where he has worked for more than 25 years. He began there as a staff paramedic and progressed through the ranks to EMS captain and then into his current position.

Worcester EMS (WEMS) is a hospital-based transport system and a division within UMMMC, the region's largest employer. UMMMC is a STEMI Center, Stroke Center and the region's only Level 1Trauma Center. Worcester EMS is a paramedic-only system, one of the state's few RSI services and the 911 EMS provider to the city of Worcester and neighboring town of Shrewsbury. Hunter also functions as a tactical paramedic (TP-C #77) for WEMS and is assigned to the Massachusetts State Police STOP Team medical support group.

Hunter began his career as an on-call firefighter and emergency medical technician. He graduated from The Vermont Paramedic Training Program in 1984 and has spent most of his paramedic career in hospital-based EMS programs. For the first eight years of his career, he worked on an ALS intercept vehicle, based out of a community hospital, serving 10 suburban towns.

He has served on the Massachusetts Committee of Trauma's Trauma Registry Sub-Committee and is an active member of the UMMHC Emergency Medicine/Trauma Committee. He was a co-investigator in UMMMC's involvement in the EMS TIPI-IS project, and the WEMS lead role in UMMMC's Field to Cardiac Cath Lab STEMI Project. He is active in regional disaster planning and a member of the Regional Medical Services Committee. Hunter was a founding member of the WEMS Honor Guard.

Hunter has long been a member of NAEMT and has been active in PHTLS since the late 1980s. He served as a member of the PHTLS Committee, as the North American PHTLS Coordinator, and was an active member of the PHTLS International Faculty. Hunter is a CONTOMS graduate and a member of their instructor cadre. He is also a charter member of the International Association of EMS Chiefs, a professional member of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the Special Operations Medical Association.

EMS agency name
Worcester EMS

Agency location/area served (City/State)
Worcester& Shrewsbury, MA

Service type: (Municipal, Private, Hospital, Volunteer)

Number of staff:
EMS Chief
Deputy Chief EMS
EMS Captains: 6
Paramedics: 91
EMT Communications Specialists:19
Support Staff:3
Fleet Mechanics:2

Annual call volume statistics (FY 2017)

  • 911 responses – 33.048
  • 911 transports – 24,587
  • ALS percentage of transports: 48%
  • BLS percentage of transports: 52%
  • Non-emergency transports: N/A

Population of coverage area: 218,542
Square mileage of coverage area: 60.27 square miles

Ambulance Fleet information

  • Number ambulances in fleet - 15
  • Maximum number of ALS ambulances in service - 8
  • Number of supervisory units - 4
  • Specialty units/resources – Training Van, Support Van, Incident Support Unit (Trailer), Medical Shelter Unit (Trailer), Mobile Training Unit Other: UMass Medical School EMS Fellow Physician Response Vehicle
  • Mobile Integrated Health Unit –

    WEMS has an active Tactical EMS group that provides statewide medical support for all Massachusetts State Police STOP Team missions.

    WEMS has a 24/7 Peer Support Team trained by, and working in conjunction with the clinical staff at Onsite Academy, a residential treatment facility for Police, Fire, EMS and Military stress management.

    Through our association with the UMass Medical School (UMMS), WEMS has a very active EMS Elective for medical students, both domestic and international.

    We frequently have UMMS medical students and Pharmacology PHD candidates riding on our ambulances. We also provide field internships for multiple, accredited paramedic training programs


    The WEMS Honor Guard proudly represents our agency at EMS events along the east coast including the Annual EMS Memorial Service, Parades and Funeral Details

    Numerous department members ride in, or provide support services to, the Muddy Angels EMS Bike Ride

    WEMS members, along with our Flight program and Communications Center members, voluntarily join the Worcester EMS Relief Association, a charitable, non-profit organization that supports its members and the local public safety community.

Agency challenges:

Like many other EMS specific agencies, employee retention is always a challenge. As a high volume, urban EMS agency, our well trained and experienced paramedics are desirable candidates for outside agencies.

Being hospital based is a blessing and a challenge. The medical education of our staff, and direct physician involvement and follow through is excellent as part of a healthcare system. The challenge is financial. We must justify our capital needs, and requests, through an institution wide approval process, often finding ourselves in direct competition with other hospital departments with legitimate needs.

Special projects/other:

WEMS is one of four EMS agencies in the Commonwealth that participate in a Special Project Waiver for Rapid Sequence Intubation.

August Member of the Month

Brian Frankel
Emergency Medical Services Commander
Assistant Fire Chief Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department

Brian Frankel, Assistant Fire Chief Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department is currently assigned as the Emergency Medical Services Commander. With over 20 years’ experience in the Fire/EMS service, he has severed in various positions to include: Advanced Life Support Training Coordinator, EMS Quality Assurance Officer, Battalion Chief in Emergency Operations and a Firefighter / Paramedic. In addition, he has also served in the United States Air Force as an Aeromedical Technician with several operational deployments to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. In his current position, he oversees EMS operations, EMS Development, Quality Management Team and the newly formed Mobile Integrated Healthcare team.

Brian has completed an Associate’s Degree in Applied Health Sciences through the Community College of the Air Force and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland University College. He is an experienced EMS instructor and has taught numerous initial and continuing education EMS programs. In addition to his teaching experience, Brian serves on numerous State and local EMS committees, most notably is his recent appointed by the Governor of Maryland to the State EMS Advisory Council.

From his start as a 16 year old volunteer EMT to his current position, Brian’s unwavering commitment to the delivery of high quality EMS has never changed. He believes that through consensus and teamwork, the EMS industry will continue to find ways to adapt and overcome today’s challenges.

Brian resides in Prince Fredrick, Maryland with his wife and four children.

EMS agency name
Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department

Agency location/area served (City/State)
Prince George’s County (located on the eastern boarder of Washington D.C.), Maryland

Service type: (Municipal, Private, Hospital, Volunteer)
County Based Fire/EMS Department

Number of staff:
EMT’s: 2000
Paramedics: 390
Support staff :78

Annual call volume statistics (FY 2016)

  • 911 responses – 148,572
  • 911 transports – 77,224
  • ALS percentage of transports: 14%
  • BLS percentage of transports: 85%
  • Non-emergency transports:

Population of coverage area: 909,535
Square mileage of coverage area: 499 square miles

Ambulance Fleet information

  • Number of BLS ambulances - 42
  • Number of ALS ambulances - 19
  • Number of supervisory units - 10 (7 Battalion Chiefs, 2 EMS Supervisors, 1 Assistant Fire Chief-Operations)
  • Specialty units/resources – Department has a Technical Rescue Division, HazMat response, Marine Division, Special Events Unit (Fed-Ex Stadium)
  • Mobile Integrated Health Unit – Currently has 2 Community Paramedics Assigned but anticipated growth to 8 Community Paramedics and a Community Nurse within the next 6 months.

Agency challenges:
Like many agencies throughout the industry, we are challenged by all the following: EMS Culture, provider safety, EMS provider burn out, fatigue, increasing call volumes with increasing calls for non-medical-low acuity calls, frequent utilization of 911 services.

Special projects/other:
We are extremely proud of our Mobile Integrated Health program, within a short period of time, we have seen dramatic reductions in 911 use for our enrolled patients. The opportunity to get EMS involved in the greater health picture has led to many unforeseen benefits. It has opened the door to conversations of the importance of EMS in the greater healthcare community and the opportunities to reduce over utilization of healthcare services. Although we have many challenges in our industry, this new program has renewed our commitment to helping patients receive the care they need and deserve.

July Member of the Month

Lee Cabaniss
Director, Elko County Ambulance Services
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Held the position since August 2016. Prior to coming to Elko County Ambulance Service I served as an Operations Division Chief for ASG-Kuwait EMS at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait for over 7 years implementing and managing the first US standard, civilian ALS agency in support of US Army Central Command. I have experience in hospital, third service, and fire department based EMS Services, including over 10 years as a volunteer for Cave Spring Rescue Squad in Roanoke, Virginia serving 4 years as EMS Chief. My experience also includes working for Western Virginia Regional EMS Council.

I am a graduate of the paramedic program at National College in Salem, Virginia and I am currently completing a Bachelors in Healthcare Management through Southern New Hampshire University. I am a Nevada and Virginia EMS Instructor, and instruct CPR, ACLS and PALS.

I am a member and EMS representative to the Elko County Local Emergency Planning Committee, Elko Central Dispatch Administrative Authority Operations Board, and the Elko County Enhanced 911 Advisory Board.

EMS agency name
Elko County Ambulance Service

Agency location/area served (City/State)
Elko County, Nevada. Elko County, Nevada is the 4th largest county in the continental United States.

Service type: (Municipal, Private, Hospital, Volunteer)
Elko County Ambulance Service is a municipal EMS agency providing services with full-time, part-time, and volunteer EMS providers. Provide services out of three stations that are separated by 50-70 miles each.

Number of staff:
EMT’s: 50
Paramedics: 9
Support staff 2

Annual call volume statistics (FY 2016)

  • 911 responses - 3,727
  • 911 transports - 2,720
  • Non-emergency transports (if applicable) - 709
  • Public and Community Standbys - 128

Population of coverage area: Approximately 53,000
Square mileage of coverage area: 17,203 square miles

Ambulance Fleet information

  • Number of BLS ambulances - 5
  • Number of ALS ambulances - 4
  • Number of supervisory units - 1
  • Specialty units/resources – 1 Bariatric Ambulance (ALS)

MIH, Community paramedicine and/ or other programs
Elko County Ambulance Service provides primary and continuing education to both internal and external providers and external agencies.

Elko County Ambulance Services is a primary field internship location for Advanced EMT and Paramedic students from Great Basin College, the only Paramedic program based in the frontier areas of Nevada.

Agency challenges:
Elko County is classified as Elko County Ambulance Service is the sole Advanced Life Support ground ambulance provider within Elko County, Nevada except for a service 110 miles away that straddles the Utah/Nevada border. Elko Ambulance provides ALS transport services throughout Elko County, but normally staffs our two rural stations at the Advanced EMT level. Additionally, ALS intercept services are provided to two cities, the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, and several industrial EMS agencies servicing the area’s many gold mines.
There is a single hospital providing emergency and inpatient care within the county borders, with many patients transported via ground or air to referral centers such as University of Utah in Salt Lake City, or Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. Elko Ambulance works closely with three air medical providers also based in the county. Elko County does not currently have Enhanced or NextGen 911 in place, which is a project we are currently involved in with Elko County.

May Member of the Month

Tabatha Butcher
Chief, Collier County Emergency Medical Services
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(239) 252-3780

Tabatha Butcher is the Chief of Collier County Emergency Medical Services Department. She has held this position since May 2016. During her 20 years at Collier County Emergency Medical Services, Tabatha has held various positions, including: Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Lieutenant, Captain, Flight Paramedic, Battalion Chief and Assistant Chief.

Tabatha studied Emergency Medical Services Technology at Edison State College and Public Administration at Barry University. In addition she is a 2014 graduate of the Certified Public Manager Program administered by the Florida Center for Public Management, which is part of the Askew School of Public Administration at Florida State University. Tabatha is an experienced instructor of American Heart Association courses, including: Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Tabatha is a graduate of Leadership Collier Class of 2016.

Tabatha served as an EMS representative on the EMS Advisory Council and works closely with the Emergency Medical Authority, Collier County Injury Prevention Coalition and Safe and Healthy Kids Coalition.

Tabatha resides in Naples, Florida with her husband and two children.

EMS agency name
Collier County Emergency Medical Services

Agency location/area served (City/State)
Naples Florida-Collier County

Service type: (Municipal, Private, Hospital, Volunteer)
County Owned and Operated

Number of staff:
EMT’s: 49
Paramedics: 126
Support staff 25, 4 pilots, 2 aircraft mechanics

Annual call volume statistics (FY 2016)

  • 911 responses 39,699
  • 911 transports 28,031

Population of coverage area: Approximately 360,000
Square mileage of coverage area: 2,000 square miles

Ambulance Fleet information

  • Number of BLS ambulances 0
  • Number of ALS ambulances 25 ground units, 1 helicopter, 1 Bariatric Ambulance, 16 reserve units
  • Number of supervisory units 1 MedFlight Battalion Chief, 3 field Battalion Chiefs
  • Specialty units/resources: Search and Rescue Team, Tactical Paramedic Team, MedFlight, ToxMedic Hazmat Team

MIH, Community paramedicine and/ or other programs
CCEMS is Nationally Accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) and our MedFlight Program is Nationally Accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS)
CCEMS is exploring the possibility of a Community Paramedic Program as well as a telemedicine program within the field. We are in the data gathering phase of the Community Paramedic Program and will begin a pilot program in June to implement Telemedicine.
We have partnered with the local Sheriff’s Office to train citizens the “Stop the Bleed” program.

Agency challenges: Collier County is a rapidly growing community with a large influx of visitors during the seasonal period from October thru March. Keeping up with the rapid growth and call demand is very challenging.