Ada County Paramedics Appoints New Deputy Chief

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Ada County Paramedics Chief Darby Weston stands with newly appointed Deputy Chief John Blake

BOISE, June 2, 2017 – Ada County Paramedics Chief Darby Weston promoted longtime Ada County Paramedics Battalion Chief John Blake to Deputy Chief, after an interview panel selected Blake for the role the end of May.

Weston said the impressive pool of internal interview applicants is a direct reflection of the excellence demonstrated by those who work for Ada County Paramedics.

“We convened a panel [May 30] to conduct the interview process,” Weston said. “At the conclusion of that process, it was the consensus of the panel to promote Battalion Chief John Blake to the position.”

Blake, who has worked for Ada County Paramedics since 1999, and who most recently served as a Battalion Chief for the agency, said he applied for the Deputy Chief position because he felt like it was right time in his career.

“I have a varied work history, including 17 years with Ada County Paramedics, that has put me in the position to positively impact our system partners and Ada County as a whole,” Blake said. “Given the caliber of people who applied for the job—the idea that I was selected, was honoring and very humbling for me.”

Blake will assume his new role June 11, when his predecessor, Steve Boyenger, who served in the position from 2013-2017 returns to work in the 911 system as a field paramedic.

“I have the utmost confidence John Blake will be an asset both to our community and to our organization as a whole while serving in his new role,” Weston said. “We’re excited to see what John’s expertise and talents will bring to the Ada County Paramedics leadership team.”



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Ada County Paramedics Celebrate First Pastries with Paramedics Event

IMG_1198Ada County Paramedics wrapped up Emergency Medical Services Week (May 21-27) with its inaugural “Pastries with Paramedics” event Friday, May 26 at Janjou Patisserie in Boise. The organization invited former patients and the community as a whole to “mingle with medics” in a relaxed, non-emergent setting over pastries and coffee.

Ada County Paramedics Public Information Officer Hadley Mayes said Ada County citizens’ primary interactions with first responders occur due to catastrophic health or life events.

“As first responders, we primarily interact with our community during the worst day of their life – when they’re enduring something traumatic after placing a 911 call,” Mayes said. “Ada County Paramedics wanted to provide the public with a chance to interact with us in a casual, open house setting where we can answer questions about our organization and meet more of the people we serve.”

IMG_1190 The owner of Janjou Patisserie, Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas, said she offered up Janjou Patisserie as the event venue to help bring awareness to everything Ada County Paramedics does for its community.

“I am [hosting this event] because I feel it is important for the community to be familiar with the first responders,” Moshit said. “They are people who will be there for you when you need them most.”

Ada County Paramedics plans to hold this event each year during Emergency Medical Services Week.


Boise, May, 2017 – Five Ada County Paramedics employees will receive the American Red Cross’ Hometown Hero Award in a ceremony at the Riverside Hotel, May 16th at 12 pm. Annelise Lane, Casey Lane, Peder Ahearn, Cody Porter and Emily Shaw will be among the recipients.

Annelise, Casey, Peder and Cody are all members of the Ada County Paramedics Tactical Medical (Tac Med) Team who responded to a November 2016 Boise Police officer shooting. They will be honored at the awards luncheon with the “Medical Hero” award for their lifesaving care of two officers, including Corporal Kevin Holtry, who were wounded while searching for a dangerous subject. Ada County Paramedics Administrative Assistant, Emily Shaw, will receive the “Everyday Citizen Hero” award for donating her kidney to a man she’d only met one time.

TacMed Team Members Casey Lane- Annelise Lane, Peder Ahearn Interviewed

Ada County Paramedics Casey Lane, Annelise Lane and Peder Ahearn being interviewed by The American Red Cross about their award.

In the “Medical Hero Award” nomination letter received by The American Red Cross, the nominator wrote, “Ada County Paramedics has a team of trained medical professionals who respond when local Police SWAT teams are dispatched. This team, called Ada County Paramedics Tactical Medical Team is essentially the medical side of the SWAT team that provides in-field medical care in dangerous situations. The TacMed Team rarely receives accolades for their work although they routinely train for and opt into circumstances that potentially put their lives on the line.”

Ada County Paramedic, and Tac Med team member Annelise Lane said winning the award was an honor for Tac Med.

“We did our jobs that day and that’s all. But I’m proud of how well my team worked together,” Lane said. “Ada County Paramedics has amazing paramedics who do amazing things for their patients every day—so for my team to get a thank you like this is humbling, surprising and I feel very grateful.”

In a blog written by Shaw, posted to the Ada County Paramedics website, she said donating her kidney was a “snap decision.”


Emily Shaw and her kidney recipient prior to their surgeries

“The decision to donate my left kidney came in a matter of 12 seconds,” Shaw said, adding that she asked a friend how her father was doing and after hearing he wasn’t well, she offered up her organ.

“I had met him once briefly, but even if I hadn’t, I still would have volunteered my kidney,” Shaw wrote.

When asked about winning the award and being regarded as a “hero,” Shaw said everyone has something inside of him or herself to share.

“Sometimes that is love, sometimes kindness, sometimes it is a tangible gift… for me, being an Everyday Hero is synonymous with being a member of the human race. No act of kindness or compassion is greater than any other act, but I am thankful that through my choice, I am able to bring attention to just how many people in the country are waiting for an organ to be donated, so they can pay it forward too.”

In Emily Shaw’s nomination letter received by The American Red cross, the nominator wrote, “the organization is incredibly lucky to have her as a colleague, friend and confidant.” The letter went on to read, “while this probably isn’t your standard ‘Hometown Hero’ story, it is a testament of the amazing people who are employed by Ada County Paramedics.”

Saving Lives with a Phone App- Yes, Really

PulsePoint.pngImagine you’re shopping at the Village in Meridian or the Boise Town Square and a woman in the store next to you suddenly goes into cardiac arrest. You have no way of knowing this happened until you see two Ada County Paramedics feverishly pushing a gurney into the store.

Since you know how to do CPR, you would have helped this woman if you only knew she needed help—especially since you were only a few feet away.


Enter PulsePoint—a smartphone application that will notify you of just that.

PulsePoint is a 911-integrated app that alerts those with CPR training if a cardiac arrest is occurring near them in a public location. PulsePoint interfaces with the computer automated, 911 dispatch system (TriTech) and also shows users where the nearest AED device is located. This new app integration gives our community a new and very meaningful way to assist in emergency situations.

The Ada County-City Emergency Services System (ACCESS), which is composed of 7 public safety agencies in and around Ada County, purchased PulsePoint in early 2017 with funds from the Boise Fire Department. Through collaborative work, the ACCESS group on-boarded the 911-integrated app and is adding this new tool, bystander civilians, to its life-saving tool kit.

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The app, which is live in our community as of March 31, 2017, is free and works in both IOS and Android systems. Once downloaded, it’s simple to set up. PulsePoint allows the app users to see active 911 calls as they’re happening in the ACCESS 911 system, while keeping information generalized enough so private patient information is protected. PulsePoint only notifies CPR-trained civilians when 911 calls occur in public areas and will not send them to residential cardiac arrest calls.

We’ve all likely wondered, at one time or another, if there was a way we could be notified if a neighbor or friend needed help. With PulsePoint, we now have the ability to receive notifications if a cardiac arrest occurs anywhere near us. This app will save lives by helping initiate CPR until first responders arrive on scene.

ACCESS is now rolling PulsePoint out to the public to inspire CPR-trained civilians (as well a providers) to download the app. PulsePoint has been successfully implemented across the country and is improving overall survival of cardiac arrest victims. Learn how to download PulsePoint and start helping us save lives today!