64 JEMS | FEBRUARY 2018
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THE UPS & DOWNS OF EMS
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
A teen boy who spends most of his
time in the hospital received “the best
Christmas present ever” thanks to American
Medical Response (AMR) in San Diego.
Eighteen-year-old Dante Hurteau was a
recipient of AMR’s annual Home for the Holidays program where AMR donates round trip
ambulance service for hospice patients in San
Diego County to enable them to enjoy Christmas day with loved ones at their family residence.
However, Hurteau didn’t want to spend his
holiday at home—he wanted to go to the zoo
and see his favorite animal: flamingos.
Two AMR EMTs dressed in holiday attire
escorted Hurteau and his family throughout
Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo, taking
care of his every medical need. He was taken
on a special tour, where he got to pet a flamingo, and feed a giraffe and an elephant.
In addition to hanging out with his favorite
animals, Hurteau met his 6-week-old sister for
the first time. His mother was thankful for the
precious time she got to spend with her son.
“This a dream come true and this opportunity is very special,” she said. “We are very
grateful.” When his day was done, Hurteau
rode off in a holiday-decorated ambulance.
We give a thumbs up to AMR for serving
its community with this incredible program
for more than a decade. Their commitment
to going above and beyond is an example for
STAYING HEALTHY WHILE
HELPING A CHILD
An EMS captain in Scott County,
Tenn., ran a whopping 104.8 miles and raised
$1,500—all for a young girl with cerebral palsy.
James Hubbard learned about Lilyan
through the nonprofit organization I Run 4,
which pairs runners with people with disabil-ities for fundraising efforts. Lilyan has spastic
cerebral palsy and regularly undergoes intense
Hubbard was so inspired by Lilyan’s story,
he wanted to plan something epic to raise
money for her treatment. He had already run
a half-marathon on her behalf, but he wanted
to do something more to celebrate her eighth
birthday. So he decided to multiply 8 by 13. 1
(the length of a half-marathon), and committed to running 104.8 miles.
With the help of his wife and father,
Hubbard ran alongside roads and highways
throughout Tennessee, receiving cheers and
words of encouragement from passersby and
fellow first responders. He ran the equivalent
of a marathon a day, for four days.
“There was one time, during the third day,
that I sat at the car and honestly thought I
was done,” he said in a blog post. “Then I
started thinking about her, all she has gone
through and the fact that she can’t just stop
when life gets tough. Lilyan and her family
are such an inspiration to me and I hope to
all of you as well.”
Hubbard’s feat is particularly inspiring
because he hasn’t always been a runner. He
began running when he weighed more than
370 lbs., and now he’s lost more than 200 lbs.
We give a thumbs up to Hubbard for
his immensely selfless and impressive
efforts to improve the lives of others. If
you’d like to donate to Lilyan’s cause, visit
CROCHET THE STRESS AWAY
After getting sick of staring at their
phones during downtime on the job,
Ame Lozano and Hilary Cassaly wanted to
find a productive way to pass the time when
they weren’t answering calls. Though the pair
knew nothing about crocheting, they watched
tutorials on You Tube and fell in love with the
activity. Crocheting is more than just a time-
filler, it also helps reduce stress and general
fatigue, allowing them to feel refreshed for
their next call.
Not only is the activity good for mental
health, but it has also allowed the women to
help others. In a little more than two months,
they’ve crocheted 60 hats and pairs of booties
to donate to babies in intensive care. Several
colleagues plan to join them to donate even
more items in the future.
We give a thumbs up to Lozano and Cassaly
for inspiring others to use their downtime in a
healthy way. We applaud them for improving
their well-being, so they can better improve
others’ well-being. JEMS
Dante Hurteau gets a special behind-the-scenes tour of the San Diego Zoo as part of his Home for the
Holidays journey, including getting the opportunity to meet his favorite animal, a flamingo.
Photo courtesy American Medical Response