HVA Online News
Washtenaw County Edition
Spring 2013 

Changes in a federal act extend benefits

Senator Leahy

Recently passed legislation, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), will remedy coverage gaps and provide a crucial safety net for the families of first responders who are killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty was signed into law by President Obama.


The legislation closes gaps in the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act (PSOB) that had left some first responders without benefits when they are injured or killed in the line of duty.  


The PSOB program was launched more than three decades ago to provide assistance to the surviving families of police, firefighters and medics who died or became disabled in the line of duty who were employed by federal, state and local government entities. The new legislation extends the PSOB program to cover private, nonprofit emergency medical services volunteers and personnel.


"Since the tragic line of duty death of Cheryl Kiefer in 2008, we have been advocating for this type of reform to the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act," stated Dale Berry, president and CEO. Because Cheryl was employed by Jackson Community Ambulance, a private, nonprofit ambulance service, her family was not entitled to survivor benefits. "This new legislation changes that and extends benefits to all first responders who are injured or killed in the line of duty."


Several public safety organizations helped build support for Leahy's bill, including the American Ambulance Association. "First responders are flesh-and-blood lifelines to all of us," Leahy said. "When tragedy strikes, they lay their lives on the line with a sense of duty, with skill and with selflessness.  All first responders should be treated as professionals, whether paid, volunteer, municipal or private nonprofits. We count on them, and they need to be able to count on us. This is their law."


HVA Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes Interested in a behind the scenes look at Huron Valley Ambulance? If so, register for HVA Behind the Scenes, a free interactive 6-week program where participants explore what it takes to provide quality emergency medical services to HVA's multi-county service area.


HVA Behind the Scenes participants learn how 9-1-1 medical calls are dispatched, train in the latest first aid and CPR techniques, and visit Pittsfield Public Safety for an up close look at fire and police operations. Additional HVA Behind the Scenes activities include:  

  • a tour of the HVA facility, including the 9-1-1 Communication Center
  • training for American Heart Association Heartsaver and First Aid Certifications
  • demonstrations of the life-saving skills HVA paramedics use in emergencies

HVA Behind the Scenes runs for six consecutive Wednesday evenings starting April 3 through May 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at HVA's headquarters located at 1200 State Circle in Pittsfield Township. Classes on April 10 and May 1 run until 9:30 pm. The April 17 class will be held at the Pittsfield Department of Public Safety, 6227 W. Michigan Ave., Pittsfield Township.


Register early as enrollment in HVA Behind the Scenes is limited to 25 participants. Registration is open to residents in any of HVA's service areas. Participants must be at least 18 years old. There is no charge to attend.


Register now at hva.org. For more information, call Jason Trojan at 734-477-6781 or email jtrojan@emergenthealth.org. 


Emergent Health Partners

Emergent Logo

For the past two years, the Huron Valley Ambulance Board of Trustees has been studying changes and trends in national healthcare policy.  The data indicates that the role of successful ambulance services will be changing over time with a need to build closer relationships with hospitals and new, physician-directed accountable care organizations.



In HVA's first thirty years, the organization has grown from a small, single county ambulance service to a highly successful 8-county regional organization. To remain strong for the next 30-years, the HVA Board changed the organizational structure to create a new nonprofit parent organization known as Emergent Health Partners.


"The creation of Emergent Health Partners enables us to grow more effectively in the future", said Dale Berry, President and CEO of Emergent. "It also positions us to more efficiently integrate into health care changes that will be coming in the future".


Berry will continue to serve in a dual role as President and CEO of Emergent, as well as President of Huron Valley Ambulance and Emergent's other member ambulance services.


In addition to owning all or part of six ambulance services, Emergent provides administrative and operational management, human resources and staffing, financial services, call-center services, fleet and facilities management, and educational program resources to our member units.


"HVA and our other ambulance services will remain the primary focus in the communities we serve," said Berry. "Emergent will provide many functions that are common to all of our community ambulance services. Our ambulance services will remain local, but they will benefit by the consolidation of our support functions."


Jackie Liebowitz, Chair of the Emergent Health Partners Board of Trustees explained that in the early stages the Emergent and HVA boards will remain the same. According to Liebowitz, "the Emergent board will focus regionally while the HVA board will focus locally."



 CAAS Recertification
CAAS Logo 
The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) has reaccredited HVA for a three year period, ending February, 2016.

CAAS is an independent Commission that established a comprehensive series of standards for the ambulance service industry by encouraging and promoting quality patient care in America's medical transportation system.  


CAAS accreditation signifies that HVA is fully compliant with standards established by the ambulance industry to be essential in a modern emergency medical services provider. The CAAS standards are designed to increase operational efficiency and clinical quality while decreasing risk and liability to the organization.  


The reaccreditation process includes a comprehensive self-assessment and an independent external review of the EMS organization. Currently, there are more than 150 CAAS-accredited agencies in 37 U.S. states, Canada and the West Indies, with more than 200 agencies working on new applications.

Helping After Hurricane Sandy
hurricane sandy

Our organization recently sent four large boxes of needed medical supplies to the New York/New Jersey area to assist with hurricane relief efforts.


Gloria Van Alstine, a nurse who ran a health careers program in our service area called and asked for our help. Her son is helping the effort in Red Hook, a neighborhood in Brooklyn which was one of the areas hardest hit by the storm.

Residents and volunteers are working hard rebuilding and replacing damaged structures. Many of the communities have formed their own volunteer corps to coordinate these efforts. Some of these corps are providing volunteer medical aid and needed supplies.


Nominate a Hero
HVA is accepting nominations for their Life Saving and Heart Safe Awards. The awards will be presented at a recognition dinner on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Ann Arbor.

The community awards are presented annually during National EMS Week, a time for local communities and EMS personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line."

Complete criteria and nomination forms are available at hva.org. For additional information, call HVA Community Relations at 734-477-6285 or send an email to communityrelations@

The deadline for award nominations is Friday, April 19, 2013 at 5 p.m.



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