Page 2 - Fall 2015
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New London Ambulance Service:
   Quality Care in Crisis Situations

When people experience serious trauma or medical emergencies, the
first to respond are usually providers with an emergency medical service
(EMS), such as New London Hospital’s Ambulance Service (NLAS), which
has a long history of quality emergency health care in our Dartmouth-Lake
Sunapee Region.

Prior to the 1970s, ambulance services were typically   undergo extensive EMT training to comply with
run by funeral homes and fire departments. Some         federal and state requirements.
locals may remember when hearses from Chadwick’s
Funeral Home in New London were used to transport       In December 2000, NLH recognized the need for a
people in crisis to New London Hospital (NLH). Each     full-time ambulance service, and NLAS transitioned
town had a volunteer first aid team, or Fast Squad,     to a paid EMS team offering 24/7 care and transport.
which often provided care before transportation         To serve an increasing population and emergency call
arrived. These services, now called Rescue Services,    volume, a second NLAS ambulance and associated
are still active, and have the same certifications as   staff were added in 2003, and a third ambulance was
transport services.                                     purchased in 2007.

NLH provider Paul Diekmann, an Emergency Medical
Technician (EMT) for over 20 years and now an RN in
NLH’s Emergency Department, and NLH Emergency
Preparedness Coordinator Pamela Drewniak, B.A.,
EMT-I, I/C, CHEP EMS were both members of Fast
Squads in their towns.

Paul and Jim Drewniak (Pam’s husband, who passed                    Pam Drewniak and Paul Diekmann
away in 2002) were involved with NLH’s ambulance
service at its beginning over 30 years ago. Jim was     Today, NLAS has a staff of 22 Paramedics and 13
one of the first EMTs to become licensed by the State   AEMTs (Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians).
of New Hampshire to be an Instructor. He conducted      All learn to recognize the signs and systems of
classes at NLH and certified countless providers to be  emergencies so they can request the appropriate
EMTs in their communities.                              level of care and best facility for the patient, and
                                                        they have a direct line to the Emergency Department
“In 1974, Jim, myself and other Fast Squad              physician for information and advice. Each is trained
volunteers established the New London Ambulance         in the use of emergency equipment, such as
Service (NLAS), owned by the Town of New London
and operated on a volunteer basis by New London
Hospital,” says Paul. “NLAS received a federal grant
for pagers and ambulance service equipment.”
By the 1980s, the all-volunteer NLAS staff was
responding to calls from New London and six
surrounding communities. EMS personnel had to

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