Howie McCausland, Waitsfield, an advanced-EMT and crew chief with the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service has been named the 2022 EMS for Children Champion of the Year by the Vermont Department of Health.
Per the Department of Health, the award recognizes an individual that exemplifies outstanding dedication and service to the contribution, development and/or enhancment of EMS for children in Vermont.
Merrill Pine, who is the EMS for children’s program manager for the Division of Emergency Preparedness, Response and Injury Prevention for the Vermont Department of Health, said that she and many other co-workers had been working on the state’s COVID response during the pandemic.
“A lot of my response had been rallying other pediatric high performance CPR instructors in the community to pick up the slack. Howie is someone who, whenever I reach out asking for help teaching, he is one of the first to respond offering to help and if he is not, it’s because he’s already on shift or doing some pediatric high performance CPR for some training or doing training in his own district,” Pine said.
“We were getting high demand for our training and Howie ended up running multiple sets of teams. He led a couple for me and then taught some for me. He even bought his own manikins and, of course, he didn’t want to be reimbursed. He just wanted to serve his community,” Pine added.
She said that the child-sized manikins for pediatric high performance CPR (which is a way of delivering CPR to adults and children that emphasizes teamwork to deliver continuous compressions to ensure blood reaches the brain while still providing rescue breaths) are very sensitive and that McCausland was incredibly patient when working with people, teaching them how to deliver CPR, often taking the time to explain it multiple ways for people to make sure they understand it.
Pine explained that in Vermont, EMS response includes aboutr 70% volunteers to meet the state’s 911 calls and said that “Howie goes above and beyond because he makes sure that other providers are ready to respond. Even when he’s not on a call, he’s still making a difference,’ Pine said.
The award announcement praises McCausland’s work on the training team where he trains others in pediatric high performance CPR.
“He is always willing to volunteer evenings and weekends to help teach his fellow providers. Howie went so far as to purchase his own manikins in order to reach a larger portion of the Vermont EMS community. In the words of another pediatric high performance CPR instructor,‘Howie is so completely on the ball, and I learn stuff every time I work with him. I would follow Howie’s lead anywhere.’ In addition to supporting pediatric high-performance CPR Howie works with the protocol workgroup and is a crew chief w ith Mad River Valley Ambuluacne service,” the award announcement noted.