PRESQUE ISLE – Hospital emergency rooms and first responders across Aroostook County are the recipients of more than $6,400 worth of needed pediatric emergency care equipment provided through a local fund established by a Bridgewater mother.
Recently, the Megan Bradstreet Fund, created by Wendy Bradstreet and her family, friends, area emergency medical technicians, and Bradstreet’s work family at Northern Maine Community College, presented several emergency medical services and hospitals across the county with tools to help care for their youngest patients. Receiving the equipment were the Madawaska Ambulance Department, Fort Kent-based Ambulance Services Inc., Houlton Ambulance, Patten Ambulance and Downeast EMS, as well as Cary Medical Center, The Aroostook Medical Center and Northern Maine Medical Center.
The second major equipment purchase in two years by Megan’s Fund was made possible through money raised by the Presque Isle Rotary Club through the organization’s annual golf tournament.
“This is an important donation because it helps meet a specific need for pediatric patients,” said Bradstreet. “Although there are some services that have some of the equipment, not all emergency vehicles are equipped with pediatric equipment, therefore, if an ambulance is out on call for one patient and a call comes in for a pediatric case, there is no guarantee that the vehicle left to make the pediatric call will be the one equipped with the essentials.”
Specifically, the materials purchased through Megan’s Fund include seven EZ-IO drills and accessories that are used for emergency access to give fluids and medications when intravenous applications cannot be quickly or easily established. The drill is particularly useful for pediatric trauma patients which, according to Daryl Boucher, program coordinator for NMCC’s emergency medical services program, “are particularly difficult to start an IV with.”
“Since the first donations made to area EMS providers and hospitals a year ago, the drills have already been used approximately 10 times locally,” said Boucher. “In the past, these are patients that emergency medical technicians would not have been able to start IVs on.”
In addition to the equipment, 92 emergency department staff and EMS providers have received advanced education and training in the use of the equipment and pediatric physical assessment. According to Boucher, three training drills will be presented to area hospitals in the near future. The drills will be used for instruction in the advanced cardiac life support and pediatric life support classes offered locally.
“At the very beginning of establishing Megan’s Fund, I was just trying to help the EMS community with what they saw as difficulties/challenges in treating pediatric patients. Over the past three and-a-half years, I have become better acquainted with the medical field in pediatrics and the struggles that a rural area has to contend with,” said Bradstreet. “Through this effort, I’ve seen changes being made in how the county medical personnel look at pediatric care, as well as the depth of their commitment to give their absolute best to our children regardless of what medical facility they are affiliated with. To them, we’re all in this together, and that has certainly sent out a message, not only in Aroostook County, but through the whole state of Maine.”
The Megan Bradstreet Fund is named in honor and memory of Wendy Bradstreet’s five-year-old daughter Megan, who died as a result of injuries she sustained after being hit by a car within sight of the family’s home on U.S. Route 1 in Bridgewater in July 2005.
Within weeks of her daughter’s death, Wendy Bradstreet, with the encouragement of the Crown Ambulance paramedic crew that first took care of Megan the night of the accident, made it her mission to make sure other critically injured county children have more immediate access to an expert pediatric transport crew.
“This fund would not have gotten off the ground if it wasn’t for the generosity and hard work of the folks involved in this cause,” said Bradstreet. “From Crown paramedic Walter Mosher’s original idea, to Daryl Boucher’s unrelenting energy and connections, and the amazing support of so many individuals and organizations, including the Presque Isle Rotary Club. The effort has not only brought together a community, but the whole county, for what matters most – our children.”
PEDIATRIC EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT, received through a donation from the Megan Bradstreet Fund, was recently presented to several emergency medical services and hospitals across the county. Here, Daryl Boucher, left, program coordinator for the emergency medical services program at Northern Maine Community College, presents equipment to Eric Mailman of Downeast EMS. Mailman is a 2008 graduate of NMCC’s EMS program and recipient of the 2008 EMS student achievement award. He currently works in several communities for Downeast EMS, including Danforth. Joining Boucher in the presentation was Wendy Bradstreet, right, founder of the Megan Bradstreet Fund.