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					                                                                               On Scene
S   U   N   S   T   A   R   P   A   R   A   M   E   D   I   C   S

                                                                                  V O L U M E   1 ,   I S S U E   1                     W I N T E R   2 0 1 0

                                North Pinellas
                                County Hub opens
                                Feb 1st!
                                                                    2009: A Year of Great Successes
                                10 new van ambu-                    2009 was a big year for Sunstar Paramedics! Sunstar is one of only two organizations to
                                lances added to
                                                                    hold all three of the EMS industry accreditations. These accreditations represent the
                                Sunstar’s fleet
                                                                    “Gold Standard” and include the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services
                                2009 Objective                      (CAAS), Commission on Accreditations of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS), and Na-
                                Safety Award for                    tional Academy of Emergency Dispatch Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE). All of
                                Innovative EMS
                                                                    these accreditation renewals came due in 2009. Sunstar is happy to announce that their
                                Safety Practice
                                                                    team navigated through the renewal processes and have achieved reaccreditations for an-
                                Florida Governor’s                  other three years for each of these industry gold standards.
                                Sterling Award

                                A message from                      In addition to the accomplishment of the accreditations, Sunstar Paramedics was bestowed
                                our COO                             two great honors in 2009. One was the recipient of the 2009 Pinnacle Award of Excel-
                                                                    lence. Each year the Pinnacle Award is given to an individual, program or organization rep-
                                                                    resenting those special few who have challenged the status quo, and who have achieved
                                                                    outstanding performance in the process. The entire Sunstar leadership team was present
                                                                    to receive the award in August at the Pinnacle Conference.

                                                                                                            The second honor, which was by far the greatest
                                                                                                            accomplishment of Sunstar to date, was being the
                                                                                                            recipient of the 2009 Governor’s Sterling Award.
                                                                                                            The GSA is derived from the internationally ac-
                                                                                                            claimed Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance
                                                                                                            Excellence. Sunstar Paramedics began it’s Sterling
                                                                                                            journey in 2006 and has been working hard over
                                                                                                            the past 3 years to improve its high performance
                                                                                                            ambulance service and become a role model for
                                                                                                            other ambulance service and other Emergency
                                                                                                            Medical Service providers. Sunstar Paramedics is
                                                                    the first ambulance/EMS agency in the state to receive the Governor’s Sterling Award
                                                                    (GSA). Some outcomes of the process include:
                                                                    • 100% Stroke Alerts called appropriately
                                                                    • Patient Satisfaction rating at 97%
                                                                    • Improve employee engagement by 27%
                                                                    • 98% Dispatch courteous and helpful
                                                                    • Number 0f vehicle crashes (per 100,000 miles) half
                                                                        of the industry mean
                    PAGE    2

                                     North County Hub Improves EMS Service
                                         Sunstar Paramedics Mark Postma, Sunstar                      tical challenges of operating a
                                         is pleased to an-  C.O.O., believes that the new             hub. We know the savings that
                                         nounce the opening North Hub will deliver signifi-           a hub provides so the hard part
                                                            cant efficiencies to the county
                                         of a new facility, the                                       was just finding the perfect
                                         North County Hub.  EMS system. “Ambulances                   building up north,” said Jeff Tay-
                                         Located on Alt. 19,will not have to drive back               lor, Director of Operations.
                                         just south of Klos-and forth to our Largo head-
                                                            quarters so there is less
                                         terman, the hub will                                         It’s not just the EMS system that
                                         be home to five    travel and a big savings in fuel          will benefit from the North
                            Sunstar ambulances. The         costs,” said Mr. Postma.                  Hub. Sunstar employees will
4825 Alternate 19           building is approximately 7,200 “We’ll be more efficient at               also enjoy the savings in de-
Palm Harbor, FL             square feet and offers fenced   shift changes, trucks will be             creased travel time and costs.
                            parking, drive-through bays     back on the street more                   “Bottom line, by launching am-
                            and office space. The antici-   quickly and our EMS services              bulances from three locations,
                            pated date to be fully opera-   will be improved.” The effi-              everybody wins. The EMS sys-
                            tional is February 1, 2010.     ciencies and benefits of the              tem is more efficient, we’re
        “The EMS                                            hub concept have already                  saving money on fuel and em-
           system is        Currently, the ambulances that been proven. Sunstar has                   ployees don’t have to drive as
                            serve north county are de-      operated a South County                   far,” added Mr. Postma.
               more         ployed from Sunstar’s Largo     Hub for almost four years.
                            headquarters and return there With that experience,
           efficient,       12 hours later at end of shift. “We’ve worked out the logis-
        we’re saving

      money on fuel

      and employees

       don’t have to
                                             HOLIDAY CAROLING
                                                Sunstar employees and family visited St. Petersburg
        drive as far.”          nursing homes on December 15th to share Holiday carols with
                                residents and staff. Pictured here, at Shore Acres Nursing Home
                                (from left to right): Chris Olsen, Brian Dobkin, Paul Hawkey, Sam
                                Aysh, Charlene Cobb, Isabelle Jotch, Mary Jane Marshall, Nelson
                                Agee and Robert White (not pictured: Lacy Reese).

                                                Sunstar Fleet Grows By Ten
                                           Sunstar Paramedics has added 10 new units to its fleet, bringing the total to
                                           74. For the first time ever, Sunstar will be using van-style ambulances. The
                                           vans provide two important benefits: savings and comfort. The new bodies
                                           are lighter and are mounted on smaller chassis so the fuel savings is ex-
                                           pected to be significant. Patients will appreciate the smoother ride that the
                                           vans provide.

                                       Although smaller, the vans are fully-equipped Advanced Life Support (ALS)
       ambulances. Nonetheless, they will not be integrated into the 911 response system. Six of the units will be
       assigned to High Performance crews who do inter-facility transports with stable patients. Four will be used
       for long-distance transports where the patients will really appreciate the smoother ride.

      ON    SCENE
 VOLUME         1,   ISSUE       1                                                                    PAGE       3

  Sunstar Wins Florida Governor’s Sterling Award
                                       ess, which took over three years seven categories of the Sterling Cri-
              In 2009, Sunstar         of hard work, was truly a team       teria: Leadership, Strategic Planning,
              Paramedics became        effort. Although some individu-
                                                                            Customer and Market Focus, Infor-
              the first EMS service    als did the bulk of paperwork,
              to be awarded the        Sunstar C.O.O. Mark Postma           mation and Analysis, Human Re-
              Florida Governor’s       noted that, “It is every individual source Focus, Process Management,
              Sterling Award. The      who comes in daily and gives         and Business Results. Ultimately, a      “The real
              Governor's Sterling      100% to our organization that        team of six to ten Sterling Examiners
              Award (GSA) is rec-      has made us successful. We           do an on-site review, including staff    winners are
              ognized as the pre-      congratulate each and every em- interviews, over a five day period.
              eminent state award      ployee for their quality and ser-                                             our patients,
              process in the nation.   vice to our organization that                                                 hospitals, first
              Based on the interna-    allowed us to become a Florida
tionally acclaimed Baldrige Crite-     Sterling Recipient.” But most                                                 responders,
ria for Performance Excellence,        importantly, Mr. Postma added,
Sterling Award winners are rec-        “The real winners are our pa-                                                 and residents
ognized as role model organiza-        tients, hospitals, first responders,
tions.                                 and residents of Pinellas County.”                                            of Pinellas
                                       The Sterling Award process is                                                 County.”
The Sunstar effort was spear-          comprehensive and rigorous. Or-
headed by Debbie Vass, Director
                                       ganizations submit a 50-page appli-
of Clinical Services, and herself a
Sterling Examiner. But the proc-       cation that is scored against the

     Sunstar Employee Wins National Safety Award
                                                                                                        “There is a good deal of tech-
  Inside Sunstar, Education Coordinator Charlene Cobb
                                                                                                        nology and information al-
  has been informally dubbed the company’s road safety
                                                                                                        ready in existence; we should-
  guru. Now her effort to promote EMS safety has re-
                                                                                                        n’t spend so much time trying
  ceived national recognition. Mrs. Cobb was recently
                                                                                                        to reinvent the wheel and
  awarded the 2009 Objective Safety Award for Innovative
                                                                                                        spend more time exchanging
  EMS Safety Practice. Objective Safety is an international
                                                                                                        ideas with our EMS counter-
  organization whose goal is to advance the scope of new
  knowledge and understanding in safety awareness and
  injury prevention and control.
                                                                                                          And share those ideas she did.
                                                                                                          On October 29, 2009, Mrs.
  In notifying Mrs. Cobb of her selection for the award, Objec-
                                                                                                          Cobb was a featured speaker
  tive Safety CEO Nadine Levick noted that, “Your work over
                                                                                                          at the Ambulance Transport
  many years and, in particular over this past year, is an out-
                                                                                                          Safety Summit hosted by the
  standing model for the nation. You have made a commit-
                                                                       National Academies Transportation Research Board. She
  ment to leadership and making safety a priority. The safety
                                                                       presented information on Road Safety (performance monitor-
  management program that you manage at Sunstar is exem-
                                                                       ing systems) and ambulance safety. “It’s nice to be recog-
                                                                       nized like that but I really feel as if I’ve gained more than I’ve
                                                                       given through these events,” Mrs. Cobb stated.
  In June, 2009, Mrs. Cobb was among a select group from the
  United States invited by the EMS Safety Council to attend
                                                                       As busy as 2009 was in promoting safety within Sunstar and
  RETTmobil, the largest EMS Expo in Europe. Held in Fulda,
                                                                       the industry, Mrs. Cobb isn’t done yet. She was recently
  Germany, the expo attracted 20,000 attendees from all over
                                                                       appointed to the EMS Safety Committee of the National As-
  the world. “Our main goal in attending the expo was to
                                                                       sociation of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT). She
  broaden our perspective regarding EMS safety and to bring
                                                                       will help develop a new EMS Safety Course scheduled to
  back information and knowledge to share,” said Mrs. Cobb.
                                                                       launch in early 2011.
   12490 Ulmerton Road
   Largo, FL 33774

  Phone: (727) 582-2090
  Fax: (727) 582-2249
  On the web at
  Our Mission is "to provide compassionate
  quality care and service to our community."

                            Welcome to the first Sunstar          sponses for services and ambulance transports of 135,000 per
                            Paramedics On-Scene publica-          year. This averages 500 calls per day!
                            tion. We plan on having quar-
                            terly On-Scene publications to        Sunstar Paramedics is a trademark of Pinellas County and is
                            inform members of our commu-          afforded to the successful ambulance bidder/contractor. Since
                            nity and customers about on-          2004, Paramedics Plus, L.L.C. has had the privilege of being the
                            going improvements and the            contractor. Our company is wholly owned by the not-for-
                            status of our organization!           profit East Texas Medical Center Regional Health Care System
                                                                  in Tyler, Texas. Paramedics Plus also is the contractor of simi-
                               As most of you are aware, Sun-     lar Public Utility Model ambulance services in Tulsa and Okla-
                               star Paramedics is the exclusive   homa City, Oklahoma and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
                               provider of 911 emergency am-
                               bulance services in Pinellas       Over this past year we have had many successes and our con-
                               County and also the sole pro-      tract was extended three more years by the Pinellas County
 Mark Postma, Chief           vider of all non-emergency ambu-    Board of County Commissioners. We also were reaccredited
 Operating Officer            lance service. This unique ar-      by all of our industry accreditation bodies. However our larg-
                              rangement was designed 20 years     est achievement to date was being awarded the prestigious
ago by Pinellas County government, forming an ambulance           Governor’s Sterling Award for Quality. Only 62 Florida compa-
“Public Utility Model.” This model is based on similar princi-    nies have been recipients since its inception in 1992. The Ster-
ples as likened to our utility provided by Progress Energy.       ling award is based entirely on Malcolm Baldrige criteria as a
Competition is on a bid process for a long-term agreement         business model. We are proud of this great achievement and
(11 years) to provide sole ambulance service to Pinellas          the citizens and visitors of Pinellas County are the benefactors!
County. The theory also endorses that when an emergency
occurs, a person will not have to shop for an ambulance, but      If you have anyone that you feel should receive this publication,
that an ambulance will arrive in a timely manner at a very        please email Kathy Sterling at On
high level of quality. This model is implemented through the      behalf of my 550 co-workers here at Sunstar Paramedics, thank
United States and 14 large Emergency Medical Services (EMS)       you for taking the time to read and learn about the EMS system
Systems have adopted the model. The Pinellas County               in Pinellas County!
model is the second largest EMS System with 180,000 re-

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