Marietta, GA June 28, 2016- Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. With nearly 350,000 people suffering from sudden cardiac arrest each year, WellStar Health System and Metro Atlanta Ambulance teamed up to provide two churches with automated external defibrillators on June 22.
St. Luke United Methodist Church in Mableton and the House of Prayer No. 2 Apostolic Church of God in Marietta were presented with the AEDs at an event on MetroAtlanta Ambulance’s Marietta headquarters. “Metro Atlanta Ambulance is pleased to partner with WellStar in this very important matter,” said Mike Jernigan, vice president of strategic development for MetroAtlanta Ambulance. "We’re glad we can gather here today in support of AEDs in saving lives within our community." An AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Red Cross, time is a key factor when dealing with sudden cardiac arrest. For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced about 10 percent. The average response time for first responders once 911 is called is 8 to 12 minutes compared to the four minutes a person has if they are in front of an AED.
Ann Hardie from the Atlanta Journal Constitution
12:00 a.m. Saturday, June 25, 2016 Metro Atlanta / State news
Pete Quinones was nowhere near the Cobb County student who collapsed during P.E. class. Luckily, the medical device that Quinones’ company donated to the school that was used to charge the student’s heart was. MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service, founded by Quinones in 2000, responds to 9-1-1 calls in Cobb and Paulding counties. The company contributes a lot more than showing up for emergencies. Cobb public health officials estimate that in the past year, Quinones and his employees have donated 2,500 volunteer hours, $250,000 and millions of dollars of care that patients couldn’t pay for. The company is making sure that Cobb schools have and are trained to use defibrillators. One of those devices saved that student’s life. At the urging of the Cobb health department, Quinones has been recognized by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation for his volunteer efforts.
Q: Did you always want to go into health care?
A: I never thought I would get into health care. My father was a physician so, lo and behold, I sort of followed him.
Q: Is an emphasis on volunteerism a core part of your company?
A: Our mission is not only to deliver excellence in patient care and customer service, but also to give back to the community. We donate a lot of time with the Boy Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs and MUST Ministries. Our employees go to events to treat people if someone gets hurt. They teach people CPR. With Safe Kids Cobb County, we show parents how to properly install car seats. We are very involved with the American Heart Association and I sit on multiple boards. We actually give a paid day off for people to volunteer somewhere.
Q: What does that do for your employees?
A: Most of our people got into this line of work to serve others. This gives them a feeling of giving back.
Q: You provide millions of dollars for uncompensated care. Why?
A: Being a 911 provider, you take the nonpaying patients along with the paying patients. In this business, you just treat.
Q: Your partnership with the Cobb health department began in 2005 with Hurricane Rita. Is that right?
A: We had all these patients from New Orleans being flown into Dobbins Air base to be triaged. We would transport them to hospitals all over the metro area. We moved over 1,500 patients in four days. I hope that never has to be duplicated. On the other side, it showed great teamwork where everyone came together.
Q: Can you talk about your volunteer efforts with schools?
A: We donate and service defibrillators throughout the community, mostly to schools. We also train folks on how to use them. The Georgia Legislature passed a mandate that all kids need to be trained in CPR to graduate. It is a great idea that we had been pushing for a long, long time. But there is no money to do it. We do it at no charge.
Q: Were you surprised when you were recognized for your efforts?
A: I am very honored. I like to fly under the radar. The people in the health department are the heroes, quite frankly. They do so much for the community when they have a tough time with their budget. They are a great bunch of people.
Marietta, GA-June 20 2016-Metro Atlanta Ambulance Service was recognized as “EMS Service of the Year” at the Georgia EMS Region III EMS Awards banquet hosted by WellStar Health System on June 19, 2016. The award is presented to a licensed Georgia Emergency Medical Service in Region III which exemplifies outstanding professionalism on the local, regional and state levels as well as service to the community it serves.
The annual banquet, held at WellStar Health System’s Development Center in Marietta, Georgia was hosted by the State Office of EMS Region III Council and attended by EMS providers throughout the greater-metro Atlanta area.
Steve Moyer, Vice Chairman of the Region III EMS Council and EJ Dailey, Region III EMS Director for the State Office of EMS and Trauma presented the distinguished award to a team of Metro Atlanta Ambulance Service employees present.
In a statement, Metro Atlanta Ambulance President and CEO Pete Quinones stated, “I am humbled and grateful for the recognition given the quality of EMS services in our region and I accept this on behalf the management and professional staff of more than 600 employees that work for us to consistently provide the highest quality patient care and customer service to those we serve.
Quinones thanked his management team and his medical directors for their commitment to ensure the company is providing services in compliance with the industry’s highest quality standards of care. Metro Atlanta Ambulance is one of a select few providers to receive accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services signifying they meet the gold standards in EMS quality care.