Conn. ambulance service honored for efforts at fatal plane crash scene
When the crew monitoring the scanners heard the crash announced, they sprung into action and three paramedics and five EMTs were on the scene within seven minutes
Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.
EAST WINDSOR, Conn. — East Windsor Ambulance was recognized by Hartford HealthCare for members’ efforts as first responders during the Oct. 2 B-17 crash at Bradley International Airport.
Paramedic Chief Thomas Clynch and his crew of eight paramedics and EMTs were treated to a light breakfast Wednesday followed by speeches from three Hartford HealthCare senior administrators.
The event was held at the Education & Resource building on Hudson Street in Hartford. The team was also each awarded with a plaque.
The crew of eight included paramedics Clynch, Rick Bergen, John Martinez, and EMTs Benjamin Carlton, Lyndsey Blanchette, Julie Collins, Ben Couilliard, and Adam Flores. The only absentee was John Martinez.
The first speech was given by Hartford Hospital President Bimal Patel, who talked about the amount of care coordination that was took place on during the day of the crash.
Following Patel was Patricia Rehmer, senior vice president of Hartford HealthCare’s behavioral health network, who discussed the emotional and mental stress that these types of accidents can have on emergency service members.
The final speaker was Hartford HealthCare President/CEO Jeffery A. Flaks, who spoke about the importance of EMS and how critical their jobs are.
The accident occurred at approximately 10 a.m. when a B-17 World War II plane crashed into a de-icing facility. Of the 10 passengers and three crew members on board, seven died and six survived. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Clynch, who has served as paramedic chief since 1995, recalled the day of the crash at Bradley.
“It was serious,” he said. “We actually never officially got called in. We had been monitoring the scanners as usual and just went right over to Bradley when we heard it.”
In the past, Clynch worked as a University of Connecticut paramedic during the Avon Mountain crash on July 29, 2005. Four people died and 19 were injured after a truck carrying debris lost its brakes and crashed into a line of cars.
When Clynch and his crew heard the scanners on Oct. 2, they sprung into action and the three paramedics and five EMTs were on the scene within seven minutes.
Their crew was responsible for transporting three seriously injured patients by ground and one by Life Star helicopter.
Kevin Ferrarotti, the system director of EMS for Hartford HealthCare, discussed why the company chose to recognize the unit and what the event was like.
“The day of the crash was just so tragic. Incidents like these are rare, but when they happen it is very traumatic. All emergency services never ask to be thanked, but a big reason why we wanted to do something for them is to remind people that they should be thanked,” Ferrarotti said.
Ferrarotti also added that it was an internal decision by Hartford HealthCare to not invite media to the breakfast because the goal was to make it about the first responders.
When asked what the atmosphere was like at the breakfast, Ferrarotti said the vibe was an “extreme sense of gratitude and mutual respect.”
©2019 Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.