7-year-old swimmer has one goal in mind: Raise awareness of water safety

Drowning Prevention Program- Michael Shabkie


What began as the parents’ desire to keep their child safe from drowning has ended up turning their son, a second -rader at Canyon Elementary School, into an international celebrity.

Glendale leaders joined together at Cactus High School swimming pool lst week to recognize 7-year-old Braxton Bilbrey’s accomplishment of becoming the youngest person ever to complete the 1.4 mile swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco.

On May 22, Braxton entered the 57-degree water and completed the swim in 47 minutes.

“It is really ironic being here at Cactus for this ceremony,” his mom, Stacey, said, “because this is where he got started. As a baby we brought him here for a two-week parent-tot swimming class to get him used to water.”

For his third birthday, Braxton’s grandmother paid for swimming lessons and he ended up liking it so much he began competing with the Neptune Nation swim team.

Braxton got the idea to do the swim from Alcatraz after he read a story about a 9-year-old boy who had made the crossing.

Deputy Fire Chief Elio Pompa said they were honoring Braxton’s “can-do spirit.” “He set a goal and he followed through with his dream,” Pompa said. “And the importance of his swim was to raise awareness of drowning. Each and every day we work to combat this epidemic.”

Following his remarks, Mayor Elaine Scruggs read a proclamation of recognition for Braxton.

“Five months ago he decided he would swim the San Francisco Bay to raise money and awareness for drowning education and next Braxton hopes to swim the circumference of Alcatraz, swim the English Channel and also has his mind set on the Olympic Games,” the mayor said in her proclamation. “On behalf of the City Council, I do hereby express appreciation for the significant accomplishment achieved by Braxton and also our gratitude for the pride and recognition he has brought to himself and the community of Glendale.”

In Braxton’s honor, Southwest Ambulance made a $5,000 donation to the City of Glendale Parks and Recreation Department for free swim lessons for Glendale youth.

“Braxton managed to do what no adult convict ever could, get off the place in 47 minutes,” Southwest Ambulance Vice President Mike Shabkie said. “Four years ago, we had two pediatric drownings in one day; we were torn up. So, we sat down with the Glendale Fire Department and decided something had to be done.

It was a daunting challenge, but we took it on. At the four year mark, 50,000 children have taken advantage of free swim lessons courtesy of Southwest Ambulance.”

In addition, the fire department has reached more than 100,000 homes with its water safety campaign, which includes CPR classes and water safety walks, distributing door hangers about water safety.

Our next water walk is June 29 and we are proud to welcome Braxton to that walk,” Pompa said.

Braxton’s coach, Joe Zemaitis, who swam alongside him during the crossing, said what people don’t see is the hours of practice and hard work the young swimmer has done.

“I’ve spent a lifetime swimming and kids like Braxton don’t come along that often,” Zemaitis said.

Even with all of the accolades from local officials and calls from national television shows requesting his appearance, including “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Good Morning America” and “Late Night With David Letterman,” Braxton seems to be taking it in stride.

“He is handling it very well, he is doing a great job,” Stacey said as her son stood surrounded by television cameras and microphones.

Any resident of Glendale can learn CPR from the Glendale Fire Department free of charge by calling (623) 930-3474.


Michael Shabkie

http://www.engage911.netMichael Shabkie

West Valley Health Care Leaders Unite In Effort to Save Lives Free Classes Offered For The Public On “New CPR”

The Glendale Fire Department, Midwestern University (MWU), and Priority One Enterprises have teamed up to launch a community education program to train citizens on a new and easier way to do CPR, called Continuous Chest Compression (CCC-CPR), along with the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). These two elements are vital to survival during adult Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), which is the number one cause of death in the U.S.
“Calling 911 and starting immediate, rapid, forceful chest compressions dramatically improves survival,” said Ben Bobrow, M.D., Medical Director for the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. “With CCC-CPR, there is also a greater chance of bystander participation.”
Continuous Chest Compression (CCC), the new CPR for adult Cardiac Arrests, was developed through extensive research at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, and has been championed locally by Dr. Bobrow and showcased nationally on the NBC Today Show with Matt Lauer. CCC-CPR separates itself from traditional CPR by concentrating solely on chest compressions, not breaths, causing the continual circulation of blood through a victim’s brain and heart.
Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick, who worked for years as a fire paramedic, said, “I am excited about the statistics which show improvements made in patient care outcomes due to the implementation of the continuous chest compressions program. Our paramedics now have an added advantage to saving lives in Glendale, with the ultimate goal to train as many citizens as possible in CCC-CPR.”
“A major part of our university mission is community service,” says Ross Kosinski, Ph.D., Dean of Students and Director of Community Outreach for Midwestern University. “Having our team of health care professionals work with the City and Priority One on this new life-saving technique really meets that mission.”
In addition to the CCC-CPR training, this program is geared to take the “fear” out of AEDs, as most people are uncomfortable utilizing these life-saving devices when a situation arises. “We want to get the message out that they are easy to use, safe, and should become the safety standard in businesses throughout Arizona,” said Mike Shabkie, Managing Partner, Priority One Enterprises.
MWU and Glendale firefighters will team up to teach FREE classes to the community at Midwestern University (19555 North 59th Avenue) and the Glendale Regional Public Safety Training Center (11550 West Glendale Avenue) on the third Thursday of every month beginning November 15th at MWU at 7:00 PM. For more information or a schedule of classes and locations call 623/572-3329 or click here for a flyer (pdf).
Press contacts:
Karen Mattox, Midwestern University, 623/572-3310 or kmatto@midwestern.edu
Daniel Valenzuela, Glendale Fire, 623/930-3409 or dvalenzuela@glendaleaz.com
Mike Shabkie, Priority One Enterprises,

Midwestern University is a graduate degree-granting institution specializing in the health sciences with six colleges: the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Pharmacy-Glendale, the College of Dental Medicine, the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Chicago College of Pharmacy. The Illinois campus, located on a 105-acre site in Downers Grove, is home to more than 1,800 full-time students. The Arizona campus, located on a 144-acre site in Glendale, is home to 1,536 full-time students. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.



Dependable Medical Transport Services Bringing Heart Safe Environment and Driver Certification Process to Their Customers

(PRLEAP.COM) Dependable Medical Transport Services (DMTS), a leading non emergent transportation company, based in Phoenix, Arizona, announced today that it’s focus on safe, efficient transportation and extraordinary customer care will be further enhanced by placing Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s) in each Paratransit van along with the implementation of a Certified Transport Specialist Program.

DMTS has partnered with Cardiac Science and Life Saving Solutions to provide Powerheart(R) AED’s, and a complete AED Program management solution.

Furthermore, DMTS’s industry leading driver certification program will ensure that all vehicle operators become Certified Transport Specialists (CTS).

DMTS Certified Transport Specialists complete instruction on a variety of safety elements including, but not limited to, First Aid, Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), Continuous Chest Compressions (CCC) training as well as Customer Service and Advanced Driver Education.

“We are committed to customer safety and satisfaction, and believe our investment in certifying our employees will establish us as an industry leader,” said Terry Reilly, Vice President of DMTS. “Our Certified Transport Specialists (CTS), are trained to activate the emergency response system (911), and have access to an easy-to-use AED. The comprehensive training our employees receive will not only positively affect our clients, but will affect their families and facilities they reside in. We strongly encourage other non emergent transportation providers to follow our lead”.

“Since we have been using DMTS for transport services, we have found that they are striving for excellence in a very competitive market”, said Lisa Harrison, Administrator for Scottsdale Heritage Court, A Life Care Center of America Facility. By adding these new training elements, they continue to enhance their commitment to customer safety as they provide a vital service to our residents”.

Since its inception, DMTS has been providing high quality non emergent transportation services throughout Arizona. With a fleet size of over 60 specially equipped vans, DMTS provides transportation to approximately customers throughout Maricopa and Pinal Counties.

About Dependable Medical Transport Services (DMTS)

DMTS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Priority One Enterprises, is a leading non emergent medical transportation company based in Phoenix, AZ. With a focus on quality service, advanced technologies and a superior fleet, DMTS is the preferred provider to many healthcare facilities, skilled nursing centers and Health Maintenance Organizations.

Michael Shabkie
Managing Partner
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Developing a Winning Ambulance Company Business Plan

As an ambulance company owner or administrator, developing a multiyear business plan sounds like a daunting process but it is one of the most important processes that is often overlooked when developing a new company. Creating a business plan is equivalent to having a GPS or road map when you travel. As you can imagine, not having one is a sure fire way to get “lost” and lose focus on your core business strategies.

Developing a business plan is an easy component to overlook, especially when there are more pressing operational and financial pressures vying for your attention. The problem with not having a plan, is that as you address the daily challenges of operating the company, it is easy for the operations to spin out of control. A well thought out business plan is designed to get you back on track. I’d like to share 10 simple tips for developing a business plan that I have found helpful over the years.
1. Remember that a business plan is meant to be a fluid document and that you are not writing anything in stone. Your business plan will change and evolve as time goes on. As a foundation, the plan should outline your goals, challenges and where you want to be in 3 to 5 years. The plan should be updated annually to fit different economic circumstances or operational changes. We cannot truly see into the future, so don’t panic about getting it exactly right, instead concentrate on your market, your competitors and your grow strategies over this period. .
2. As a general rule, do not get caught up on the length of the business plan. Most owners think that unless a business plan is 30 pages long, that it is not of any worth. This is the wrong approach; your business plan can be as long or as short as it needs to be. There is no need to pad the plan with unnecessary words or items that don’t need to be there. Keep it clear and concise. It is not the size of the plan that counts, it is the content.
3. Develop the outline for the executive summary. An executive summary needs to be fairly succinct and should enable readers to know what the business is, what the business does and the objectives that you want the company to meet. This is the area of the plan to include your mission statement, if you don’t have one this is a good time to develop one.
4. Business plans are often a way of attracting funding or are part of the loan process. The plan should showcase senior personnel; market differentiators and operational best practices. This approach is the best way to sell potential investors or lenders on the intangible worth of your company.
5. It is critical to provide a detailed analysis of the markets you serve. A good plan analyzes the facilities or municipalities who want to contract for services, analyzes the competition and examines the buying behavior within the target markets. Be thorough in this section and do not simply assume that you have work in a market that is devoid of competition. All markets are vulnerable; the plan simply needs to show that the company can survive when times get tough.
6. The development of a strong marketing plan is essential. You will need to show that you can market your ambulance services and that you have thought about how to increase market share through an understanding of the basic principles of marketing.
7. It is important to include some kind of analysis that looks at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats: namely a SWOT analysis. This is the time to peel back the onion to examine all the layers of the company. In general, you are only as strong as the weakest link. This section should be an open and honest look at the organization. Most importantly, it demonstrates that you have thought everything through and that you are methodical in your approach.
8. Timing is everything. It is critical to consider the timing of your plan; don’t be overly optimistic, set realistic growth goals and identify achievable milestones. Taking a year over year approach and knowing the timing of contract or RFP opportunities will assist in this process.
9. As a final detail, the business plan will need to demonstrate that you have included a very methodical financial projection over this period of time. The financial plan has to be based on your past financial performance and needs to be accurate. It is easier to project revenue but all expenses need to be included, such as rent, any payroll, insurances, operating costs etc.
10. There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true when developing a compelling plan. Take the time to develop graphics, graphs and insert pictures that tell the story. Finally, include all relevant data such as bank statements, excel spreadsheets etc.
As a final point, the sections outlined in this article should provide a solid foundation in the development of the business plan. Remember that the plan does not have to written in one day, take your time and work on each section over a period of time. This approach will enable you to get to the end result in a way that is achievable and makes the whole process a whole lot less daunting.
About the Author
Michael Shabkie has extensive ambulance business development experience in Arizona, Texas and Colorado, with both the public and private sector. He is currently the Managing Partner for Engage 911. He has served as a key collaborator for EMS system design, developed winning contracting strategies, managed political and public affairs, and acted as an executive advisor on operational processes for both public and private ambulance organizations.
For more information visit: http://www.engage911.net.