Northwell Health’s Center for Emergency Medical Services (CEMS) team members often provide the first line of care to patients in the neighborhoods and communities we serve. Abdo Nahmod, assistant vice president of CEMS Operations, has helped to lead the team through both rewarding and challenging times since starting five years ago.
We sat down with Abdo to talk about CEMS initiatives on the horizon and the exciting job opportunities within the team:
How has CEMS grown over the past year?
CEMS has been progressively growing in providing quality pre-hospital care to more of the communities we serve. Over the past year we have expanded our services in Nassau and Suffolk counties and New York City, as well as added a Northwell Health Centralized Transfer Center to manage inter-facility patient transfers through the CEMS Communication Center.
We have also collaborated with Northwell’s Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI) to provide our team members with paramedic training opportunities. This is an investment in our team members, as we promote from within emergency medical technicians to paramedics, providing career opportunities for advancement and retention. This past year we also supported many team members who choose to further their clinical and post-graduate education with Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program.
How has the work of CEMS been vital to our organizations and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During COVID-19, CEMS has provided emergency medical care throughout the seven counties we serve. We have seen a surge in EMS call volume for critically ill patients, providing life-saving treatments and transportation to many hospitals. CEMS had transferred over 900 COVID -19 patients throughout Northwell for continued care in March and April. We are also working with Northern Westchester Hospital’s community services team to be part of the COVID -19 testing at faith-based venues, and we will be collaborating with the FDNY for 311 and 911 telemedicine services in the near future.
What exciting initiatives are on the horizon for CEMS?
We are looking forward to the expansion of our Centralized Transfer Center, collaborating with FDNY in New York City for 311 & 911 Telemedicine services. CEMS continues to be a highly engaged workforce with a culture of teamwork and recognition. We view every challenge as an opportunity, and seek feedback while relentlessly pursuing what is best. We prize curiosity, creativity and innovation.
What careers exist within the CEMS team?
We have over a dozen job titles within CEMS such as, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, communications specialists, ambulance supply associates, flight paramedics, flight nurses, ambulance record associates, staffing schedule associates and various supervisory and leadership titles.
Our team continues to be a highly engaged workforce with a culture of teamwork and recognition. We view every challenge as an opportunity, and seek feedback while relentlessly pursuing what is best. We prize curiosity, creativity and innovation. The expectation is everyone learns, develops and becomes better. Our culture promotes self-development, ongoing education and career growth and advancement. Our reputation is everyone’s responsibility.
What career advice do you have for those looking to get into Emergency Medicine Services (EMS)?
My best advice is to volunteer in EMS in your community and see if this is something you enjoy enough to pursue as a career. EMS may be a gateway to opportunities within healthcare to other clinical and non-clinical opportunities.