|Meet David Hiltz, CARS Life Member|
|By Board Member Sue Monroe|
|June 16, 2021|
As part of our 50th celebration, we will be introducing you to some of our members. We are excited to share their stories and how they serve our community. This week we are happy to feature David Hiltz.
David Hiltz has been a pioneer blazing new trails in the pre-hospital care arena and his innovative, community based, patient centric approach to Emergency Medicine led to many firsts at Charlestown Ambulance Rescue Services and in the industry. David’s journey in medicine began nearly forty years ago as a student of Chariho High School’s Nursing Assistant Program. He then worked at South County Hospital in the Emergency Department. David recalls his first shift in the ER on October 31, 1984 as the moment he realized Emergency Medicine was his calling, marking a turning point in his life and career. He went on to become an Emergency Medical Technician and then one of the first licensed Paramedics in Rhode Island.
David was first introduced to CARS when the private service he worked for became a provider of Advanced Life Support (ALS) to CARS. He says the organization was young and small at the time, but had a culture and philosophy that was open to new, fresh, and progressive ideas. David and others became CARS providers and helped move things forward, including supporting CARS in becoming an ALS provider, which was a first for the organization.
David helped facilitate a lot of other firsts for CARS as well, specifically in cardiovascular medicine. After joining the American Heart Association in 1998 as an Emergency Cardiac Care Consultant, David had a renewed awareness of the cardiac arrest survival project, which led to the implementation of the HEARTSafe Community concept. Under this initiative, David introduced the Law Enforcement Defibrillation project to CARS and the Charlestown Police Department for the first time and secured the equipment and training for CPR and AEDs. David’s commitment and passion in this area led to yet another first for CARS, with the organization being the first to provide pre-hospital 12 lead electrocardiography (ECG) in Rhode Island. This allowed providers in the field to identify early those patients with a high probability of heart attack. David ensured that all crews were trained in how to acquire high-quality 12 lead ECGs, identify evolving heart attacks and call ahead to hospitals with crucial data needed for rapid reperfusion.
David has always believed in the potential of CARS and helped foster its constant evolution in the areas of medicine and beyond. Adding to his involvement in CARS firsts, David also had a hand in seating the first board member; and his wife even developed and launched the organization’s first website. David is proud of Rescue’s continued development and growth from the seeds planted years ago. “CARS is a top of class agency that does the right thing for the right reasons for the patient,” says David. “The better educated the public is, the bigger supporters they will be. The more the community learns about the organization, the more they can support it.”
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