BRAVO and Kiwanis seek to lessen the pain for child trauma patients

July 24, 2013 Heather Chin
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The smiling face of the soft stuffed bear pokes out from a side pocket of the red bag. It is one of the first things a child will see when being loaded into a BRAVO ambulance, and hopefully will be the only thing he or she will focus on during the ordeal.

The stuffed bear is part of a pediatric trauma kit that has been donated to the BRAVO volunteer ambulance service by the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center (KPTC) at North Shore University Hospital, thanks in part to a donation from Brooklyn-based ASHORE Inc, which donates money to health-related causes in memory of Arline Shahmanesh, who passed away over a decade ago from Hodgkin’s Disease.

For 39 years, BRAVO’s volunteer ambulance services have served the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights in countless emergencies, with residents of all ages receiving top-notch emergency care on the way to the hospital—and all for free, thanks to donations from community members.

Residents continue to give back. It costs over $250,000 a year to run BRAVO, and $200,000 to purchase and equip each new ambulance, of which there are now three in the fleet.

“We want to donate funds to where it will most help the community,” said Arlene Gilden, treasurer of ASHORE. We found out about BRAVO through Joe [Corace and KPTC].

“KPTC chose BRAVO because of what it does for the community. Hopefully, they never have to use it, but just in case, the kit is made for multiple different sizes of children, up to around age 15 and sometimes young adults,” explained KPTC President Joseph Corace. “We don’t even know what these kits do in terms of saving kids’ lives. That one minute [could be everything].”

According to BRAVO President Gene Andersen, their trucks have had “parts of the kit over the years” and “having the right size equipment first [the patient] better and treats them better.”

Added BRAVO Vice President of Operations Adam Gottlieb, “a lot of times, for peds patients, we use adult boards, but this is for kids and alleviates the stress on the [care] provider and the patient.”

The Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Kit includes: a pediatric immobilization board, Broselow pediatric measuring tape, child BVM resuscitator, bag-mask disposable resuscitators, 10 disposable face masks, infant and child phygmomanometers (blood pressure cuffs with a gauge), pediatric stiff extrication collar child stethoscope, disposable silver swaddler blanket, stuffed animal, and a personalized tri-pocket storage case.

Kiwanis International is a community service nonprofit organization that fosters youth leadership and sponsors service projects around the world.


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