Manatee County Community Paramedicine Chief to receive state EMS Injury Prevention Award

Manatee County Community Paramedicine Chief to receive state EMS Injury Prevention Award
Posted on 07/03/2018

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (July 3, 2018) — The Florida Department of Health has named Manatee County's Community Paramedicine Chief recipient of its 2018 EMS Injury Prevention Award.

Manatee County’s Community Paramedicine Team creates a continuum of care between the patient, the physician and other resources located in the community. The Community Paramedicine Team uses evidence-based fall prevention and balance programs to reduce a patient’s risk of falling. Since the program launched in 2016, Community Paramedics have diverted nearly 600 calls for ambulances and more than 450 trips to the hospital — a diversion of $808,783 in healthcare costs.

"Our unique program has decreased healthcare costs while increasing the quality of life for so many of our medically needy citizens," said Community Paramedicine Chief James Crutchfield. "Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults, so developing prevention techniques to lessen fall risks is one of the focuses of our Community Paramedics."

"We’re very proud of the work Chief Crutchfield and the Community Paramedicine team have put into this initiative and to receive state-level recognition for such an innovative program is a great honor," said Public Safety Director Bob Smith.

Crutchfield added that Community Paramedics Earl Kulpa, Ashley Robinson, Aaron Fullenwider, and LECOM Clinical Pharmacist Dr. Victoria Reinhartz have all contributed to the success of the Community Paramedicine Program and helped prevent unnecessary ambulance calls and visits to the emergency room. The team regularly collaborates to evaluate whether medications or uncontrolled disease may be contributing to falls.

"Chief Crutchfield has been the driving force behind our interdisciplinary approach to comprehensive patient care and prevention," said Dr. Reinhartz. "His leadership provides an exemplary model for future Community Paramedicine programs wishing to reduce falls in their community."

The award will be presented July 11 during the 28th Annual Excellence in EMS Awards in Orlando. According to the DOH, the Injury Prevention Award recognizes an individual who "has demonstrated outstanding initiative and promoted best practices to prevent injuries in at least one area of injury prevention, such as motor vehicle safety, drowning, falls or burn prevention, etc."

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.