2017 Stars of Life

Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) recently recognized 13 emergency service professionals with a Senate Resolution for their exemplary life-saving performance, dedication and compassionate care delivered to the residents of Kern County. The honorees are part of the California Ambulance Association’s “Stars of Life” event which recognized 48 paramedics, EMTs and emergency medical dispatchers from across the state.

These heroes are highlighted below:

Mark Corum

Mark received the Hall Ambulance Founders Award for Management Excellence for his commitment to promoting and protecting the Hall Ambulance brand.  He serves as Hall Ambulance’s Director of Media Services and has been affiliated with the Company since 1996. 

He is responsible for producing the Company’s newsletter, The HallMark, maintaining the Company website: hallamb.com, and its social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  He designs all collateral materials in-house, including brochures, advertising, banners, event backdrops and displays.

Mark leads Hall Ambulance’s media relations efforts, which included generating more than 30 positive news stories in 2016.

Mark created a number of materials in celebration of Hall Ambulance’s 45th Anniversary, which occurred on February 10, 2016, including the commemorative logo, a 24-page tabloid insert that was published in The Bakersfield Californian, and designed the new unit branding for the anniversary ambulances. 

He served as project manager for a 9’x60’ mural painted by artist Chuck Caplinger, which depicts the milestones of Harvey L. Hall and his company- a pioneer of California’s modern EMS system.

Mark developed the stage backdrop and brochure for Harvey L. Hall’s presentation at the Californian Ambulance Association’s Annual Convention in Lake Tahoe, entitled “How to Achieve Inspiring Leadership Results with Experience and Passion”.

As part of Mayor Hall’s legacy project, Mark served as author of the 304-page coffee table book entitled, Bakersfield: It’s The People, And A Whole Lot More.

Rod Castillo

Rod received the President’s Award for Customer Service, and Relief Paramedic Supervisor of the Year, for 2016. The President’s Award is given to the EMT, paramedic or Registered Nurse that best demonstrates empathy, compassion and a caring attitude towards our customers. 

Rod is a paramedic relief supervisor assigned to the Metro Bakersfield 911 system. During 2016, Rod completed more than 1,000 transports, worked more than 100 shifts as a supervisor and earned more commendations from customers than any other provider. Customers comment repeatedly that he treated them with great care and made sure they were comfortable during transport and upon arrival at the hospital.

The role of a relief paramedic supervisor is one of the toughest jobs in EMS. One day you are working as a paramedic then the next you are a supervisor then back to paramedic. Rod has a unique gift in his ability to communicate with peers, subordinates, supervisors, and patients.     

Masato Seki

Mas was named the 2016 Hall Ambulance Paramedic of the Year. Mas is assigned to the Metro Bakersfield 911 system.

He was hired as an EMT in October 2013. He earned his paramedic license in 2015 after being sponsored through the Bakersfield College Paramedic Program.

He completed more calls in 2016 than any other EMT or paramedic.  While his 1,300 transports were impressive, Mas had the fastest average offload time of any paramedic in the Metro Bakersfield system.  Offload delays of three hours are not uncommon in Bakersfield. Only four employees averaged less than 30 minutes.

Vera Chinn

Vera Chinn was awarded the 2016 Hall Ambulance EMT of the Year. Vera started with Hall Ambulance as a wheelchair van driver in October 2000.

She moved to the Ambulance Division in 2010 and works on an advanced life support ambulance in the Metro Bakersfield 911 system. Vera is known for her positive and very caring attitude.

Vera continually makes herself available for special events and is one of a handful of employees allowed to operate the Happy Daze bus, which is offered to local charities for special events at no cost. Vera also committed several evenings Christmas shopping for those in need.

Vera’s customer service skills are documented very well in comments received on surveys. Time and again they write in about her compassion and her empathy. Vera’s customer service stories are used in training of new employees.            

Tabitha Baker

Tabitha Baker was awarded the 2016 Hall Ambulance Emergency Dispatcher of the Year. Tabitha began her employment with Hall Ambulance as a wheelchair van driver in June 2000. She moved to the Communications Division in 2001.  In 2016, Tabitha’s hard work landed her a promotion to a Lead Dispatcher position.

Tabitha was able to secure the title of Dispatcher of the Year due to her strong work ethic, dispatching skills, and her outstanding skills as an EMD.  Tabitha was able to provide calm compassionate care to her customers while maintaining a 99% EMD score.  

Tabitha routinely receives compliments from field crews remarking on her patience and going above and beyond to help them with whatever it may be.                          

Marsha Aase and William Cassidy

Paramedic Marsha Aase and EMT William Cassidy were part of an amazing field save. One of our supervisors was at the grocery store and was approached by a woman who wanted to make sure Marsha and William got credit for their good work saving her mother’s life. Moreover, she wanted management to know that Marsha had returned to the hospital multiple times to check on her mother.

The call occurred more than a year before the contact at the grocery store.

Marsha, with Hall Ambulance since 1997, and William Cassidy who has worked for the Company since 2009, were dispatched to a cardiac arrest on July 29, 2015. They found Bakersfield Firefighters performing CPR after one defibrillation. Marsha took over scene management and continued with treatment. The patient was handed off to the Emergency Department staff with pulses. The fire department reported that CPR had been started by Irene Sample’s grandchildren prior to any EMS personnel arriving on scene. Irene was a former foster parent and had trained her grandchildren to perform CPR. Marsha, William and the rest of the first responders were reunited with Irene and her family.

News coverage of the story captured the interest of the American Heart Association, resulting in Irene, Eunique, and Darian being invited to ride on their float in this year's Pasadena Festival of Roses Parade with other teenagers who used CPR to save the life of a loved one.                                   

Josh Edwards and Brooke Carmona


Paramedic Josh Edwards and EMT Brooke Carmona were part of a community response that resulted in a 19-year-old surviving sudden cardiac arrest. Brooke has been an EMT with Hall Ambulance since 1999. Josh has been employed as a Paramedic since 2008.

On May 30, 2016, Josh and Brooke were dispatched to a basketball court at an apartment complex. They arrived with an engine company from the Kern County Fire Department to find CPR being performed by the patient’s friend. Josh established scene control and led the team of responders through CPR, multiple defibrillations, advanced airway management and pharmacological treatment.

Josh, Brooke and the other members of the team were able to be reunited with the patient and his family after discharge from the hospital.   

Ryan Strange

On August 25, Hall Ambulance Unit 432 staffed by Paramedic Ryan Strange responded to a local junior high school for a patient with anxiety type symptoms.  Upon making contact, Teacher Caryn Herren told Paramedic Strange that she has a history of panic attacks, but that this was worse than she had ever experienced. She initially refused transport; asking the paramedic to ‘make her feel better’ and she would just stay at work. 

Relying on his training and experience, Paramedic Strange encouraged her to be seen at the ER.  The patient agreed and was loaded into the ambulance, where Ryan provided basic life support care.

While en route to the hospital, the patient advised Strange that she was feeling faint.  She suddenly became unconscious and unresponsive, followed by a seizure.  Her condition continued to deteriorate—her breathing slowing to agonal respirations and no pulse. 

Immediately, Ryan elevated his treatment to advanced life support care, initiating CPR and rescue breaths with high flow oxygen.  The monitor revealed that her heart was in V-fib, a deadly, unstable heart rhythm.  Ryan placed defib pads onto the patient’s chest and shocked her heart once, continuing CPR and rescue breaths. As they were arriving at the ER, the patient regained an organized rhythm with a good pulse.  The paramedic continued to assist her breathing with ventilations as she was moved into the ER, at which point, she began breathing on her own.  The airway was removed and the patient started regaining consciousness. 

On October 5, 2016, Ryan was reunited with Caryn.  With tears of joy, she expressed her gratitude to the paramedic for saving her life, and presenting Ryan with a placard that reads, "You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."

Ryan Strange joined Hall Ambulance in February 2014.

Eddie Maldonado and Adam Moreno

The longer you work as an EMT, paramedic or nurse the higher the chances you will be asked to respond and care for someone you know; perhaps, a teacher or mentor, maybe a neighbor, a cousin, or maybe even your mother or father. You arrive on scene to find these friends and family in need and in many cases, scared. They are counting on you to make their world better.

At 7:39 p.m. on September 27, 2016, Paramedic Eddie Maldonado and EMT Adam Moreno were dispatched to a residence for chest pain. They arrived at 7:45 p.m. to find Paramedic Supervisor Marlin Coffia complaining of chest pain. Marlin was the textbook chest pain patient with crushing pain rated at 10 over 10 and radiating to his jaw. Eddie initiated a 12 lead EKG that showed an acute MI.

Aspirin was administered and transport started at 7:54 p.m.

The signs and symptoms were significant enough that Eddie placed D-Fib pads on Marlin as a precaution.

Two IVs were started, pain medication and Zofran were given.

A STEMI Alert was initiated.

Eddie and Adam handed Marlin over to Emergency Room staff at 8:20 p.m.

Although a lengthy recovery ensued, Marlin was able to return to work on January 23 on light-duty. 

Eddie Maldonado started his career at Hall Ambulance in June 2010; and, Adam Moreno joined the Company in April 2015.     

Rick Davis

On Christmas Eve 2016 at 4:27 p.m., Paramedic Rick Davis responded to a local grocery store for a cardiac arrest. Upon arrival, the crew located the patient inside the store. An off-duty firefighter was performing CPR.

Rick took control of the scene and continued CPR while deploying See Through CPR. The cardiac monitor showed V-Fib. The first shock was delivered within two minutes of patient contact. Rick started an IV and administered Epinephrine and Amiodarone followed by a second shock.

The patient was loaded and transport started just 11 minutes after patient contact. Another round of medications was administered followed by a third shock. CPR was continued while Rick set up his airway equipment. Before intubation was attempted the patient regained a pulse and started to breathe on her own.

Care was handed over to hospital staff. When Rick returned to the emergency room he was able to speak with his patient as she signed the PCR. Rick’s leadership on scene and his dedication to providing rapid, quality advanced life support care resulted in a woman surviving to spend another Christmas with her family.

Rick started his career at Hall Ambulance in November 2006.