Rescue 8 ambulance service in North Huntingdon gets new executive director

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A Monroeville man is the new director of North Huntingdon's ambulance service, Rescue 8.

The Rescue 8 board of directors hired Shane Spielvogel, AGE, as its executive director.

He oversees the ambulance service's administrative and day-to-day functions.

A passion for helping others and working as a first responder led Spielvogel to Rescue 8, he said.

“I've always been involved in emergency services in one way or another,” Spielvogel said. “When this position became available, knowing it serves a large and diverse area with good community support, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity.”

Spielvogel attended the University of Pittsburgh's nursing school, and worked as a nurse at UPMC's Southside hospital for several years. He worked in the emergency room and intensive care unit, and also served as a flight nurse for STAT MedEvac medical helicopters, he said.

Prior to joining Rescue 8, he worked as an emergency medical service specialist for UPMC, where he served as a liaison between hospitals and emergency medical services.

Before becoming a medical professional, Spielvogel said he volunteered with a number of volunteer agencies. He began volunteering when he was 17, he said.

Spielvogel serves as the chief of United Volunteer Fire & Rescue in East McKeesport, and has been a member of the organization for 21 years, he said.

Second ward commissioner Zachary Haigis, who sits on Rescue 8's board of directors, said Spielvogel's history in emergency services made him the ideal person to lead the ambulance service.

“He has a wide-array of first responder experiences, ranging from being a fire chief to actual time working in a hospital,” Haigis said.

Haigis said the board gave Spielvogel a salary of $70,000 per year.

Spielvogel oversees a staff of 33 emergency medical technicians, including 12 full-time, 14 part-time and 7 volunteers.

“I think the staff is our biggest strength, because they're well trained and good clinicians who enjoy working here, because of the variety of calls and the community,” he said. “I think it's too early to say what changes, if any, need to be made.”

Spielvogel said he hopes to see the ambulance service continue its community outreach programs, including open house, safety fairs and CPR classes.

“Without the community, Rescue 8 wouldn't be what it is today,” Spielvogel said. “Ideally, the first time we'd meet a community member, I don't want it to be when they need to call for emergency services.

“When they're familiar with who we are and what we do, it helps to make it a better experience if they need us for an emergency.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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