2020 Rejenne Main
Photo courtesy of AMR

AMR workers hit the front lines to aid in New York City’s COVID-19 response

The 2020 NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola is more than just a military appreciation platform – it’s a campaign that salutes all who have gone above and beyond to keep their fellow members of society safe and healthy. During a global pandemic that impacted almost every aspect of our daily lives, they have been there for us – doctors, nurses, EMTs, first responders, etc. Now, it’s our turn to be there for them and to give recognition where it’s deserved the most.

In this edition of NASCAR Salutes Refreshing Moments, NASCAR.com is highlighting the work of two members from the American Medical Response. Since 2017, NASCAR has partnered with AMR, a recognized leader in emergency medical services, to expand the capabilities of its medical support model and enhance on-track incident responses.

RELATED: Learn more about NASCAR Salutes

Rejeanne Boissonneault is a paramedic and operations supervisor with AMR in Massachusetts. She has worked for AMR for seven years. When she was asked to travel to New York City to help out with the COVID-19 response, there was no hesitation for Boissonneault. She served as a task force leader on the New York City deployment for a month with her responses including coming to the aid of 911 and COVID-related calls.

“I was in a response vehicle and ran high-acuity calls (calls that require paramedics),” Boissonneault said. “Each task force leader had about 20 ambulances under them. It gave me a sense of gratitude for being healthy and my family being healthy. It opened your eyes to things and made you very grateful.”

Robert Galvin works for AMR’s Peer Support Team and is a regional manager of patient care services. He was also part of the team deployed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. Galvin served as a medical officer for more than 1,600 caregivers, who also deployed to help New York City first responders when COVID-19 struck and 911 call volume tripled. Galvin worked out of the Forward Operating Base at the Bronx Zoo and was there every day by 6 a.m. ET.

2020 Robertgalvin Main
Photo courtesy of AMR

Galvin credited his military experience with helping him for this deployment. He served his country in the United States Army from 1986-90 as a communications chief — setting up communications and towers as part of the Forward Operating Base. Emergency response is a calling Galvin found after struggling to “get reacclimated to life” after his military service, a period of time that saw him homeless for three years. 

“When people started coming into medical, often times you could tell they were in crisis,” Galvin said. “I was there to interact … helping them to work through their individual situations. It was unbelievable. I was meant to be there. I had faced some of the same things they were facing.”

For the first time ever, NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola kicked off with the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the platform shifted to a mid-summer window due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola, which runs through July 31, will see the NASCAR industry honor United States Armed Forces and front-line healthcare heroes as part of this year’s expanded program — an industry-wide opportunity to recognize and thank those who keep society safe and healthy.