NORTH HAVEN — The American Ambulance Association recently honored local man Fred Della Valle at its annual meeting in Las Vegas, recognizing his 40 years in the ambulance industry.
Della Valle’s career began in 1976 as an EMT at New Haven Ambulance Service, now American Medical Response. He’s currently AMR’s regional vice president of government relations, which involves working with state and federal legislators on health care and ambulance-related bills.
On Nov. 13, the trade organization awarded Della Valle the Robert L. Forbus Award for Lifetime Achievement. He sits on the board of directors for the trade association, which represents more than 200 ambulance provider members nationwide.
The big changes he’s seen in the ambulance industry are improved first responder training and better communications, both due to technological enhancement.
When EMTs and paramedics keep up with their medical skills, he said, it allows them to practice those skills and reach the ultimate outcome of saving lives.
“It all enhances the ability to provide excellent patient care,” he said. “It has progressed to degree they are medical professionals, able to give excellent care, pre-hospital.”
In his current position, he oversees the legislative agenda for a region that covers 21 eastern states. He said the most important bills that come up involve Medicare reimbursement.
Around 40 percent of ambulance patients receive Medicare, but ambulance companies are routinely reimbursed under cost, he said.
Working on both sides of the aisle, Della Valle said he makes sure legislators have the information they need and offers solutions to many questions they have, including prior authorization or cost reporting.
Della Valle is a North Haven native, a graduate of North Haven High School and member of a number of local organizations and charities.
His has sat on the state advisory committee for MADD, is former chairman of the Senior Housing Authority, and a longtime volunteer, having recently completed a three-year term as chairman of the board of the Easter Seal Goodwill Industries in Connecticut.
He’s a life member of the Northeast Volunteer Fire Association in North Haven and is active in several charitable and civic organizations, including the UNITAS Club, Porcini International, the Bridgeport PAL organization, the Max Sinoway Little League baseball program in North Haven, the Tomahawk Club and the Knights of Columbus.
Della Valle and his wife, Jo-Ann, have two children, Fred and Tom, a daughter-in-law Robin and are grandparents to 13-month-old Gavin.