Update: This transcript has been updated to reflect the current AP Stylebook guidelines.
Amantha Dickman, News Director: You’re listening to “KZUM News” on 89.3 KZUM Lincoln and KZUM HD.
[Fades in on the “KZUM News” program music, an original production of Jack Rodenburg. The music fades out.]
Amantha Dickman, News Director: Good afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “KZUM News,” an hour dedicated to learning more about what is going on in Lincoln and the surrounding areas. I am the News Director, and your host, Amantha Dickman.
We still have a whole bunch of updates from October and November that we haven’t had a chance to go over yet. That’s why we are going to do a round of relatively breaking news before we jump into our segments on respiratory illnesses, Lincoln’s new ambulances and fire trucks, and this year’s Ignite Lincoln.
Our first update comes from Nebraska Game and Parks: they have announced that a second season is underway for limited river otter trapping.
The harvest season opened on November 1, providing those with a valid fur harvest permit an opportunity to trap one otter per season. The season will close on February 28, 2023, or three days after the 125th otter has been harvested in the state, depending on which event comes first.
Each day, before setting traps for river otters, permit holders much confirm the harvest limit has not been met and the season is open by calling 855 – 881 – 8905 or by checking the Game and Parks’ river otter season status webpage at Outdoor Nebraska.gov/OtterTrapping.
Any harvested river otter must be reported within 24 hours of harvest by contacting the nearest Game and Parks office, conservation officer, or by calling 855 – 881 – 8905. The otter must be tagged officially by Game and Parks within two business days after harvest, with the permittee furnishing the date and location of harvest before attaching the harvest seal. The otter should not be frozen. And you can check out the Small Game and Waterfowl Guide for a list of office locations and conservation officers at OutdoorNebraska.gov/guides.
The Nebraska Game and Parks would also like to remind the public that trapping is the only legal method of take. Harvesting is allowed statewide. But any incidental take of a river otter outside of the harvest season, or beyond the limit of one per harvester, is unlawful unless the animal is immediately released if viable or the harvester reports the take and turns over the carcass to Game and Parks.
This is because River Otters were extirpated from Nebraska by the early 1900s due to unregulated harvest. From 1986 to 1991, 159 otters were reintroduced into the state’s waters. Their recovery and subsequent delisting from the state threatened list in 2020 is due to successful conservation efforts in Nebraska. River otters now can be found nearly statewide with populations in most major river systems. As such, this season will provide data about statewide river otter distribution while continuing to allow the population to expand.
If you would like to buy a permit or are looking for more information, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov.
Next, we have reminders from Lincoln Transportation and Utilities. Throughout November, they have been working to change the signs on a portion of Nebraska Highway 2 to its new designation: Nebraska Parkway. Once finished, LTU will have replaced more than 400 general traffic signs between South 120th Street and U.S. Highway 77.
The name change follows the Nebraska Department of Transportation’s (NDOT) plans to relinquish the nine-mile portion of the street to the City of Lincoln when NDOT completes the Lincoln South Beltway Project. Work to change the primary Highway 2 street signs will begin this month.
Liz Elliott, the LTU Director, followed the announcement with the following statement;
“This effort will provide some time for drivers to become familiar with street signage that meets City of Lincoln traffic standards along this street and encourage businesses to update their office documents and advertisements,” said Director Elliott on behalf of LTU.
The street name change will require one resident, nine businesses, and three State of Nebraska Department office buildings to update their addresses. LTU has notified the individuals who are directly affected.
According to Thomas Schafer, Assistant Director of Transportation, once the relinquishment is complete and the City takes full responsibility for the street, LTU will review the corridor to determine possible opportunities for future street improvements.
Meanwhile, the older street signs will be resurfaced for further use.
And, lastly, the Lincoln Police Department will join a nationwide ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ traffic enforcement campaign beginning Friday, December 16, 2022, and will continue participation through Saturday, December 31, 2022. Not only will officers be conducting extra enforcement during this timeframe, but efforts will continue throughout the month of December with specific emphasis on impaired driving to reduce fatal and injury crashes. The Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office (NDOT-HSO) is providing overtime funding for increased enforcement during this campaign.
The Lincoln Police Department reminds the public that there are three simple steps people can take to stay safe this holiday season.
First, plan ahead. If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Designate a sober driver for the evening or arrange for alternative transportation in advance.
Second; if you are impaired, do not drive and find another way home. Use a taxi, ride share service or call a friend or family member.
And, third, be responsible. If someone you know has been drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions could save your life or someone else’s.
And that wraps up the Lincoln Police Department’s reminders to not drive while under the influence of alcohol.
That is the last of our relatively breaking news. But I still have one more thing I want to talk about this morning.
We are quickly approaching 2023 which means our Media Literacy Series is creeping up on us. In preparation for the series, we have our ‘Public Perceptions of the Media’ survey posted everywhere. We are still trying to gather more information about how individuals – like yourself – perceive local and national newsrooms. There are a couple of questions about bias, misinformation, journalism ethics, and a place to include questions. These questions will then be presented to our panel of professionals and educators, who will explain why newsrooms operate the way they do.
If you have a moment, please, check that survey out. The more people who participate, the better our data and the better our conversations will be during our Media Literacy Series. You can find a post with the survey links under the “KZUM News” tab at kzum.org. You can also find the link in today’s transcript or on our social media pages.
Please check it out and, of course, thank you to everyone who already has participated.
And, without further ado, we have a nice lineup today. We are starting off learning more about Lincoln’s new firefighting engines and ambulances.
In a November 3 press conference, hosted by the city of Lincoln, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR) Chief Dave Engler presented three new additions to the City fire and rescue fleet. This included two new firefighting engines and an ambulance.
So let’s give a listen to their statements to learn more.
Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor of the City of Lincoln: One, it’s such a great pleasure to be here at Station 10 and we are really excited to talk about some of our latest investments to increase workplace safety for our incredible team at L.F.R. [Lincoln Fire and Rescue] and to enhance our public safety resources and response for our community.
Before we get underway, I wanna acknowledge the incredible dedication and teamwork of our local farmers, our volunteer fire departments, and Lincoln Fire and Rescue personnel who together battled the recent fires that were threatening Lancaster County. L.F.R. contributed three engine companies and two battalion chiefs to this effort, demonstrating, once again, the commitment that we have to a coordinated, robust response to keep our public safe. Really wanted to say thank you again for that.
The high quality of life that we enjoy in Lincoln really depends on a coordinated public safety response, and that’s why public safety is our resident’s and my administration’s top priority. And alongside our Lincoln Police Department, our team at Lincoln Fire and Rescue are at the heart of that public safety response. And we are here today to showcase new equipment that will help fortify the award-winning life-saving assistance that our residents receive from our team at L.F.R., a team that last year saved the lives of residents experiencing non-traumatic cardiac arrest at a rate twice the national average. And that’s a team that, when fires broke out in our residents’ homes last year, saved on average 98% of the value of residents’ property. And this high-performing team at L.F.R., they need equipment that keeps them as safe as they keep us. And that’s why we’re providing our first responders with reliable and state-of-the-art equipment, and it continues to be a high priority for my administration.
This morning, we’re here to showcase how we’re delivering on these public safety priorities. We’re pleased to welcome three brand new vehicles to L.F.R’s fleet, to continue to support rapid response times for our community, as well as to enhance the safety of our L.F.R. team. When they answer their calls, the two new fire engines and one ambulance that you see behind me, they will soon hit the road to respond to the public safety needs of our growing community.
And we prioritize and purchased these vehicles using our city’s 8.4 million allocations from the Federal Cares Act. And I really wanna express my gratitude to our federal partners for the resources that made these purchases possible. And acknowledge the special role that was played, of course, by our city council who’ve been vital in securing funding to ensure that L.F.R. has the facilities and the equipment and the personnel they need to keep us safe. And I do see that we have at least one of our council members here. Richard McGinnis [is] with us today. Thank you so much, Councilman McGinnis. Recognizing the needs of L.F.R., the city opened this station – Station 10 – three years ago to improve response times in this rapidly growing area of town. And this newest station will now house one of these new engines while the other will be based at Fire Station 14 in the Highlands.
And the safety, the technology, and durability of these new engines will allow for a better and more efficient response to calls for service from residents in these neighborhoods. Our new ambulance will replace one of the busiest ambulances that’s in service today. And, in addition to enhanced safety features, the unit is equipped with four-wheel drive for better mobility and increased lighting, so our L.F.R. team can better light an emergency scene and care for residents who experience an emergency after dark. These are just some of the enhanced features of our newest equipment.
And at this point, I’d like to invite up our Fire Chief Dave Engler to share more about how these new additions will help L.F.R. fire on all cylinders. Chief.
Dave Engler, Lincoln Fire and Rescue Chief: Thank you, mayor.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our mayor, our city council, and the community of Lincoln for your continued support of Lincoln Fire and Rescue.
We’ve been very excited for the delivery of our two new fire engines and medic unit. It represents our commitment to public safety by maintaining a healthy fleet that is reliable and ready to respond in times of emergency. A significant amount of work goes into designing the specifications for the apparatus. And I would like to recognize our dedicated apparatus design committee, our fire equipment mechanics who are here today, and Battalion Chief Eric Jones, who heads up our logistics division for all of the time and attention to detail they put into this process, ensuring our equipment is safe, designed to meet our operational needs and remains at a reasonable cost.
The company that manufactures this apparatus has said, we currently have one of the most copied specifications in the industry. And that is a huge compliment to the work of these individuals. These two fire engines are designed with safety features, such as improved emergency lighting that increases visibility and decreases the risk of an accident, airbags, a filtration system to remove cancer-causing particles in the cab to keep our personnel safe, and the latest generation in emissions control systems are just to name a few. Additionally, our new apparatus has a galvanized frame to better withstand Nebraska’s winter weather conditions.
And speaking of winter conditions, as the mayor pointed out, our new medic unit is the first in the fleet to have four-wheel drive. This will be very helpful in improving our emergency response during the winter months.
Adding these new engines and ambulance to our fleet will improve reliability, expedition of response, and better safety for our firefighters in the public. We will be retiring an 1996 fire engine. That’s old enough, replacement parts are no longer available. And we will also be retiring a 2006 fire engine that has a broken frame due to the wear and tear and the weather conditions.
This is a significant boost to the health of our apparatus fleet. As your fire chief, I’m committed to the health and ongoing maintenance of the fire apparatus because firefighter safety and work efficiency is paramount to protect both our firefighters and to serve and protect the community.
Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor of the City of Lincoln: Thanks so much, Chief Engler. And thank you to our entire team at L.F.R. for your dedicated service.
And I saw some heads nodding when you mentioned four-wheel drive. I think there’s some real excitement here about, about that added feature. The drivers of our new fire engines will also benefit from the upgraded safety features.
Here to talk about our new equipment is an L.F.R.T. member who is literally in the driver’s seat. I’d like to now introduce Jay Weyers who will share his perspective on what it’s like to drive one of these new engines.
Jay Weyers, Member of Lincoln Fire and Rescue: Thank you, Mayor and Chief Engler. My name is Jay Weyers. I have been a Fire Apparatus Operator driver for 12 years. I serve on the Apparatus Spec Committee and work to share our ideas with the engine operations committee to ensure we get the best equipment that works for the firefighters doing the work.
These new engines have air ride making them a smoother ride, a more comfortable ride for the driver and the crew. I can turn on the emergency lights and know the digital technology with those lights makes it more visible to the drivers, when we respond to the calls. These new engines have an air decon system inside, which means they have a clean cab. The system protects us from viruses and destroys cancer-causing particulates in the air. They also have a higher degree turning radius, which means I can move in and out of traffic easier and make sharper turns less complicated.
I would like to thank those who worked for hours and hours to design and write the specs and to ensure L.F.R. is getting the well-deserved vehicles and the highest degree of safety, performance, and equipment for our Lincoln community. Will our logistics team, apparatus specs, and engine operations committee members here, please raise your hand.
Thank you, and we’ll see you on the road.
Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor of the City of Lincoln: Well, thank you so much for that. And I think it’s really amazing. It’s one of the… when I learned that your specs were being copied because you’ve done such an amazing job, I just felt that pride we feel again and again in our community of doing the work. Doing quality work, not looking for the recognition, but earning it nonetheless.
So, congratulations to you and thanks for what you did. These new vehicles we welcome to the fleet today are part of our robust investments in public safety. And those investments have included adding seven new fire engines since 2019. And, since taking office in 2019, my administration has invested over 184 million in L.F.R. and added 28 personnel to the department, including six firefighter-paramedics in the most recent city budget.
Simply put, public safety is our communities and my administration’s highest priority, and we are delivering on that priority. I want to thank the entire team again at L.F.R. for your tireless work to deliver on that priority every day and every night. You can do the work, the hard work, the brave work to keep our community safe. And part of our joy today is not only that these are beautiful and shiny is, but really it’s knowing that these vehicles are gonna help keep you safe as you keep us safe.
So, thank you again. Thanks so much everyone for being here to celebrate this milestone and we would be happy to take any questions from the media.
Unknown Reporter: All right. My question is just everyone’s gonna help with like… the wildfire?
Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor of the City of Lincoln: Okay. I’ll let Chief take that question.
Dave Engler, Lincoln Fire and Rescue Chief: These vehicles aren’t really equipped to respond to the wildfires other than the personnel. We have purchased and are waiting for the arrival of a new, what we call, a brush truck. And those would be, those are four-wheel drive vehicles that actually do respond to the wildfires.
Now, these certainly have hoses that we can reach fires that are within proximity. So we do send these on a grass fire within the city limits. But for some of those wildfires, it would take a specialized type of unit. The brush truck, which hopefully in the next several months will be unveiling here too.
Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor of the City of Lincoln: Any other questions?
I do just wanna acknowledge again that those fires in the county that are outside our urban city limits, we have wonderful cooperative mutual aid agreements where we – the team here at L.F.R – step up and helps out even if we’re focused on the urban response. We do our part to support everyone, all our firefighting brothers and sisters, and so really proud of that coordinated response.
Any other questions?
Okay. Thank you so much for coming. Appreciate all your hard work and so happy to have the results of this work ready to work for our community.
Amantha Dickman, News Director: That was Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Lincoln Fire and Rescue Chief Dave Engler telling us more about the recent additions to the city fire and rescue fleet.
Now I’m going to pencil in a break. While you’re listening to some messages from local businesses, I suggest taking this moment to go check out our “Public Perceptions of the News” survey, if you haven’t already. I’ll give you a moment and then we will be right back.
[“KZUM News” transition music, an original piece composed by Jack Rodenburg, fades in and then out. KZUM Radio’s usual underwriting and public services announcements air at scheduled times throughout the hour.]
Amantha Dickman, News Director: And welcome back to today’s episode of “KZUM News.”
We are knee-deep in the cold season. And I’m not just talking about snow and freezing temperatures.
With the spread of respiratory illnesses impacting our community, Bryan Health hosted a press briefing on November 2 about Covid-19, RSV, and the ongoing flu season. Here are Doctors John Trapp, Amy Pinkall, and Sian Jones-Jobst to tell us more about this year’s cold seasons.
Edgar Bumanis, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Bryan Health: Good afternoon. Edgar Bumanis with Bryan’s Advancement Team. Thank you for joining us.
Joining us today we have three physicians; Dr. John Trapp, Chief Medical Officer for Bryan Medical Center, Dr. Amy Pinkall, pediatric hospitalist, and Dr. Sian Jones-Jobst. Before we begin, I’ll quickly go over some Bryan Medical Center patient volumes.
In the last month, we’ve actually hit record census of 588 on two occasions. At midnight today, we were caring for 571 patients. Pediatric census: the unit is full. Six patients with RSV, two with Covid-19, and seven with non-respiratory needs. Covid? Our census is fluctuating between 15 and 25 per day. Today we have 12 with positive covid tests, seven who are resolved, and nine patients with pending tests.
And this last slide is a good segue to our first presenter, Dr. John Trapp
Dr. John Trapp, Chief Medical Officer for Bryan Medical Center: Thanks, Edgar.
I really wanna focus on the volumes in the hospital. You know, during the peak of the pandemic, it was not uncommon for us to hit numbers of 530 patients, 550 patients, and sometimes peaking up in the 570s. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen [an] even higher census where we’re consistently 550 into the 580 numbers.
This is a considerable expansion of the hospital capacity, a stretch on our workforce. And what we’re also seeing is increased volumes in our emergency department. We tried to expand our emergency department capacity the best that we can. We have expanded to hallway beds so that patients are still able to be evaluated and certainly emergency room volumes are higher than what we’ve seen ever in the past.
What all of this means is that getting into the hospital at Bryan Health has been challenging because of our high volumes. It’s not uncommon for us to have patients waiting in the emergency department for a bed, to get onto a medical unit or a surgical unit, or for patients at outside facilities, awaiting transfer to Brian.
All of this comes to the same time that we have concerns for other types of viral issues coming up. We’ve seen increases in RSV in our pediatric population. That’s been a concern. Last week we had 27 pediatric patients in a 17-bed pediatric floor. So we’ve had to expand that to some of our adult floors. RSV peaks over the next few months. So we will be expecting continued pediatric RSV cases during the months of November, December, and January. RSV not only affects pediatric patients but can affect adult patients as well, particularly those patients who are 65 and older, and certainly can cause significant hospitalizations and even death in those populations. So we expect to see higher virus… or higher patients with those types of respiratory viruses.
For our Covid-19 patients, we have been having, you know, a very steady census of Covid-19 patients. Anywhere from 15 to 30 as Edgar had outlined. Some of the concerns about Covid-19 is that we’ve seen some new variants that have developed throughout the world. Two of these variants, BQ1 and BQ 1.1 are two variants that have increased significantly in the United States. We’ve seen significant rises, particularly in the East Coast, where this is increasing numbers in excess of 20%. This virus has a doubling time where it increases in the population over about 10 to 14 days. It’s in the Midwest and slowly increasing.
If we look at projections, and again, during the pandemic, we saw significant waves of new variants. And what we saw in other areas of the country and across the world eventually made it to Nebraska. So we’re anticipating these waves probably hitting Nebraska in late November and through the month of December and maybe into early January. So that these variants have resulted in increased hospitalizations and deaths in other countries. And we anticipate that same risk for us.
So here we are in November. What comes in November? Typically influenza, another respiratory virus. And this year, influenza seems to have started a little bit earlier, maybe by six weeks or eight weeks earlier.
Typically, we follow waves of influenza that are seen in the southern hemisphere. And now we’re starting to see increasing numbers of influenza here in the northern hemisphere, which includes the Midwest. If this is a typical influenza season, we’re gonna continue to rise over the next four to six weeks. And so we expect to see peaks of influenza cases requiring hospitalization and utilization of resources, again, likely in the same period late November, early December, and probably stretching through into early January.
So what does this mean? This means that our hospital capacity is gonna continue to be strained. We’re gonna see high volumes in our emergency department and need for patients to be hospitalized because of these respiratory viruses. And this is a concern with regard to RSV and our pediatric population. We are meeting with our Region Seven – which includes Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa – to really understand how our capacity is and how we can access Pediatric Intensive Care Services for patients who might need this, as well as other hospital beds. Our team works closely with Children’s Hospital and you’re gonna meet two of our pediatricians today that help facilitate some of that work.
What can you do about these viruses that I’ve just mentioned to you?
What I think is important for you to be thinking about, as a community, is there’s still time to get your Covid-19 booster. The Bivalent Booster that’s out currently does seem to reduce the severity of illness and risk of death related to these new variants that are out there. As well, get your influenza vaccine. Again, after you get your vaccine or booster, it takes a couple [of] weeks for it to have the maximum effect. If we anticipate these viral loads increasing by the end of this month, you do have time. So my encouragement is for you to get boosted with your Covid-19 bivalent booster and to get your influenza vaccine. Thank you for the time.
Dr. Amy Pinkall, Pediatric Hospital: Thank you, Dr. Trapp.
I’m just going to touch a little bit more on RSV infection and RSV Bronchitis that we’re seeing here in Lincoln and really across the nation. So RSV is a virus that causes infection and it’s common in all ages. As Dr. Trapp said, most children are going to be infected with this virus in the first two years of life. Older kids and adults tend to get cold symptoms. The typical runny nose and congestion. But younger children, especially those under two, can become more ill with what we call Bronchiolitis and they can have much more severe symptoms. So they’ll have fever, coughing, increased work of breathing, hard time catching their breath, wheezing, low oxygen levels, high carbon dioxide levels. And we see that most especially in babies who are of a younger age and that were born prematurely, or children that have underlying health conditions such as heart disease or things like that.
And we’ve been seeing record numbers of RSV as Dr. Trapp mentioned, and we’re seeing it much earlier and much more of it than we have seen other seasons, and we anticipate that we’ll continue over the next few months.
Additionally, these children have been more sick than we typically see with RSV. We’ve had more children needing transfer to intensive care units, such as Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. And that’s been difficult for our babies. Unfortunately, there’s not any specific treatment for RSV infection. It’s really a supportive care. So we can give people oxygen, we can give breathing support. We can give IV fluids or tube feedings to help support their hydration and nutrition. But no medicine per se to make it better. Sometimes people ask about things like breathing treatments or steroids or antibiotics and, unfortunately, none of those are gonna help our kids get better faster.
So we expect to continue to see these high numbers of RSV and we really hope we can prevent some of that infection. There is no vaccine currently for RSV. So the best methods of prevention are avoiding sick contacts, good hand washing, keeping your child home if they’re sick, and otherwise staying generally healthy. So being fully vaccinated for other illnesses may help prevent that co-infection with other illnesses like influenza and Covid-19. All right, Dr. Jones- Jobst.
Dr. Sian Jones-Jobst, Pediatrician: Thanks Dr. Pinkall. So I’m a general pediatrician in the community and we are seeing quite a bit of RSV right now in the office, along with many other respiratory viruses some Enterovirus, Human Metapneumovirus.
It’s not uncommon, actually, when we do have kids who are seen in the emergency room and do get a viral panel that they have multiple viruses, two or more at the same time. But quite a bit of what we are seeing is RSV. We are filling our same-day sick appointments in the office, which is unusual this early in the season. Usually, that’s something that hits in late November, early December, and through January/February. So it’s definitely been an earlier rise and we are starting to see some influenza as well.
So, as Dr. Trapp and Dr. Pinkall said, please get your influenza shot. That will help to prevent some of those dual diagnoses of different viruses, which tend to be more significant in the office.
We wanna see your child who has increased work of breathing. Maybe they sound like they’re wheezing. They might have what we call retraction. So, when they breathe, their chest collapses a little bit because they’re trying to get air in and they can’t get air in. And so their chest collapses instead. If they’re having a hard time staying hydrated. Most babies with RSV Bronchiolitis and young children with RSV Bronchiolitis have a hard time staying hydrated because it’s more difficult for them to eat. That’s another reason to call your doctor’s office or to have them seen right away. And, definitely, if they’re very irritable, fussy. Or perhaps have a fever in children less than three months of age. If they have a fever over 100.4, we wanna see them in the office and make sure they don’t have something in addition to a cold or a viral URI. We also wanna see older… children older than three months of age if they have a fever over 104 or a fever that lasts for more than four days, or perhaps a fever that’s hitting at the end of an illness. It’s not unusual for children with RSV and other respiratory viruses to have secondary bacterial infections like ear infections or pneumonia.
So those are the types of things you wanna be watching for when babies come into the office. You can expect that they may have their oxygen levels checked. We’re gonna count their respiratory rates and watch to see how fast they’re breathing and listen to them. There’s no particular treatment, as Dr. Pinkall said, for RSV. But, really, what we do is teach parents to do supportive care at home. Most babies with RSV Bronchiolitis can be taken care of at home. They just require humidity to keep the mucus moist so it can move in the airway, frequent suctioning to keep that upper airway clear, and usually smaller volume feedings.
When they come to the office, one of our most important jobs is to see how well they’re breathing and make sure that, if they do need transfer to the hospital for more intensive care than can be given at home, that Dr. Pinkall can take care of them. So… and her crew, who we very much appreciate.
I would say there are some times where RSV Bronchiolitis could be an emergency at home, and it’s definitely something that you wanna take them in right away. Definitely, if you have a baby who’s extremely lethargic, not waking up for feedings, or appears like they’re not trying to breathe very hard. That’s a late sign that we really have some complications from RSV. And that’s a reason to take them in. And, of course, if they have blueness of the face or the skin or the lips or the fingernails, or if they look like they’re struggling to breathe, then they can’t get air or you’re worried about dehydration. So any of those might be a reason to take them in right away.
We don’t have a vaccine for RSV yet. And, so, right now one of the best things that you can do is to wash your hands. Stay home if you’re sick, if you have to be other around others and you have symptoms of illness, it does help to wear a mask. It does prevent spread to others with that source control. But RSV is really spread person-to-person and from contact with surfaces that are contaminated with the virus. So keep your hands away from your face. Don’t allow children and people to share beverages, to share things together. Even wiping down toys frequently if you have kids from different households that are sharing toys, can help to prevent the spread of RSV.
If you have a child who’s at higher risk of complications from RSV, as Dr. Pinkall mentioned, somebody who maybe was born very prematurely or is very small or still very young, less than six months of age, or has a heart defect and they have more difficulty breathing… those are kids that you wanna try to avoid going out in group situations.
Oftentimes, I’ll tell new moms and dads, you know, this is a great time to let individuals come to your home and say hello. Kick them out if they look like they’re sick. Even if Uncle Tom says it’s just his allergies, maybe he should not come to the house until he’s got those cleared. And then keep your baby… either wear your baby in a sling or a wrap or keep your baby in a carrier because people are less likely to try to help you by carry[ing] your baby or pass[ing] your baby around. So those are things to try as well, to help prevent the illness. Probably one of the best things that you can do is get your vaccine for Influenza C and I’ll put a plug in there too for Whooping Cough or Pertussis. We definitely don’t wanna see children with RSV, if we can avoid it. But, even more so, we don’t wanna see children with RSV and influenza. or RSV and Covid-19. Or RSV and Pertussis. And so the best way to protect young infants from these illnesses when they’re too young to be vaccinated is to go ahead and vaccinate everybody around them.
Children six months and up can get a Flu vaccine, children six months and up can get a Covid-19 vaccine. And everyone should get their Pertussis series. All the adults in the household should get their T-DAP if they haven’t had one in the last 10 years. So that’s probably the main things I’ll mention today.
I did see there’s a question about an RSV vaccine. We have had exciting news in the last week. There is a potential RSV vaccine that Pfizer has said that they’re gonna submit to the FDA sometime before the end of 2022 for approval. This is a vaccine, not for children for RSV, but for pregnant mothers.
So the idea is you give the pregnant mother the RSV vaccine, they develop antibody, it passes to the infant, and then, when they’re born, which is at their highest risk point for having complications from RSV, they should have antibody on board. It looks like it is about 80% effective in preventing severe RSV and hospitalization, and about 50% effective in preventing RSV infection itself. So that’s great news for those of us who take care of some of these infants. But we don’t have it yet, so we’ll have to stay tuned for that.
Edgar Bumanis, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Bryan Health: Thank you, Doctor.
The other question already submitted through chat deals with the high numbers of rsv. The question is ‘“could it be because people kept their children at home more and they weren’t able to build up immune systems to fight RSV?”
Dr. Amy Pinkall, Pediatric Hospital: Hi. I’ll just speak to that question. That’s a good question. It’s not related to them being home and not building up their immune system. RSV is a virus that we see every year all the time. There’s different strains of it each year and some years it’s just more prevalent and more virulent and this just happens to be one of those years. And most of these children that we’re seeing with the severe infection are under two years of age and even under one year of age. So they haven’t been around to be exposed to RSV prior to this.
Edgar Bumanis, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Bryan Health: Any other questions? I’ll give it just another minute to see if anyone else has anything else to submit.
As always, if you have any follow-up questions, please reach out to Brad.
All right. With no other questions. Thank you everyone for joining us. Thank you Physicians for joining us.
Amantha Dickman, News Director: And that was the Bryan Health team – which includes Doctors John Trapp, Amy Pinkall, and Sian Jones-Jobst – to tell us more about maintaining personal health this winter.
With that, we have one more break scheduled. This will give everyone one more opportunity to head over to our website at kzum.org where you can find the link for our “Public Perceptions of the News” survey. I’m asking you to please take the survey and help us prepare for our upcoming media literacy series! And, then, we’ll be back after a couple of messages from local businesses.
[“KZUM News” transition music, an original piece composed by Jack Rodenburg, fades in and then out. KZUM Radio’s usual underwriting and public services announcements air at scheduled times throughout the hour.]
Amantha Dickman, News Director: And welcome back to the last segment of the day.
If you are not familiar with Ignite Lincoln, I want to give you an introduction before we jump in.
According to organizers, Ignite was ‘born’ in 2006 in Seattle. Since then, Ignite events have been held in more than 350 cities around the globe. The goal of Ignite is to help build community through public speaking. This allows anyone, anywhere to present their ideas and stories.
Of course, you might still have some questions about how Ignite Lincoln works. So I’ll break it down for you. These events have a line-up of speakers who are each given five minutes to speak on a subject they are passionate about. Additionally, they have each put together a slideshow that goes along with their presentation.
Now, we are a radio station. Obviously, we can’t show you the slideshows. That is why we have linked to Ignite Lincoln’s youtube page in today’s transcript at kzum.org. If you head over there, you can watch the slideshows that go with each speaker.
We were lucky enough to be invited to cover this year’s event, which took place on August 11. And several community members came prepared to present. And so, we will be including a presentation or two in each show until we have covered all of the presentations.
Today, we have two different speakers. The first is Ann Walters Tillery with a presentation named “How my Cell Phone Saved My Life!” and the second is Michael Reinmiller to talk about the Free Little Pantries here in Lincoln. So let’s let them do the talking, shall we?
Ann Walters Tillery, Ignite Lincoln Presenter: It was just a regular Zoom call, until it wasn’t.
On May 18, 2021, I was alone in a room on a zoom call when suddenly my speech started to slur the left side of my face drooped and my left arm went heavy. I knew I was having a stroke and I saw it on my screen. I stood up to get help but fell to the floor as my left side was already paralyzed. Thankfully, I had my cell phone in my hand.
911, in a recording as part of Ann Walters Tillery’s Presentation: 911, what’s your emergency?
Ann Walters Tillery, in a recording as part of Ann Walters Tillery’s Presentation: Help. I think I just had a stroke.
911, in a recording as part of Ann Walters Tillery’s Presentation: What’s your address?
Ann Walters Tillery, in a recording as part of Ann Walters Tillery’s Presentation: University of Nebraska Foundation, third floor. I’m in the middle room. The doors closed. I can’t get anybody’s attention.
911, in a recording as part of Ann Walters Tillery’s Presentation: Okay. Just stay on the phone with me.
Ann Walters Tillery, in a recording as part of Ann Walters Tillery’s Presentation: I’m laying on the floor.
911, in a recording as part of Ann Walters Tillery’s Presentation: Okay.
Ann Walters Tillery, in a recording as part of Ann Walters Tillery’s Presentation: I’m 60 years old. My name is Ann Tillery.
Ann Walters Tillery, Ignite Lincoln Presenter: I was in the ER at Bryan Health West within 25 minutes of noticing the first signs of stroke. A CT scan revealed I had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, a brain bleed caused by high blood pressure.
I thought “That’s odd.” I had just had my annual wellness check six weeks prior. I didn’t know I had high blood pressure. I spent two days in ICU, 13 days in Bryan Health’s Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit with an incredibly talented team of o.t. [occupational therapist], p.t. [physical therapist], and speech therapists who taught me how to stand, bathe, groom, dress myself and finally walk again.
For the next six months, I worked with outpatient o.t., p.t., and speech therapist on strength endurance, fine motor skills of the hand problem solving, and executive functioning skills of the brain. Here’s what I learned.
The amount of care and dedication that my doctors, nurses, and therapy team committed to my recovery all during a pandemic. I am forever grateful. I’m also grateful for my 12 years of practicing yoga, which expedited my ability to get back on my feet. However, it was my therapist who truly believed in me achieving my ambitious rehabilitation goals and when they believed I could, then so did I. The brain is incredibly remarkable.
I learned the first three to six months after stroke is the most critical time to create new brain pathways and hopes of regaining as much mobility as possible to return to prior level of function. But gains can still be made 18 months and beyond. In the first weeks after my stroke, I wondered if I would ever regain full use of my left hand. But fast forward now to 15 months. I’m not only back to my daily yoga practice but regained the ability to do left-arm side planks and chatas.
Therapy has allowed me to get back to my active lifestyle and really enjoy life. According to the American Heart Association, their life’s eight essentials are the key measures for improving cardiovascular health. And recently added to the list the importance of seven to nine hours of quality sleep nightly. When I reflect [on] what had negatively impacted my health during the pandemic, I know the quality and length of my sleep suffered. My diet included much more processed foods than normal. My exercise routine was off and I never worried about my blood pressure. But I should have.
My blood pressure has naturally spiked at the doctor’s office. Something referred to as white coat syndrome. Both my doctor and I were not concerned during appointments because of this. Now I monitor my blood pressure regularly. I’ve been told my quick action call [to] 911, coupled with my active lifestyle prior to stroke, was the difference between life and death and recovery versus disability.
Yet also important to my recovery was the solid support of medical professionals, my employer, the University of Nebraska Foundation, my daughters, family, friends, and grandkids. I am most grateful.
In closing here are four takeaways.
One, if you’re alone, carry your phone. In this new norm virtual environments, be prepared in case of a medical emergency. We know how to respond to it in case of a fire or a tornado or an in-person medical emergency. But if you are in a virtual setting, have your phone and be prepared to call 911.
Two, replace the word someday from your vocabulary. Tomorrow is not promised. If it’s important, put a date on your calendar and start planning. My family and I had talked about taking a family trip someday. But five months post-stroke, we made it happen and we went to Disneyland.
Three, time equals brain tissue. Five minutes. That’s how long it took for my stroke to attack my body and leave me paralyzed. Don’t hesitate. The faster you get to the E.R., the faster medical professionals can help you recover.
Four, learn how to spot a stroke with the acronym F.A.S.T: facial droop, arm weakness, slurred speech, time to call 911. The life you save may be your own.
Michael Reinmiller, Ignite Lincoln Presenter: Excellent. My name’s Michael Reinmiller. How is everybody?
All right, so here’s the deal. I started a little free pantry. I’m gonna say just before Christmas, just before the pandemic hit. My father-in-law built this thing. We put it up and it blew up. Not physically. People started hitting that thing like clockwork. Next thing you know the pandemic hits. And I couldn’t keep it stuffed.
My church stepped up, my friends showed up. Holy cow. It was packed. It was like a Denver International airport in front of my house. It was crazy. So people were like, “This is really cool.” People wanted a reason to volunteer because they were stuck at home and they saw a need. Well, my father-in-law here and that amazingly handsome young man was, he built, I dunno, 14 or 15 of them total. Now we’ve got over 40 of them in the city of Lincoln. Another one goes in, I think next week.
The amount of food insecurity is just… it’s baffling. If you look up the stats, the side effect of this project has just been mind-blowing because neighbors are helping neighbors. They see someone across the street, they recognize from church. Or some other community event and they go, “Oh my gosh, they’re hurting for food. I want to help.”
So it’s been really exciting to see people step up. And you can turn the news on and find all kinds of reasons to be mad about stuff. But it’s really cool to look out your front door and go, “I’m helping somebody.” It really fills my bucket. I know it fills other people’s buckets. It’s been really exciting to know people are getting help. When you want to help, often you write a check and it’s gone. But when you see people walking up and you see a lady open her minivan, full of crying kids and she’s in tears loading up food for her kids? It makes my arm hair stand just thinking about it. It’s really heartwarming.
So this has kind of turned into a project for my family and I. And my poor friends that I annoy. We get together on weekends, we fill the truck up full of food, and my son yells, “I wanna go help people.” And I’m like, “Yes.” So if I mess up everything from here on, that’s what I want to do.
Other folk, we’ve done weird stuff like this shot here is the journal star, those old metal cabinets. My father-in-law did some concoctions with them and they’re now little free pantries.
We’ve got lockers in town that are little free pantries. It’s just been really exciting seeing neighborhood organizations get together. And some people will take turns, like “You do it, you fill two boxes on Thursday and I’ll do it on Monday.” And all of a sudden there’s people filling and people taking. It’s really about love.
And my neighbor. There’s a whole group there, of, I think a year or two ago it was, those are all pantry owners. We got together and talked about “What are your needs? What can we do to help?”
UNMC donated several hundred pounds of toothpaste. You know what 200 pounds of toothpaste looks like in the back of a Nissan? It just kind of squats. My truck smelled really good for like a month.
But anyway, it’s just really cool. And you think about if you’re in hockey, basketball, football, any sport in the world, right? The more aggressive you are, the more successful you are, right? I mean, you don’t see Bo Jackson going, “Hi, I’m gonna go play some football now.”
You… so my sales pitch here is I’m gonna ask you to help me by being aggressively compassionate. Now, just think about that for a second. What it means to be aggressively compassionate. Not, “Hi, how are you doing? I wanna help you today.” It’s, “I see a need and I’m just gonna do it. I’m not gonna ask why. I’m not gonna ask how. I’m just gonna do it. And if I mess up, I tried.” So that’s the big pitch.
And the other side of the coin is by doing that, it seriously fills your bucket more than I was expecting. I just thought, put a box out and help out. All of a sudden, every weekend has something to do with this. And it’s just been awesome.
The excitement that last weekend, we filled a pantry with my mom. I took my mom with [me] [be]cause she hadn’t done it. So we go and this lady shows up. And the lady asked if she could pray with my mom. And I just thought, “Wow.” My mom was in almost in tears. And it just… those intimate little moments that you have while filling these pantries and physically helping someone.
And, during a pandemic, you’re able to do that without a mask and a hazmat suit and blah, blah, blah. You can help people and get away.
Look at these stats. One in eight people in southeast Nebraska is food insecure. One out of every eight of you, statistically speaking, doesn’t know where they’re gonna get food tomorrow night.
Let that sink in.
That creeps me out. So I’ve got, again, once again, aggressively compassionate. That’s my pitch. I want you to try and do that. Can I get a, “I’ll do it.”
Ignite Lincoln Crowd: I’ll do it.
Michael Reinmiller, Ignite Lincoln Presenter: Come on. I need more than that.
Thank you. I have a barcode. If it’s not up later, I have a card. Meet me over here if I sounded like any.
Amantha Dickman, News Director: That was Ann Walters Tillery and Michael Reinmiller, with their Ignite Lincoln 2022 presentations. Ann Walters Tillery spoke about how being on a Zoom call saved her life after she had a stroke mid-call. Michael Reinmiller – an organizer and volunteer with the Lincoln Free Little Pantries – told us more about the 40 little free pantries that exist throughout our city.
We are fast approaching the end of the hour, so here are your reminders for today:
The KZUM newsroom is always open to hearing about any questions, concerns, suggestions, or even any story ideas that you want to share with us. All you have to do is give us a call at (402) 474 – 5086, extension line six. If you give us a call and we aren’t available, don’t forget to leave a voicemail. Or, if you aren’t much of a phone person, you can also find our social media handles and more newsroom information at kzum.org under that ‘About’ tab.
Speaking of our website, if you happen to miss a show, you can always head to the “KZUM News” tab where we archive all of our shows and include a transcript with links to that day’s content.
And, lastly, I just want to give a shout-out to Jack Rodenburg of the Rodenburg music experience. He put together all of the amazing original music that our news program uses. So, once again, thank you, Jack.
That wraps up our reminders for now. As you head out into the world, I hope you have a lovely day. Thank you for listening and we hope you’ll join us next time.
[Fades in on the “KZUM News” program music, an original production of Jack Rodenburg. The music fades out.]
You just finished listening to “KZUM News,” an original production of KZUM radio that airs every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Coming up next is “Beta Radio,” so stay tuned.