EMS Week Spotlight of Dr. Wendell

Your Anne Arundel County Professional Fire Fighters work with many highly trained professionals to protect the citizens of the County.  This month, we wish to turn the spotlight on our Medical Director, Dr. John Wendell, M.D. and highlight his leadership with our Rapid Sequence Induction and Intubation providers. 

Dr. John Wendell is a trusted colleague whose strong background in emergency medicine garners respect.  Before moving to Anne Arundel County, Dr. Wendell completed his residency at University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma and a fellowship at Duke University in Emergency Management Services and Disaster Medicine. 

A team player, Dr. Wendell wants the public to appreciate the incredible training it takes to become an Anne Arundel County Fire Fighter.  “Fire Fighter/Paramedics can do everything.  They can put out a house fire, cut you out of your car, and save you from a heart attack.

Dr. Wendell leads the County’s Rapid Sequence Induction and Intubation (RSI) training.  In the entire state of Maryland, only Anne Arundel County Professional Fire Fighters/Paramedics and the Maryland State Police are trained to perform RSI. 

RSI is a special process for endotracheal intubation that is used when the patient is having difficulty breathing.  This is a higher risk skill, as it takes the patient’s ability to breathe on their own away.  Dr. Wendell stresses that the skill lies in knowing when to use the skill, and when to not. 

Dr. Wendell leads a team of 51 highly qualified providers trained to provide RSI.  All EMS Supervisors in the County are RSI trained.  Dr. Wendell believes his job is to help the Fire Fighter/Paramedics improve on the good things they do, and to make them better. 

In addition to his responsibilities as the Medical Director for the Fire Department, Dr. Wendell works clinically at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where he gets to interact with Anne Arundel County Professional Fire Fighters/Paramedics every day.  He reports that 60% of all the County’s medical transports route to that hospital and this provides an additional layer of teamwork; it’s not uncommon for a Fire Fighter/Paramedic to call or text him asking for an update on a patient they delivered to him for care. 

Your Anne Arundel County Professional Fire Fighters appreciate all Dr. Wendell does to keep our citizens safe, while ensuring we are held to the very highest standards of medical care. 


Marina Hardy