Emergency Medical Services Week was kicked off Monday at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center with an awards ceremony honoring some of the dedicated individuals who help the public in emergency situations.
Mark Howard, medical center executive director, said the awards were being given to "those who stand above others through their daily efforts or in an individual incident."Howard said Utah is ranked among the top 10 states in quality of emergency medical services, and he complimented emergency personnel on their willingness to be called at any time to meet the needs of their communities.
Fourteen award presentations were made by the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, a division of the Utah Department of Health. Nominations came from throughout the state, with recipients selected by the Utah Paramedics Association, the Utah Emergency Medical Technicians Association and the Utah Chapter of Associated Public Safety Communication Officers.
"They (emergency medical services personnel) are a very dedicated bunch of people," said Jan Buttrey, special projects director for the EMS bureau. "More than 90 percent of the ambulance service in the state of Utah is volunteer. They (the volunteers) do it because they feel a need to protect their own community, and to contribute to their society."
Receiving awards were:
Dispatcher of the Year - Christy Gillies, a dispatcher for the Provo Police Department. She certified as an EMT to enhance her capabilities as an emergency dispatcher. Gillies also has assisted with preparation of a disaster plan for Provo and voluntarily instructed employee groups on what to expect when interacting with an emergency dispatcher.
EMT of the Year - Ned S. Allinson, Eureka, Juab County. Allinson has served 20 years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. Allinson was instrumental in obtaining an ambulance and establishing ambulance service in Eureka. He has also served as a cardiopulmonary resuscitation and EMT instructor and is on the state EMS test team.
EMT Instructor of the Year - DeAnn Barnson, Sandy. Barnson, former director of nursing at Sevier Valley Hospital, became a certified EMT in 1978. Since then, she and her husband, Roger Barnson, who is a paramedic, have formed a company that provides training to emergency service personnel. DeAnn Barnson has helped Primary Children's Medical Center develop the National Pediatric Trauma Life Support training program and has introduced the Prehospital Trauma Life Support training program to EMTs and paramedics throughout Utah.
Paramedic of the Year - Thomas J. Bacon, Park City. Bacon works for the Salt Lake County Fire Department and the Park City Fire District; he was nominated by both agencies. Bacon was certified as a paramedic in 1986, and his efforts were instrumental in development of an EMS system in the Park City area.
Nurse of the Year (two awards given) - Pamela C. Moore and Laurie Storey, both of Salt Lake City. Moore, director of Pediatric LifeFlight for Primary Children's Medical Center, and Storey, a flight nurse for LifeFlight, have been instrumental in educating EMS personnel and hospital care providers in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming about pediatric emergency care. They worked with the Utah Association of EMTs to develop a Pediatric Trauma Life Support Program and with the Salt Lake Kiwanis Club to develop a special accident prevention program being carried to children throughout the state.
Physician of the Year - Dr. Jeff Clawson, Salt Lake City. Since 1976, Clawson has served as physician adviser for the Salt Lake City Fire Department. He has been an active participant on and chairman of the Salt Lake Interhospital Committee, the State Emergency Medical Dispatch and the Paramedic subcommittees and the State EMS Committee. Clawson was instrumental in obtaining passage of legislation to protect emergency medical providers exposed to HIV (AIDS) virus in the line of duty.
A second group of awards was given for outstanding performances in isolated emergency incidents:
Stephanie Seager, Brigham City, who performed CPR on her father after he suffered a heart attack and lapsed into cardiac arrest until she was relieved by Brigham City police officers. The elder Seager later underwent a heart transplant and is alive today.
Karen Wright, a Davis County sheriff's dispatcher, for leading a hysterical 16-year-old boy through CPR when his grandfather collapsed.
Steve Chandler, Ken Johanson and Lynn Schofield of the Springville Ambulance Association, who on Christmas Day 1987, responded to a call described as a knife wound. The EMTs arrived on the scene and found 5-year-old Kyle Dawson with an 8-inch knife protruding from his right eye. The crew stabilized the knife and transported Dawson to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, where it was determined that the knife had entered brain tissue. Because of the extreme care taken by the ambulance crew, no long-term damage occurred to the boy's eye or brain tissue.
Sgt. Kevin McLeod and Deputy Jordan R. John of the Davis County sheriff's office, who on May 14 responded to a vehicle explosion and fire on I-15 in Woods Cross. The paramedics were on the scene within one minute and found the victim lying in the median strip, badly burned. The paramedics controlled a large crowd that had gathered and stabilized the patient while requesting air transportation to the University of Utah Burn Center.