This week Vermont is recognizing the 50th anniversary of Emergency Medical Services, or EMS, in the United States. The Vermont Department of Health is marking the occasion with an award ceremony to honor some superlative emergency responders. The state also hopes to drum up interest in EMS volunteering.
“EMS Week is an opportunity for all of us to show our deep appreciation to the thousands of EMS providers who serve every corner of our state,” Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen said in a press release. “It is also a chance to showcase their often life-saving work, and to encourage more Vermonters to volunteer in their communities, and consider careers as first responders and EMS professionals.”
A year ago Vermont launched a recruitment effort for emergency responders, including the On Call for Vermont website.
This year's Vermont EMS Lifetime Award will be given to Hyde Park residents George and Dorothy Cook, who started the Morristown Rescue Squad and have served on the Hyde Park Fast Squad. Other award recipients include:
- Advanced Life Support Provider of the Year – Jean-Pierre Gervais, Lyndon Rescue Squad
- Ambulance Service of the Year – South Burlington Fire Department
- Basic Life Support Provider of the Year – Crystalee O’Dell, Pownal Rescue Squad
- EMS for Children Champion of the Year – Jillian McLaughlin, Lyndon Rescue Squad
- EMS Educator of the Year – Kate Soons, EMS District 3
- First Responder Service of the Year – Mount Mansfield Ski Patrol
The award ceremony will be part of an event being held Tuesday, May 17 at the Vermont Statehouse. Between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. there will be vintage equipment on display, car seat inspections, blood pressure checks, CPR training, search and rescue demonstrations and more. In the case of rain, the event will be pushed back to Friday.