Contributions of Emergency Medical Services Providers Honored at Annual Conference

For Immediate Release:
April 28, 2003

Contact: Dan Manz
EMS Office Chief
800-244-0911 (in VT) or 802-863-7310

BURLINGTON, VT—Honoring the outstanding contributions of emergency medical services personnel in Vermont was the highlight of the 15th Annual Emergency Medical Services Conference, held in April at the Sheraton Hotel in South Burlington. Over 600 people attended this year’s event. Commissioner of Health Dr. Paul Jarris presented the Ambulance Service of the Year award, and both he and Governor Jim Douglas thanked the group for their dedicated public service.

Twelve awards were presented to exemplary individuals and organizations:

2003 First Responder Emergency Care Attendant of the Year - Phillip Edgerly of Newport Ambulance Service and Newport City Fire Department. He began as a firefighter and is training to become an emergency medical technician (EMT). Peers say he is a gung-ho learner with great potential to advance in the emergency medical services field.

2003 Ambulance Service of the Year - White River Valley Ambulance Service. Servicing eight communities, they are a “model of excellence” by providing paramedic services throughout their district, sponsoring training sessions, and developing emergency service response plans for public buildings, schools, businesses and industry sites.

2003 EMT-Basic of the Year - Jerry Senturia from the Peacham Fire Department and CALEX Ambulance Service. Jerry has been instrumental in organizing and licensing his fire department as a First Responder service, and also raised funds for important equipment purchases. He is highly praised by the public he serves.

2003 EMT-Intermediate of the Year - Ronnie Sunderland from the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association. “Mentor” is a term that many people use to describe Ronnie’s contributions. He is a positive leadership figure for emergency medical services trainees, has been an active member of his squad for 10 years, and as a volunteer, was the driver or crew chief on 263 emergency calls last year.

2003 Vermont EMS Physician of the Year - Dr. John Carmody from Rescue, Inc. in Brattleboro. He has been the medical director for 20 years, and helped to forge an inseparable relationship between the medical community and emergency services squad. He is retiring from clinical practice after 30 year as a surgeon.

2003 Vermont SAFEKIDS Injury Prevention Award - Stephanie Courcy of the Vermont Department of Health. The SAFEKIDS organization is dedicated to improving the safety of Vermont kids, and Stephanie is the chairperson of the Vermont Injury Prevention Advisory Committee. She authored the 2001 Vermont Injury Prevention Plan.

2003 VT EMT-Paramedic of the Year - Eric Hebert of the Barre City Fire Department. Nurses and physicians in the local hospital emergency department signed a joint letter of recommendation because they are so impressed with him. He was the first person to become a paramedic in the district, and did everything from create the paramedic program, to making himself available 24 hours a day through the program’s first year.

2003 EMS Educator of the Year - Scott Supernaw, Regional Ambulance Service and Central Vermont Hospital. He began working as a paramedic in 1991, and is a top-quality educator, instructing on many levels of emergency medical services. He lives for the challenge of patient care and for the challenges of education.

Chuck Hoag Memorial Scholarship, given by the Vermont Ambulance Association - Jason Osborne and Jeffrey Cochran of White River Valley Ambulance Service. Jason is pursuing paramedic certification, is dive rescue certified, instructs an EMT basic course, and works as an auxiliary trooper for the Vermont State Police. Jeffrey is attending paramedic training, volunteers with a squad in his community, teaches CPR, is a call firefighter, coaches a local sports team and works with a mentally challenged young man.

2003 EMS Leader of the Year - Bea Laramie from Fair Haven Rescue. Bea took on the leadership of a foundering ambulance service, turned things around, and made the squad a model for others to follow. In her spare time she contributes to her district by coordinating and assisting with EMS course instruction.

2003 Vermont EMS First Responder Service of the Year - Hinesburg Fire Department First Responders. First responders play a vital role in the state’s EMS system by reaching patients quickly and providing life saving interventions. The Hinesburg group has been providing service for three years, and has made some big strides in the community. The squad is well integrated with Hinesburg’s other municipal services.

2003 EMS Nurse of the Year - Debbie Bach from the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital and Danville Rescue. Debbie began her career in EMS as a first aider, and advanced to beginner (EMT-B) and then intermediate (EMT-I) emergency medical technician. She became a nurse eight years ago, and teaches CPR, First Responder, EMT-B and EMT-I. Although she became a nurse supervisor recently, she will continue to teach and advocate for the EMS system.

For more information about the Emergency Medical Services system in Vermont, call 1-800-244-0911 (in VT) or 1-802-863-7310.