Emergency Medical Services Providers Are Honored For Their Service to Vermont Communities

For Immediate Release: April 6, 2004

Contact:  Vermont Department of Health
Communication Office
802- 863-7281

BURLINGTON – The highlight of the 16 th Annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Conference was the recognition of the outstanding contributions of Vermont’s emergency services personnel. This year’s conference was held March 24-28 at the Sheraton Hotel in South Burlington .

Senator Patrick Leahy received an award from the Vermont Ambulance Association for his work in obtaining funding for Vermont’s first responders to respond to terrorism. Deputy Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt presented the award for the 2004 Ambulance Service of the Year and praised the group for their public service, dedication, and commitment to their community.

Awards were presented to the following exceptional individuals and organizations that made outstanding accomplishments in the past year:

2004 Vermont SAFEKIDS Injury Prevention Award: The Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program and its leader Jeanne Johnson were recognized for their injury prevention work in Vermont . The program has been instrumental in the development of child safety and restraint laws. Vermont was recently ranked highest in the nation (of states with secondary compliance laws) for the use of safety belts. This is due in part to the Highway Safety Program’s Click It or Ticket initiative.

2004 First Responder Emergency Care Attendant Award: Philip H. Bothwell of the Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services. Philip‘s willingness to help others is evident through his participation in his squad’s mentoring program and his community work as coordinator of the Red Cross baby sitter training program. He also serves his squad as communication officer and organization secretary.

2004 EMT-Basic of the Year: Michael Linnehan of the Southwestern Vermont Regional Ambulance Service. Besides being an employee of the ambulance service, he is the training officer for another EMS squad, is a CPR instructor, serves as an examiner for EMS recertification exams in his area, volunteers with homeless shelters in Vermont and Massachusetts, and has helped in a humanitarian mission to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Michael is a member of the Air Force Reserves and was deployed overseas during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

2004 EMT-Intermediate of the Year: Ann Rivers of the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad. Other members of her squad describe Ann as being a compassionate, caring person who provides support and knowledge to both her patients and her crew. Ann has also served her squad in formal ways: organizing an annual community-wide fund raising raffle, years of service on the squad’s Executive Board, holding squad officer positions of clerk, secretary/treasurer and vice-president, and as a driver or crew chief for a typical 20 shifts each month.

2004 EMT Paramedic of the Year: Alf Rylander of the White River Valley Ambulance Service. Alf began his work in EMS as a basic level provider and has advanced his training and service in Vermont and other states. He is now the field supervisor for his squad and an instructor for advanced EMS training courses. His nomination letter included a testimonial from a choking patient, whose life was saved when Alf successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver.

2004 EMS Educator of the Year: Connie Faulkner from Rescue, Inc. in Brattleboro. Connie operates a training center on behalf of her squad that has grown to become the largest American Heart Association CPR educational program in Vermont. Her students have experienced a 96 percent completion of both First Responder and EMT-basic exams, which speaks to her commitment to the success of her students. She coordinates nearly a third of the First Responder training courses in the state.

2004 EMS Leader of the Year: Marjory Brooks, EMT-Intermediate of the Barton Ambulance Service - posthumous. In 2002, her squad received the Ambulance Service of the Year Award. Marjory served her small community for over 30 years. She recruited people, taught courses, met the area’s needs with innovative programs, helped build a new EMS building, and established her organization as an indispensable layer in the fabric of community life. The state, Vermont’s EMS system, her squad, and her family all suffered a great loss with her death in the line of duty on August 25, 2003. Her name has been placed on the Vermont EMS Life Service memorial with others who have died in the line of service. Later this spring she will be recognized in the National EMS Memorial in Roanoke , VA.

2004 Emergency Nurse of the Year: Jeanne Smith, RN of Mount Ascutney Hospital. Working in a small hospital means that nurses wear many hats. Jeanne excels at her emergency care with specialty training as a sexual assault nurse examiner, trauma nurse, and pediatric emergency nurse. She provides patient education that helps them make good choices about their care and helps the emergency room keep the human touch in what can sometimes be an overwhelmingly unfamiliar and technological setting for patients. She also serves the community as a leader of a support group for ostomy patients in her area.

2004 Emergency Physician of the Year: John Hartmann, MD of the Rutland Regional Medical Center. In his role as district medical advisor, Dr. Hartmann provided training, reviewed 50 to 100 cases per month for quality improvement purposes, and provided medical direction in all aspects of training, system design, and performance improvement. In addition, he was often counselor, advocate, teacher and occasionally a disciplinarian for his district’s first responders. Dr. Hartmann recently left his position as district medical advisor.

2004 First Responder Service of the Year: The Winhall Police and Rescue. This squad is one of the few police-based EMS organizations and is staffed by both police officers and community volunteers. Every full-time police officer holds an EMT-basic or higher level of certification. Every cruiser in the department is equipped with life - saving medical supplies and equipment. Beyond the delivery of conventional emergency medical care, this department does wilderness search and rescue and snowmobile rescue.

2004 Ambulance Service of the Year: The Fairhaven Rescue Squad. Every ambulance service in Vermont does its best to provide exemplary emergency medical care. This squad goes above and beyond this through their commitment to the organization’s improvement. The Fairhaven squad reviews every call and surveys every patient to determine if their service is of high quality and meets the needs of the community. They have worked closely with schools in the five rural communities the squad covers to develop emergency plans. Integration with community preparedness beyond emergency response has built the visibility and credibility of this organization.

For more information about the Emergency Medical Services system in Vermont, call 1-800-244-0911 (in VT) or 1-802-863-7310. You can also obtain information by going to the Vermont Department of Health website at www.healthyvermonters.info .