Several emergency responders were awarded for outstanding service to their communities at the 40th Annual Northwest Georgia Region 1 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council Awards Banquet on March 14, 2019.
Held this year at the West Georgia Technical College campus in Waco, Georgia, the banquet occurs annually to honor Emergency Medical Services providers and stakeholders from Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker and Whitfield counties for excellence in pre-hospital care, education, pioneering and special achievements.
The ceremony for the 40th year celebration began with the presentation of *Pioneer of Region 1 EMS Awards to original council members: Buddy Autry, Larry Ballew, Patti Nethery, Johnny Crabtree, Robert Graham, Robert Gammon and Herman Spivey, M.D.
*Special Award Georgia Region 1 EMS Office recognition went to former employees of the Region 1 Office of EMS: Jim Cutcher, Mike Ellington, Phil Frazier, Ian Hamilton, M.D., Lisa Norton, Jordon Pierson, David Loftin and David Foster.
*These major 2019 Northwest Georgia Region 1 EMS Awards were presented, as follows:
- EMS REGION 1 PERSON OF THE YEAR – THE ONE: Scott Stephens, Region 1 EMS-C Chair
- DAVID LOFTIN PEDIATRIC CALL OF THE YEAR: Jeremy Thompson and R.G. Hice, II of AdventHealth Murray EMS, Murray County
- TOMMY GAYLER MEDICAL CALL OF THE YEAR: Bill Walthour and Kasey Rollins of Metro Atlanta Ambulance Service, Paulding County
- DR. RICHARD A GRAY EXCELLENCE IN TRAUMA AWARD: Alex Case, Cody Doyle and Kyle Cross of Puckett EMS North Georgia, Dade County
- DR. VIRGINIA HAMILTON SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: William “Bill” Peace of Rome, Georgia – Floyd County 911 Center
- DR. JAMES H CREEL, JR PIONEER OF THE YEAR: Scott Johnson of Redmond EMS, based in Rome, Georgia, serving Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties
- MIKE MILLER EMS EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR: Daniel Lynn of Puckett EMS North Georgia
- STANLEY PAYNE EMS LEADERSHIP AWARD: Daniel Smith of Redmond EMS, based in Rome, Georgia, serving Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties
- EMS REGION 1 EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN (EMT) OF THE YEAR: Ken Bruce of Gordon EMS, Gordon County
- DANNY HALL MEMORIAL PARAMEDIC OF YEAR: Randy Goodwin of Hamilton EMS, Whitfield County
- REGION 1 EMS SERVICE OF THE YEAR: Hamilton EMS, Whitfield County
- DR. PAUL “NASTY” NASSOUR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Larry Ballew (retired), Murray EMS, Murray County
REGION 1 EMS AWARDS DESCRIPTIONS
The ONE Award
The ONE Award is given to a person who has been the most beneficial to assisting the Region with various projects over the past year. This person has gone above and beyond the expectations of the Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) Regional Director for the project(s) in which they have been involved. The recipient of this award is selected by the Region 1 OEMS Director.
David Loftin Pediatric Call of the Year Award
David Loftin who was the first paramedic in Floyd County and was hired to write a federal grant to establish an EMS System in northwest Georgia. The grant was successful, and he worked over the next thirty years to establish Advanced Life Support on every ambulance answering emergency calls in Northwest Georgia. He was one of the first 6 paramedic instructors in Georgia and he also worked with the Safe Kids organizations and child car-seat safety programs for 16 years. He is now retired but is still involved in projects with Northwest Georgia EMS Systems, Inc. and the Coverdale Stroke Consortium. The recipient of this award is selected by David Loftin along with the scores of 2 other independent judges.
The Tommy Gayler Medical Call of the Year Award
Tommy Gayler became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in 1977. He was an original EMS provider with Tri-County Ambulance (Hutcheson Medical Center EMS), Chattooga Ambulance Service, and he then went to Douglas County Fire. He then became a registered nurse and flew with several helicopter services, and he worked in several hospitals around the area. Tommy was instrumental in training and mentoring many EMS providers and nurses throughout his career. The recipient of this award is selected by an average of the scores of 3 independent judges.
Dr. Richard Gray Trauma Call of the Year Award
Dr. Gray was a well-respected general surgeon in the Rome area serving as the first trauma surgeon at Floyd Medical Center which was the first trauma center in Georgia. He was hired by Region 1 EMS to establish a trauma system in the sixteen county areas of northwest Georgia. He participated in the establishment of trauma triage protocols and in Advanced Trauma Life Support training for physicians. He was known for his dedication, willingness to share his knowledge and his great kindness. The recipient of this award is selected by an average of the scores of 3 independent judges.
Dr. Virginia Hamilton Special Service Award
Dr. Hamilton was the first female District Health Director in Georgia. In 1979, Dr. Hamilton formed the Region 1 EMS Council and applied for the Federal EMS grant that created the Northwest Georgia EMS System. She hired the first Regional EMS staff and continued to be involved in the development phase of the program. She retired after decades of service as one of the most respected district health directors in the history of Georgia. She is truly a pioneer of both Public Health and EMS development. The recipient of this award is selected by an average of the scores of 3 independent judges.
Dr. James H Creel Jr Pioneer of the Year Award
Dr. Creel was named as the first Regional Medical Director of EMS for Region 1. Dr. Creel had already established a smaller version of a regional EMS system in the Dade, Walker and Catoosa County area in the 1970s and with his appointment, the boundaries of his region were extended to 16 counties. He worked to establish a better relationship between physicians and EMS personnel through the establishment of medical control and joint training courses. This award honors a person who has been instrumental in the development of the Regions EMS system and has served multiple roles throughout their career for the betterment of our profession. The recipient of this award is selected by an average of the scores of 3 independent judges.
Mike Miller EMS Educator of the Year Award
Mike Miller was hired in the early 1980’s as one of the regional EMS training coordinators and was responsible for the lower third of the Northwest Georgia Region. Most of the original paramedics were trained by him and registered nurse Mary Hamilton through courses offered at Floyd Medical Center and Coosa Valley Technical School. He was also assigned by EMS Region 1 to improve the EMT course pass rates which he accomplished before his untimely death from complications of his diabetes. His students all considered him one of the greatest teachers they have known. The recipient of this award is selected by an average of the scores of 3 independent judges.
Stanley Payne Memorial Region 1 EMS Leadership Award
Stanley Payne was one of the three original employees of Floyd Medical Center EMS and served as the director for decades until his untimely death. Stanley was an innovator and began to suggest design changes in ambulance design which are still being used. Stanley served as the chairman of the Region 1 EMS Council and EMSAC but will always be remembered for his random acts of kindness to his employees and the underprivileged in Floyd County. This award is now open to any EMS Management/Supervisory personnel who displays excellence in Leadership and not just managerial duties. The recipient of this award is selected by an average of the scores of 3 independent judges.
Region 1 EMT of the Year Award
This award is presented to a currently licensed Region 1 EMT, EMT-I, or AEMT and is employed by, or volunteers with, a Region 1 Licensed EMS Provider (Ambulance, 1stResponder or Air Service) who has contributed significantly to EMS at the community, regional, and/or state level as defined as going far above and beyond the call of duty, whether in the direct delivery of patient care or in programs offered to the community that enhance the standing of EMS and/or the education of the public. The recipient of this award is selected by an average of the scores of 3 independent judges.
Danny Hall Paramedic of the Year Award
Danny was involved in Fire and EMS Services in both Floyd and Murray Counties for decades. He was a paramedic supervisor for Floyd Medical Center EMS and was regularly involved in training across the Region. His uncompromising dedication for quality patient care was demonstrated by his willingness to work at Floyd Medical Center EMS with colon cancer to within weeks of his death. Those that knew him
said that he had a will of steel and a heart of gold. The recipient of this award is selected by Jaina Carnes, Danny’s widow, along with the scores of 2 other independent judges.
Region 1 EMS Service of the Year Award
This award is presented to any Region One EMS Service and/or Licensed First Responder Service or Air Ambulance Service which has not only maintained a high-performance level and spotless record but has also made improvements or contributions which benefit the citizens it serves and has contributed significantly by going far above and beyond the call of duty to EMS at the community, regional, and/or state level. The recipient of this award is selected by an average of the scores of 3 independent judges.
Dr. Paul “Nasty” Nassour Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Paul Nassour was an icon in Region 1 EMS for over 30 years. He was the Medical Director for Bartow County EMS for many years. He was the Regional Medical Director for OEMS Region 1 for several years and was a long-time mentor for many EMS Providers in Bartow County as well as Hutcheson EMS in Walker, Dade and Catoosa counties. This award is presented to a person who has given much of their life’s work to the improvement and betterment of the EMS Profession, both in the Region and statewide. The award is selected by Ms. Judy Nassour, his widow, in cooperation with the Chairperson of Northwest Georgia EMS Systems, Inc.