Bud Owens, executive director of Atrium Health Floyd Emergency Medical Services, has earned the prestigious Dr. Zeb L. Burrell, Jr. Distinguished Service Award from the Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association.

The award recognizes Owens for his contribution to the development of pre-hospital emergency medical care across the state. Burrell, who died in 2009, is considered the father of Emergency Medical Services in Georgia.

Owens began his career in 1983 as an emergency medical technician at a Calhoun funeral home where 911 services were based. He later designed and developed Gordon County’s 911 system and Emergency Management services.

He was hired by Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center in 2008 and now manages a team with nearly 200 members that provides emergency and non-emergency services throughout northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Atrium Health Floyd’s EMS is the designated 911 ambulance service provider for residents in Floyd, Chattooga and Cherokee County (Ala.).

“To be recognized by your peers means a lot,” Owens said. “I have dedicated my career to helping others and working toward improvements in pre-hospital care locally, as well as regionally and statewide.”

Owens teaches regularly and lectures during GEMSA leadership courses. Owens is an active member of Region I EMS Council, the Georgia EMS Association, the National Association of EMTs, and the Georgia Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, for which he has served as State Council Chair for the past eight years.

Under his leadership, Atrium Health Floyd EMS has received numerous prestigious awards, including Region I EMS of the Year several times and Georgia EMS Service of the Year.

Owens has received the Georgia Region One EMS Director of the year six times and recently received the Dr. Richard Creel EMS Pioneer Award, in addition to being recognized as the Georgia EMS Director of the Year.

He also has received a National EMS Administrator Award. In 2008, then Gov. Sonny Perdue awarded Owens the Governor’s Public Safety Award for his contribution to the EMS profession.