The State of Vermont recently celebrated the 49th annual National Emergency Medical Services Week by recognizing the dedicated EMS and first responder professionals, volunteers, and units for the important and essential public health services they provide in their communities.
Governor Phil Scott officially kicked off this year’s celebration with a proclamation declaring May 21 – 27 as EMS Week. With the theme of “Where Emergency Care Begins,” the week’s activities included presentation of awards honoring several individuals and EMS agencies for their outstanding efforts and commitment to service.
Vermont has more than 3,050 Vermont Emergency Medical Service providers, who respond each year to over 117,000 requests for emergency medical care and specialized ambulance transport. These responders also take a leading role in supporting community-based injury prevention and health promotion initiatives, ranging from overdose prevention to the pandemic response.
“EMS Week is an important opportunity to thank those Vermonters who serve in the EMS ranks,” said Will Moran, director of the Health Department’s Division of Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Injury Prevention. “These are our neighbors, friends and family members, each of whom give generously of themselves to help keep us safe and healthy. We are grateful for all they do.”
Congratulations to the 2023 Emergency Medical Services award recipients:
• Lifetime Award: Chief Douglas Brent of Barre City and Louis Messier of Barre Town
• Educator of the Year: Kathy Jochim, Fairfax Rescue
• First Responder of the Year: Steve Vertefeuille, Chester Ambulance
• BLS Provider of the year: Christopher Porreca, Londonderry Volunteer Rescue & Rescue Inc.
• ALS Provider of the Year: Daniel Keller, Mad River Valley Ambulance
• EMS Champion for Children: David Weiss, Colchester Rescue & St. Michael’s College Fire & Rescue
• First Response Agency of the Year: Putney Fire and Rescue
• Ambulance Service of the Year: Glover Ambulance
“The challenges presented to our healthcare system continues to grow,” said Bambi Dame, the Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services Chief. “As an important component of our healthcare system, Emergency Medical Services are a critical part in our ability to protect and promote the health of everyone in Vermont.”
Dame said many EMS units in Vermont made up of volunteers, and encouraged people to visit OnCallforVT.org to learn more about serving their communities as an emergency medical technician or as a member of the Medical Reserve Corps.
“Each and every day, in every town across the state, emergency medical service providers save lives and step up to meet whatever the need. Our EMS units are valuable partners in public health, and I hope other people in Vermont consider joining in this rewarding work,” said Dame.
About the Department of Health
We have been the state’s public health agency for more than 130 years, working every day to protect and promote the health of Vermonters.