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Sunstar Paramedics Honored with Three Florida Department of Health EMS Awards


Sunstar Paramedics was recently recognized for three awards during the 2014 Florida Department of Health EMS Awards Ceremony.

Of the 14 awards given during the ceremony on July 16, Sunstar received three honors: Emergency Medical Technician of the Year, EMS Injury Prevention and Video of the Year.

• Jay Horne, EMT for Sunstar, received the EMT of the Year award. This award honors an EMT responsible for direct patient care who has demonstrated independent initiative and dedication to the EMS community.

Horne was recognized for his role in responding to Ireland Nugent’s tragic riding lawnmower accident. He assisted in transferring Ireland, who was 2 years old at the time, to the Bayflite crew. Ireland, who lives in Palm Harbor, had to undergo two below-the-knee amputations. During this emotional call, Horne exhibited top-notch emergency response skills with the highest level of calm and competence. Since the accident, Ireland has had a successful road to recovery and is walking with the help of prosthetics.

• David Selbach, also an EMT for Sunstar, received the EMS Injury Prevention Award for his work in promoting best practices for child safety.

As a child passenger safety technician, Selbach instructs parents and other community members on how to properly install child safety seats. To keep up with best safety practices, he has to meet regular recertification requirements, stay current on knowledge of new and recalled car seats, and participate in continuing education courses. As a member of the Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition, Selbach is the chair of the Child Passenger Safety Committee.

• Sunstar received the Video of the Year award for a memorial video created in remembrance of Christopher Jennings, exemplifying the theme of EMS Week “EMS: Dedicated. For Life.”

Jennings was among the first emergency responders on the scene of Ireland Nugent’s lawnmower accident. A few months after reuniting with Ireland and her family, Jennings was killed in a motorcycle accident on his way home from work. Sunstar’s video illustrates the dedication he showed for his profession and the lasting legacy he left behind.

“We are thrilled to be a part of Jay and Dave’s success and recognition, as they are both an integral part of Sunstar and the community,” said Mark Postma, Chief Operating Officer at Sunstar. “And the video Sunstar created provided a wonderful opportunity to recognize Chris’ commitment to bettering the lives of others, and we are proud to honor his memory.”

The award ceremony was held at the Royal Caribe in Orlando during the ClinCon Annual Conference, which focuses on the education of emergency providers and EMS personnel.

About Sunstar Paramedics:

Sunstar is the 911 ambulance transport service for all Pinellas County residents, employing 550 local residents, and responding to approximately 500 calls a day. Highly awarded and accredited, Sunstar utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and software, and (along with parent company Paramedics Plus) is an innovator of the industry’s best practices. Sunstar’s team members are heavily involved in Pinellas communities, focusing largely on public safety programs for the public and for schools.

Sunstar is also a recipient of the Florida Governor's Sterling Award, the state’s most prestigious award recognizing “role models for organizational performance excellence.” More information is available at www.SunstarEMS.com.


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