Three Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals who lost their lives while in service to others were honored at the annual New York EMS Memorial Dedication Ceremony today in Albany.
The dedication ceremony, attended by EMS providers, State and local officials, and family members and friends of fallen EMS professionals, is held each year during National EMS Week, during which the State recognizes the contributions of nearly 60,000 certified EMS professionals who provide critical quality care in communities across the state.
"New Yorkers are fortunate to be served by highly-trained EMS professionals who respond quickly to those in need and put the welfare of others above their own. These are the people who are on the front lines of serving their communities and on behalf of all New Yorkers, we are immeasurably grateful for their selfless service," Governor David A. Paterson said. "By providing emergency treatment on the scene and transporting injured and ill individuals to hospital emergency rooms, these men and women have helped save thousands of lives. Today we thank them for their dedication and hard work and share in the sense of loss for those whose sacrifices are being honored today."
State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said, "EMS professionals are critical partners in New York State's health care system. They undergo hundreds of hours of training and respond to emergency calls at all times of the day and night, providing high quality care to people in distress. Their bravery, altruism and unwavering sense of duty deserve our gratitude and respect."
The three EMS professionals who received special honors today were:
Mark B. Davis, 25, of Jefferson County, a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the Cape Vincent Volunteer Fire Department and the Thousand Islands Rescue Squad, and an employee of Guilfoyle EMS. Mr. Davis was fatally wounded while providing medical care during an emergency response call on January 31, 2009.
Richard F. Quigley, 46, of Putnam County, a volunteer firefighter and paramedic for Ulster Hose Company 5 and the Town of Esopus Ambulance, who also volunteered as a paramedic with Alamo Ambulance in Poughkeepsie and Trans Care in Wappingers Falls. Mr. Quigley suffered cardiac arrest on January 10, 2009, as he stopped to assist a motorist on the Taconic Parkway.
Louis J. Flury, 22, of Erie County, who served as an EMT and firefighter for the Union Fire Company. On July 26, 1987, Mr. Flury responded to an emergency call to assist two teenagers clinging to an overturned boat in Buffalo Creek. He was able to assist one of the boaters to safety, but as he tried to rescue the other, he was caught in the undercurrent and drowned.
With the addition of the names of these three individuals, the EMS Memorial now displays the names of 39 EMS professionals who lost their lives in service to others.
EMS professionals include EMTs, paramedics, emergency physicians and nurses, educators, and trained individuals who work in 911 dispatch centers and participate in the New York State pre-hospital emergency patient care and transportation system. EMS responders undergo hundreds of hours of specialized training and continuing education to develop and enhance their skills and maintain optimum standards of medical treatment and urgent care.
There are nearly 2,000 EMS response agencies in New York comprised of Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support professionals. Eighteen Regional EMS Councils in the state promote regional cooperation and organization of local EMS systems.
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