Clinton, Miss. — The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) congratulates its 2013 National EMS Award of Excellence winners:
2013 NAEMT/Nasco “Paramedic of the Year”
Shawn Mease, NREMT-P, Richmond, Va
Sponsored by Nasco
2013 NAEMT/Braun Industries “EMT of the Year”
Paul Schueth, Adv EMT, Winner, S.D.
Sponsored by Braun Industries
2013 NAEMT/Jones & Bartlett Learning “Educator of the Year”
Robert Ditch, EdD, Mesa, Ariz.
Sponsored by Jones & Bartlett Learning
These awards will be presented at NAEMT's General Membership Meeting and Awards Presentation on the evening of Monday, Sept. 9, in Las Vegas, and at the EMS World Expo opening ceremony on the morning of Sept. 10. Here is additional information about the 2013 national award winners:
Mease is a Paramedic with the Richmond Ambulance Authority in Richmond, Virginia. He was nominated by his colleague, Anna Ailstock, NREMT-P, PNCCT, ALS field training officer, who states that Shawn’s dedication to maintaining and improving Richmond Ambulances Authorities reputation for World Class EMS is second only to his dedication to patient care and compassion.
Mease is Chairman of the Richmond Ambulance Authority’s Clinical Services Committee. As chair, he is responsible for assessing needs for clinical change through evidence-based practices in collaboration with clinical and operational departments. He evaluated the need for revision of patient care protocols and produced a Protocol book that was adopted as standard for the Old Dominion Emergency Medical Services Alliance (Virginia) region. Mease’s project list on the committee included the implementation of Per-Trache kits (Pediatric and Adult) on every ambulance; use of Nasal Capnography on non-respiratory patients, including seizure patients; and development of a critical care course of study and Richmond Ambulance Authority’s first comprehensive Preception manuals and associated Field Training Officers manuals. In addition, Mease coordinates and instructs courses in PHTLS, AMLS, ACLS, PALS and CPR Patients and coworkers comment on Mease’s focus during difficult situations. “Shawn has a natural ability to bring calm to frightening situations and ease the minds of confused and scared patients and family members,” Ailstock said. “Shawn strives to instill in each new provider the skill, professionalism and compassion that he shows every day to patients and their families.”
Schueth is an Advanced EMT with Tripp County Ambulance in Winner, South Dakota. He was nominated by Katheryn Benton, a state training officer in Chamberlain, S.D. Schueth started his EMS career as a volunteer for Tripp County Ambulance over 35 years ago. In his early years as an EMT, he served as the unofficial Ambulance Director with a couple of other volunteers. He was later elected to serve as the official director, a position in which he continues to serve with pride, honor and compassion.
During his tenure at Tripp County, Schueth was actively involved in securing funding for technological upgrades for the ambulance service, as well as in planning training workshops. He regularly works with local health care agencies to ensure continuity in patient care. He is known for his resolute and careful work during “worst-of-the-worst” situations, such as the blizzards and thunderstorms so often seen in South Dakota.
“Paul is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty and takes great pride in his profession. He has given continuous and selfless service to the citizens of Tripp County in their time of need,” said Benton. “He has an excellent work attitude, which radiates to fellow employees and colleagues, and is an asset to his team, county and the community in which he proudly serves. His desire to serve without an expectation of honors or recognition clearly demonstrates his unselfish commitment to community. Paul is truly deserving of this award.
Robert Ditch, EdD
Ditch is an educator at the Arizona Academy of Emergency Services in Mesa, Ariz. He was nominated by Taylor Bradford, the director of operations for the academy. A retired, highly decorated Colonel, who served for over 32 years in the Air Force Medical Service, Ditch has more than 40 years of EMS experience, and completed a doctorate in education with a specialization in Emergency Services Higher Education. Ditch is also an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Ditch is a Nationally Registered Paramedic, licensed in Arizona, Virginia and Texas. Since leaving the military, he has dedicated his retirement years to bringing quality EMS education to the nation’s EMS providers. Much of his time is unpaid, with travel and instruction funded out of his own pocket as a volunteer EMS educator. Although he teaches over 30 different curriculums, he is most recognized for his voluntary development/instruction of terrorism response courses for EMS responders.
In addition to his time training others in emergency management, Ditch has been deployed to numerous in-need locations, including 14 national-level disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, and Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy in 2012.
Ditch’s long list of accomplishments and contributions to EMS education nationwide exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism and unbridled passion for the prehospital care training and education he personifies. “Dr. Ditch is the quintessential champion of EMS education excellence,” Bradford said. "I cannot think of anyone else who deserves this recognition more than Dr. Bob.”
Nominees for the Paramedic and EMT of the Year Awards are scored on how the nominee:
•Provides superior patient care;
•Is an effective advocate for patients and theirfamilies;
•Works with peers to foster a positive work environment;
•Demonstrates professionalism in interacting with patients, their families and other medical professionals; and
•Demonstrates a commitment to continuing professional education.
Nominations for the Educator of the Year Award are scored on how the nominee:
•Consistently demonstrates commitment to providing high quality, professional education for EMS practitioners;
•Serves as an outstanding role model for EMS practitioners in the classroom and in the
•Effectively mentors EMS students at all stages of their professional development;
•Introduces and incorporates innovative approaches and tools in the classroom, which enhance students' learning experiences; and
•Contributes and participates in the development of education content that expands the body of quality EMS curriculum
Formed in 1975 and today more than 34,000 members strong, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) is the only national association dedicated to representing the professional interests of all emergency medical services (EMS) practitioners, including paramedics, advanced emergency medical technicians, emergency medical technicians, emergency medical responders and other professionals working in prehospital emergency medicine. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government service agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.