Administration and Leadership, News

American Ambulance Association Honors EMS Stars of Life

The American Ambulance Association’s (AAA) prestigious three-day Stars of Life event began this morning with a welcome breakfast for all award winners and attendees at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The AAA’s National Stars of Life Program, now in its 17th year, is the most rewarding and exciting national event in the EMS industry. This one-of-a kind event honors the dedication of ambulance services professionals, those remarkable individuals who stand out and represent excellence in every area of the industry.

At the opening breakfast, the Stars and their families got a chance to meet. After breakfast, the Stars gathered for a hilarious ice-breaker session, an annual tradition, in which they played a fact-based Bingo game to learn about each other. Then they were given unique and fun materials and asked to design the “EMS uniform of the future.” The materials they were given included beads, toilet paper, duct tape, trash bags and candy.

As the 2016 award winners gathered to meet and prepare for the awards luncheon at the National Press Club, their family members, EMS administrators and colleagues were treated to a tour of the U.S. Capitol.

This afternoon, the group will be bussed to the Stars of Life Luncheon at the at the National Press Club where keynote speaker and 2007 Stars of Life Award recipient Marc Creswell from Acadian Ambulance will address the 2016 award winners and present each with their distinctive Stars of Life medal and pin.

From 3:30 to 5:00 pm, award winners, friends and family members will be treated to a D.C. sightseeing tour that will include stops at the Lincoln, Korean and Vietnam memorials and Arlington Cemetery. Sights along the route also include Ford’s Theatre, the White House, the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial and the Library of Congress.

AAA’s Stars of Life program is first and foremost a recognition program. It augments existing employee recognition programs and provides dedicated professionals in EMS organizations the opportunity to be recognized for their outstanding achievements, network with their peers, and share their story with legislators. Each Star leaves Washington, D.C., secure in the knowledge that the work they do every day is valued and makes a difference.

Basics of the Stars of Life program

  • There are 27 states represented by the 103 Stars of Life recipients. AAA’s goal is to eventually have two Stars from each state recognized for their efforts in EMS.
  • Stars may be sponsored for all or some of their travel or registration expenses through the Stars of Life Travel Grant Program.
  • Ambulance services can nominate EMS personnel for a Stars of Life Award beginning Jan.1 each year. The deadline to submit complete nominations with photos and bios is March 15. 


Any member (living or deceased) of an EMS organization who epitomizes the spirit and commitment of our nation’s top ambulance service professionals is an appropriate selection.

EMTs, paramedics, dispatchers, customer service representatives or other operations personnel are eligible to be nominated for a Stars of Life award.

For example, candidates may be selected because they received or were honored for:

  • State level Star of Life or other award program;
  • Employee-of-the-year by their service;
  • On-duty or off-duty achievements or services that are above and beyond the call of duty, such as a special rescue or other extraordinary accomplishment;
  • Setting significant records;
  • Significant community contribution such as volunteer work, local leadership, partnerships with other organizations or agencies;
  • Significant community distinction or honors related to ambulance, public safety, public health or health care services; or
  • Consistent services record which exemplifies an ambulance operation’s mission.

Follow JEMS for reports on the special Star of Life Luncheon at the National Press Club today, and the Stars of Life Banquet which will be held Tuesday evening, honoring this year’s 103 Stars of Life inductees.

For a complete list of this year’s Stars of Life, go to or the American Ambulance Association’s “Stars of Life” section Each Star of Life award winner will also be profiled in a special edition of EMS Insider.

About the American Ambulance Association:

Founded in 1979, the AAA’s Mission is to promote healthcare policies that ensure excellence in the ambulance services industry and provide research, education and communications programs to enable its members to effectively address the needs of the communities they serve.

The AAA represents ambulance services across the United States that participate in serving more than 75% of the U.S. population with emergency and non-emergency care and medical transportation services.

The AAA was formed in response to the need for improvements in medical transportation and emergency medical services. The Association services as a voice and clearinghouse for ambulance services across the nation. The Association views prehospital care not only as a public service, but also as an essential part of the total public health care system.