WASHINGTON – The American Ambulance Association capped off their week of celebrating their Stars of Life award winners with a dinner and awards ceremony in the Nation’s capital, highlighting the dedication to service and professionalism in emergency medical services.
The evening began with a greeting to the 103 individuals, their families and coworkers by American Ambulance Association President Mike Hall. President Hall shared the culmination of the week’s events serves as a tribute to the industry. The individual accounts of the award winners, who come from several states as well as Trinidad and Tobago covers a wide range of service, from two years to over 30 years, and exemplifies the definition of a hero.
Hall acknowledged several guests in attendance, including Noah Smith, MPH, EMT and Jeremy Kinsman, MPH of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Emergency Medical Services before beginning the awards ceremony.
“AAA Honors EMS Personnel at Annual Stars of Life Banquet” A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P
Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) received the American Ambulance Association’s 2016 Legislative Recognition award from President Hall. Senator Schumer was recognized for his efforts to continually fund various Medicare relief, reimbursement issues that impact ambulance services across the country.
Schumer called the audience’s attention to James McPartlon, president of Mohawk Ambulance in Schenectady, New York who first introduced him to the importance of ambulance service and EMS. He also pointed out a personal connection to one of the night’s Star of Life award winners. When one of the senator’s daughters was injured and suffered a concussion while playing a high school sport, his wife reported to him how expedient and professional the EMS care was that their daughter received. At tonight’s event, Senator Schumer learned that Paramedic Ian Joseph, of Northwell Health CMS, was one of the members of the ambulance crew that treated his daughter.
“His story and the others tonight highlights how much passion there is in helping others – care that ranges from patient care to vehicle care, it all matters,” Schumer told the audience. He went on to say that he understands how important it is to provide and support legislative efforts regarding reimbursement rates, which have been secured until December 2017, to fund emergency medical services.
“We need your help now and more as the healthcare population grows,” Schumer said. “An ambulance is not an add-on. It is the start of care.”