NAEMT Selects EMS on the Hill Day Grant Recipients

Clinton, Miss. — To assist active members interested in participating in EMS on the Hill Day, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) has selected four EMS practitioner recipients of grants of up to $1,200 each. The grant winners are David Carle, A.A.S.AH. EMT-P, Unicoi, Tenn.; Kenneth M. Erikson, EMT-P, Horsham, Pa.; Brad Gronke, MS, EMT, Brookfield, Ill.; and Kenneth Hockett, EMT-P, Tuolumne, Calif.

These grants will help subsidize the cost of the recipients’ participation in the event, which takes place May 3-4 in Washington, D.C., and is the EMS community’s first coordinated effort to visit congressional leaders and staff on Capitol Hill and advocate for EMS.

David Carle says, “I want to attend EMS on the Hill Day because I have a deep passion for our profession and feel that it is important to make sure that it is included in the lawmaking process. We want to ensure that we have a place in the recent healthcare reform action and public awareness, and that EMS funding, training and worker safety are considered. Without advocacy on a national level, our profession stands to fall through the cracks and cannot advance. This grant gives me the opportunity to be a part of the safeguarding and advancement of my profession at a level I could not otherwise do on my own.” He has worked in EMS for nine years with Washington County Johnson City EMS (Tenn.) and currently serves as lead paramedic on ALS ambulances and as a lead instructor in courses including CPR, ACLS PALS, Bloodborne Pathogen Training, SIDS training, and PHTLS. Carle also serves on the Tenn. State Region 1 EMS Strike Team.

Kenneth M. Erikson, who has worked in EMS for 15 years, the last 10 as a paramedic and firefighter, says, “Over the years, EMS has evolved into a complex business of not only “life saving,” but also self-preservation. Key elements such as federal assistance and insurance reimbursement have not evolved in the same direction. This branching apart does not bode well for the future success of EMS and our service. This event, which brings together Congressional representatives and EMS leaders from around our great nation to discuss these plaguing matters, is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. I am honored to be a part of it.” Erikson currently works full time with Community Ambulance Association Ambler/Medic 351 in Montgomery County (Pa.) where he serves as deputy chief of operations, staff supervisor and paramedic.

“I am humbly honored to be a participant in the EMS on the Hill Day and hope to represent my brothers and sisters within the emergency medical services family to the very best of my abilities,” Brad Gronke says. He has worked in EMS for 12 years, in the past with a private ambulance service and currently as a volunteer and captain for Starved Rock Trail Safety as well as a volunteer with the Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team. He has served as an assistant instructor for Triton College EMT classes and as a trainer/mentor for other organizations. He is certified in Hazardous Materials Awareness, Technical Rescue Awareness, FEMA’s Professional Development Series, and Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings. Gronke is working toward his MBA and Ed.D. He also works as a consultant within the insurance industry as well as a part-time police officer.

“My hope for attending EMS on the Hill Day is that we can raise the awareness of our elected officials for what EMS does, how EMS benefits the community, and what EMS needs in order to continue being such a valuable resource that can be counted on both now and in the future,” says Kenneth Hockett, a paramedic for Manteca District Ambulance as part of Tuolumne County Ambulance (Calif.) “I see EMS on the Hill Day as a terrific opportunity for EMS to communicate more effectively. While I do not think that one model of EMS will work best in all communities, I think that we can all agree that EMS needs to increase its presence in order to secure the support that it needs to reach its potential.” Hockett began his career in EMS in 1994 and has precepted paramedic interns; taught EMS related classes including first responder, ACLS, and PALS; and created a local Safe Kids chapter. He also has managed marketing and public relations for Manteca District Ambulance.

To learn more about EMS on the Hill Day, please go to the home page of and click on the notice on the right side of the page.

NAEMT is the nation’s only professional association representing all EMS practitioners, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders and other professionals working in pre-hospital 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.

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