Watch: Allentown (PA) Honors Dr. Donald Gaylor

A funeral procession was held Thursday for Dr. Donald Gaylor in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

This was a wonderful tribute and EMS procession arrange by Eastern Pennsylvania EMS Director John Kloss and his dedicated staff for an amazing EMS medical director who mentored me for 25 years while I was EMS director in Eastern Pennsylvania and helped our Eastern Pennsylvania EMS region become a model EMS system for the country early in the 70s.

Dr. Gaylor worked with Dr. George Moerkirk as “co-medical directors.” The power they were given and used was equal to my executive director role and they used it to accomplish:

  • Federally recommended hospital categorization (accomplished in “1978”)!;
  • Burn & trauma center designation by “1980;”
  • ALS & aeromedical response regionally by “1981;” and
  • Regionalization of all 110 BLS and ALS units (paid & volunteer) in EMS protocols, MCI management and regionwide MEDCOM communication system by “1985.”

Amazing accomplishments with unbridled support by an amazing trauma surgeon who could have retired from a fabled naval career but did not – choosing instead to answer a call from the founder of air products and chemical company, Leonard Parker Pool, (who gave $10 million of his own money to a medical trust that had as one of its missions to “bring superior prehospital and hospital care to the Lehigh Valley” to accomplish these missions.)

“Don Gaylor” loved trauma care advancements and wanted that brought to the streets by “medical and surgical surrogates” (prehospital EMS providers) and helped guide me through the many layers of government, as well as staunchly “traditional” EMS and hospital politics of the time.

His ex-navy tenacity had his tell me (many times as we met adversity or resistance to change) “damn the torpedoes A.J., full steam ahead!”

If you read his obituary you will learn a lot about this great early EMS pioneer, his passion and his great pathways to success.

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