Fiesta fit for EMS workers
BULLHEAD CITY — Western Arizona Regional Medical Center marked Emergency Medical Services Week with a fiesta to celebrate the work done by personnel such as firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
Area EMS employees were invited to a lunch of Mexican favorites, including non-alcoholic margaritas, snow cones and iced coffee drinks. While many workers had enough time to eat in the cafeteria, some had to take their meals on the run to enjoy later when they had the time.
Emergency dispatchers received their meals delivered by helicopter. WARMC employees Emily Stevens, chief nursing officer, and Marilyn Pollock, director of risk management, were flown by Tristate CareFlight from the hospital helipad to the Bullhead City 911 Center to ensure the meals got into the hands — and stomachs — of the emergency workers.
Unfortunately, the dispatchers missed the decorations, social interaction and tasty beverages. They also missed the awards given out to three EMS workers this year.
“You guys are amazing,” said Michael Stenger, WARMC’s chief executive officer. “We think about you guys every day, every week, every month.”
And having so many dedicated professionals means “our community is so blessed,” said Mandy Doumit, WARMC’s emergency director.
This year’s EMS honorees were Kim Miles, Jamie Lucchino and Ray Proa. Each was nominated by their peers.
Miles and Lucchino work together at Bullhead City Fire Station No. 1 on an ambulance. Proa is with the Fort Mojave Mesa Fire Department.
Miles, who has worked for the Bullhead City Fire Department for 12 years, was named EMT of the Year but wasn’t able to attend the event because of a scheduling conflict. She not only is considered a high-level performer in her work but also is active in the community.
She is president of Miss Rodeo Arizona, volunteers for Saving Animals In Need Together, 4-H and Backpack Buddies. She is also the queens coordinator for the Grand Canyon Rodeo at the Avi Casino and a firefighter charities board member.
Lucchino has been certified as a firefighter-paramedic for more than a year and has been with the Bullhead City Fire Department for about 31/2 years.
“He has become a mentor and role model to others in the firehouse,” Forrest Taylor, the fire department’s EMS manager, wrote about Lucchino. “He has a willingness to help aspiring paramedics succeed in school and offers assistance and guidance to probationary firefighters.”
Taylor nominated both Bullhead City Fire Department employees.
Proa, EMS officer with the Fort Mojave Mesa Fire Department, was named that agency’s paramedic of the year. Proa was recognized after approaching the 911 Center with information about the importance of emergency dispatchers in life-saving bystander CPR. The call-takers were subsequently trained in the process.
“Since then there have been multiple documented cases of survival,” wrote JoLynn McCabe, of the dispatch center, which handles calls for the Bullhead City, Mohave Valley, Fort Mojave Mesa and Golden Shores fire departments, the Bullhead City Police Department and Roads and Parks divisions.
McCabe also pointed out in her nomination that Proa conducts monthly reviews of such calls and provides feedback to the dispatchers.
“He has also taken the program a step farther with including recognition for the dispatchers in the form of an award,” she noted in her nomination of Proa. “In addition to CPR, Ray has trained the dispatchers on stroke awareness and is always available for questions.”
The hospital also provided the EMS workers with tokens of appreciation, such as backpacks that reinforce the reason for recognizing these workers. It’s printed with the phrase “In this family, no one stands alone.”