2020 National EMS Awards of Excellence recipients announced

The awards will be presented at the NAEMT's virtual General Membership Meeting in September

By Laura French

CLINTON, Miss. — The National Association of EMTs and EMS World recently announced the recipients of the 2020 National EMS Awards of Excellence, which will be presented at the NAEMT's virtual General Membership Meeting on Sept. 15. 

The awards recognize EMS providers and agencies for "their outstanding contributions to the EMS profession and the patients they serve," according to an NAEMT news release

This year's winners are:

  • Wantagh (N.Y.) Fire Department Paramedic and EMS Capt. Stephen Lincke, 2020 NAEMT/Nasco Paramedic of the Year. Lincke is a 40-year member of the Wantagh Fire Department, previously served for 34 years as a deputy chief for the FDNY Bureau of EMS, was appointed to his department's COVID Task Force and has been recognized by the New York State Department of Health for Leadership in EMS.
  • Tooele Army Depot (Utah) Fire Department AEMT Jonathon Thatcher, 2020 NAEMT/Braun Industries EMT of the Year. Thatcher also serves as Tooele County EMS Council Chair, works part-time for Mountain West Ambulance and serves as the volunteer assistant fire chief for Stockton Fire Department. Colleagues say Thatcher is a leader in his community and "an excellent example of what an EMT should be."
  • Paul E. Pepe, MD, MPH, 2020 NAEMT/Bound Tree EMS Medical Director of the Year. Pepe is the medical director for numerous EMS agencies in Texas and Florida, and is the coordinator of the Metropolitan EMS Medical Directors Global Alliance. Pepe also founded the National Association of EMS Physicians and served as its first elected president from 1987 to 1990 and received a lifetime achievement award from the American College of Emergency Physicians in 2005. 
  • Pedi-Ed-Trics Emergency Medical Solutions (Indiana) Critical Care Transport Nurse and Co-founder Scott DeBoer, 2020 NAEMT/Jones & Bartlett Learning EMS Educator of the Year. DeBoer has more than 30 years of experience in EMS and has presented more than 1,000 seminars and hands-on skills labs in 50 U.S. states and seven countries, written nine EMS-related books and co-authored more than 100 emergency journal articles. 
  • United States Air Force Senior Airman Colleen Mitchell, EMT, 2020 NAEMT/North American Rescue Military Medic of the Year. Mitchell conducted the first-ever Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course in her area of responsibility, teaching eight classes and educating 66 U.S. Department of Defense and host nation personnel life-saving medical care procedures. Mitchell also executed critical life-saving actions for two severely wounded individuals during an attack earlier this year. 
  • Onslow County (N.C.) EMS, 2020 Dick Ferneau Career EMS Service of the Year. Onslow County EMS is a paramedic-level utility model EMS system in its 33rd year of service that answers 23,000 calls per year and transports approximately 12,000 patients to seven regional hospitals. The system has a full-time staff of 78 paramedics and EMTs and a full staff of 113. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejuene and its three supporting bases are located in Onslow County, making the county the youngest in median age, leading to more frequent trauma-related calls. Nearly 60% of Onslow County EMS' calls are trauma-related. 
  • Sun City Center (Fla.) Emergency Squad, 2020 Volunteer EMS Service of the Year. Sun City Center is a senior community with about 30,000 residents in the winter and 22,000 in the summer. The emergency squad, which has served the community for more than 55 years, consists mostly of retired residents with an average age of 72. The squad has more than 400 volunteers, including approximately 130 EMTs and EMRs, four ambulances and two wheelchair vans, and sees about 5,000 calls per year and an additional 1,000 wheelchair van runs per year. Its annual budget of $450,000 is raised completely through community funding. Sun City Center Emergency Squad was the first in the state to utilize FirstNet, was named the top EMS agency in the state in 2013 by the Florida Council on Aging, and was recognized by President George H.W. Bush in 1988 as one of his "Points of Light." 
Sun City Center Emergency Squad was named the 2020 Volunteer EMS Service of the Year by the NAEMT and EMS World.
Sun City Center Emergency Squad was named the 2020 Volunteer EMS Service of the Year by the NAEMT and EMS World. (Photo/Sun City Center Emergency Squad Facebook)


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