Ga. EMS district chief gets national award
Chatham EMS District Chief Doug Lewis has served as a tactical paramedic supporting local law enforcement agencies since 2007
Savannah Morning News, Ga.
WASHINGTON — Chatham EMS District Chief Doug Lewis was honored this week at the American Ambulance Association's Stars of Life Event in Washington D.C.
He was among 107 emergency services professionals who were honored at the event, which recognizes contributions of ambulance professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their communities or the EMS profession, according to a press release.
"It was a very exciting experience. I'm humbled," Lewis said. "We just have so many good people working for us that there would've been a lot of good choices. I'm very humbled and honored."
Chatham Emergency Services CEO Chuck Kearns made the trip to D.C. with Lewis. Kearns said Lewis frequently and happily does things beyond his job description.
"Doug is one of the most dedicated leaders at Chatham Emergency Services," said CEO Chuck Kearns. "He is always volunteering for special projects beyond his regular work schedule. Doug is the epitome of EMS excellence, and his heart is dedicated to serving others."
During his time in D.C., Lewis said he and his wife got the chance to meet Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.
They also saw as many historical monuments as they could — with the help of some electric scooters.
"It was quite the experience. What my wife and I found a little bit comical is that now they have, all over the city, these electric scooters that you can pick up and ride around. It certainly beats walking," Lewis said. "I'm a daredevil anyway. I might be old, but I've still got some spunk to me."
Lewis has been in the industry for a while. He began his career in public safety at the age of 17 as a Bryan County volunteer.
He received his EMT certification in 1982, his paramedic license in 1986, and became a national registered paramedic in 1994.
Prior to beginning at Chatham Emergency Services in 2011, Lewis worked as a paramedic for MedStar Ambulance Service. In both 1994 and 1996, he was named the Chatham County EMT of the Year.
Lewis has served as a tactical paramedic supporting local law enforcement agencies since 2007. In 2014, Lewis was promoted to captain, and in 2017, he became district chief.
As district chief, he oversees the Tactical Paramedic Program and works closely with the local police departments, in addition to providing ongoing training and tactics.
Lewis tries to surround himself with people who are smarter than him, he said with a laugh.
"I'm really very lucky. I've got a ton of young, enthusiastic, passionate people that work for me, and I've got a great senior staff that gives me direction," Lewis said. "I'm very fortunate. I've got a lot of people that make me look good."
©2019 the Savannah Morning News (Savannah, Ga.)