NAEMT announces 2021 EMS Advocates of the Year

A Connecticut paramedic and South Dakota EMT were recognized for working with lawmakers on issues affecting EMS

By Laura French

CLINTON, Miss. — The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) has announced the 2021 recipients of the EMS Advocate of the Year Awards. 

Paramedic Robert Glaspy, the director of external affairs at the Connecticut Association of Paramedics and EMTs (CAPE), and Kimball Volunteer Fire and Ambulance EMT Maynard Konechne, a political representative for the South Dakota EMS Association and South Dakota Ambulance Association, were recognized as EMS Advocates of the Year for their work educating lawmakers and colleagues about legislative issues affecting EMS providers, according to the NAEMT


Congratulations to Maynard Konechne of South Dakota and Robert Glasby of Connecticut, the 2021 recipients of NAEMT's National EMS Advocate of the Year Award! #EMSontheHill

Posted by National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians on Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Glaspy, a founding member of CAPE, has worked throughout the state advocating for EMS mental health issues, including by leading the effort to recognize PTSD in EMS providers and speaking at the Connecticut Capitol on key mental health bills. 

"Connecticut has been behind many states in recognizing that emergency personnel could suffer from PTSD, and Rob has been on the front lines from the beginning advocating for EMS," a former coworker said of Glaspy, according to the NAEMT. 

Konechne has been an ambulance service director for more than 30 years and has made several hours-long roundtrips from his home to the South Dakota Capitol to meet with and build relationships with elected officials, and provide committee testimony on draft legislation. 

Konechne also authors a weekly legislative update for his colleagues and encourages his fellow EMS professionals to contact him with their questions about legislation impacting EMS providers. This year, Konechne contributed to South Dakota passing legislation to join the EMS Compact. He has also advocated in the areas of preventing child abuse and human trafficking, seatbelt requirements, CPR in schools, removing excise taxes and ensuring recognition of EMS practitioners. 

This year's EMS Advocate of the Year Award was sponsored by ZOLL and presented during the virtual EMS On The Hill Day briefing on April 6.

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