2 August 1923 – 24 February 2017
The Virginia’s Emergency Medical Services Community lost its Grand Old Man this last Friday, as he finally submitted to a protracted illness at age 93. Kent Jules “Curly” Weber, presided over EMS in Virginia like royalty for more than 4 decades, eternally beloved, always willing to share his wisdom and views – requested or not, always putting his commitment of service to others before himself, and always willing to lead and mentor – he helped create much of what we now take for granted in our statewide EMS system.
Born in 1923, Kent enlisted in the US Navy, graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1946 with a degree in marine electrical engineering. A naval aviator, he served with distinction and retired as a Commander after 32 years of service, two air medals and nine campaign and service medals. After retiring from military service, he earned a Master’s Degree from George Washington University and taught organization and management at Golden Gate University before moving to the Hampton Roads area as a planning associate with the Tidewater Regional Health Planning Council. There he helped establish and was the first Executive Director for the Tidewater Emergency Medical Services Council, an organization he continued to serve for the remainder of his life on its Board of Directors, many committees and as treasurer.
Kent served the statewide EMS system on the State EMS Advisory Board where he helped guide system financial, legislation and policy development and where he helped create and champion the “Two For Life” funding initiative for EMS in Virginia. He was also responsible for establishing many of the policies and procedures for the Financial Assistance Review Committee which oversees the Virginia Rescue Squad Assistance Fund. In fact, Kent’s “Gold Star” is still received and prized by all those who have served on that committee with distinction. Self-effacing and quick witted, he always seemed to be around during critical system discussions to provide sage insight or to refocus debate and was often sought out for his advice and wisdom. He received many awards for his service to EMS in the Commonwealth over the years, including two Governor’s EMS Awards, including the coveted Award for “Excellence in Emergency Medical Services”. In fact, the Governor’s EMS Award for “Outstanding EMS Administrator” was renamed the “Kent J. Weber Trophy” in his honor.
But Kent’s greatest service to Virginia’s EMS System and its many patients was in his mentoring EMS leaders and instilling in them the importance of personal integrity, the value of dedicated, knowledgeable and tireless service, and most of all, the power of devoting time and energy to something bigger and more important than yourself. The men and women he mentored continue to work tirelessly throughout Virginia and throughout the Country, thinking about, working for, and laboring to ensure that people who are injured or ill receive rapid, efficient and effective Emergency Medical Services. Many of these leaders now mentor others. This is Kent’s legacy.
Thank you Kent. We already miss you.