June 10, 2016

For More Information Contact

For More Information Contact
Chad Blosser, executive director
Central Shenandoah EMS Council, Inc.
Tristen Graves, public relations assistant
Virginia Department of Health

(STAUNTON, Va.)  – The Central Shenandoah Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council, Inc. awarded its Regional EMS Awards on June 1, at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton. The council commended all of the region’s EMS personnel for their dedication to the community and recognized those, nominated by their peers, for their remarkable achievements in the field.

“Some recipients have demonstrated a superior level of commitment to patient care, some have made strides toward improving the local Emergency Medical Services system and others have made significant ancillary contributions at the regional level. It’s important that the system acknowledge their contributions toward public health, safety and wellness,” said Chad Blosser, executive director of Central Shenandoah EMS Council, Inc.

Recipients of this year’s regional awards will have the chance to compete for the prestigious 2016 Governor’s EMS Awards, which will be announced at the Virginia EMS Symposium’s Annual Awards Ceremony, Nov. 12 in Norfolk. Winners will be presented with a trophy and a certificate signed by the Governor.

“I am honored to acknowledge the remarkable level of service and dedication shown by these regional award winners,” said Gary Brown, director of the Virginia Office of EMS. “Their commitment to providing lifesaving patient care to citizens in their community make them worthy of such recognition.”

The 2016 Central Shenandoah EMS Council Regional Award Recipients:

  • Excellence in EMS – Larry Shifflett, Harrisonburg Fire Department
  • Outstanding EMS Administrator – Abby Rowsey, Buena Vista Firefighters, Inc.
  • Outstanding EMS Agency – City of Lexington Fire Department
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS for Children – Wanda Willis, Harrisonburg Fire Department & Safe Kids Central Shenandoah Valley Coalition
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS Health and Safety – Central Shenandoah EMS Council’s Regional Critical Incident Stress Management Team
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS Preparedness and Response – Hilary Jacobson, Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, Wintergreen Property Owners Volunteer Rescue Squad, Central Shenandoah Health District
  • Nurse with Outstanding Contribution to EMS – Angela Kuremsky, Augusta Health and Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad
  • Outstanding Prehospital Educator – Carolyn Rinaca, Central Shenandoah EMS Council
  • Outstanding Prehospital Provider- Karen Hayes, Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, Pegasus Flight Operations and Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad
  • Outstanding EMS Telecommunications Dispatcher – Brittany Wampler, Harrisonburg – Rockingham Emergency Communications Center, Grottoes Rescue Squad, Weyers Cave Volunteer Fire Company
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS by a High School Senior ($1,000 Scholarship) Kelby Smith, Hot Springs Rescue Squad 

Local Awards:

  • Senior Rescue Squad Member of the Year – Chris Vernovai, Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad
  • Kevin Sperka Memorial Award ($500) – Andrew Strawderman, Augusta County Fire & Rescue, Bridgewater Volunteer Rescue Squad and Rockingham County Fire/Rescue