December 15, 2013

Gordon EMS names EMT and Paramedic of the Year

CALHOUN — Members of the Gordon Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team were honored at the annual Service Awards Banquet held Dec. 2 at Trinity Baptist Church.

According to Courtney Taylor, director of Gordon EMS, among the 11 categories of awards presented during the evening were the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of the Year award, which was presented to Josh Townsend, and the Paramedic of the Year award, which went to Jennifer Henderson.

“These dedicated individuals were first nominated by their peers, and the nominations were then reviewed by an awards panel of judges at Gordon Hospital,” Taylor explained. “From these nominations, the judges – who do not know the candidates or work closely with them – make the final decision for EMT and Paramedic of the Year awards.”

Taylor added that Townsend’s nomination for EMT of the Year called him “a phenomenal employee” of the service.

    “In his nomination, it was written that what sets Josh apart is his attention to detail,” Taylor said. “He knows that the little things matter such as holding a patient’s hand while they are scared and making sure patient comfort is considered with things as simple as a pillow. Add this to his exceptional skills and he offers an all-around excellent customer service experience.”

    Henderson’s nomination for Paramedic of the Year described her ability to bring calm to the storm in the midst of chaos.

    “She has a compassion for our work and the people we help daily,” Taylor read. “I have seen her bring a new life into this world and within the same day watched her do all she could to save an older one. She did both with the same passion as if they were her own family members.”

The Rookie of the Year award, which is presented to an individual that best represents excellence in the performance of their duties in their first year of service with Gordon EMS, went to Chad Huff.

    “Chad’s nomination spoke of his good attitude and good sense of humor, which not only keeps his peers laughing, but on their toes as well,” Taylor said. “Chad handles himself very professionally on scene, he is knowledgeable of all aspects of EMS, and is willing to jump in and help with whatever needs to be done.”

Also during the evening, Taylor presented a special award of appreciation to retiring EMT Lt. Doug Hite.

“Doug began his public safety career in 1972 working on an ambulance that ran out of a funeral home,” Taylor said. “Over the last 41 years he has served the citizens and visitors of Calhoun and Gordon County admirably as a public servant, being a police officer and an EMT.”

But Hite is much more than a public servant to the community, Taylor added.

“If you spend any time with him and watch his interaction with the public, you will see that Doug is well-loved and respected,” he said. “He cares for this community, and if you need to know anything that is going on locally or anything that has happened locally over the last 60 years, he is your go-to man for sure.”

 Gordon EMS A-Shift captain Stacey Koonce also shared memories of his service with Hite.

“We have been through a lot together,” Koonce said. “Doug has been a great employee, a great EMT, but an even better friend.”

    Other awards presented during the evening included:

Participation award (presented to individuals for their willing participation in special events and/or groups that further the cause of EMS and our community, including honor guard, bike team, toy drive, health fairs, and others): More than 90 percent of all Gordon EMS employees received this award.

Length of Service Award (presented to individuals for the length of time they have served in public safety in five-year increments): Allison Robison, Jennifer Kilgore, and Andrew Cornwell, all five years; Jonathan Pressley, Holly Evans, Donna Jackson, Chad Huff, all 10 years; Sharon Smith, 15 years; and Ben Miller, 30 years.

New Life Award (presented to individuals for delivering a baby in the field): Michael Payne and Rob Tanner.

110% Award (presented to an individual who goes above and beyond on a continual basis): Holly Evans.

Leadership Award (presented to an individual who has been promoted to leadership within the last year and became an EMS Service Leader): Marcy Fountain.

Leader of the Year (presented to an individual who has been nominated by his or her peers as a leader in the service): Woody Davis.

Meritorious Service Award (presented to individuals who while in the course of their duty performed in a manner that was exemplary and in holding with the highest standards of EMS): Doug Hite and Chanda Gravitt.

Dedication to Profession Award: Tim Woodard.

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