EMS Today 2019: James O. Page, John P. Pryor Awards Presented

L-R:Mike McEvoy, Hartwell Medical CEO Gary R Williams, Richard Zuschlag, A.J. Heightman. Photos by Adam Mason.

During the EMS Today Opening Ceremonies & General Session on Wednesday, February 20, JEMS Editor in Chief A.J. Heightman, Executive Editor Mike McEvoy, and CEO of Hartwell Medical Gary R Williams presented the EMS Today annual awards. The awards were sponsored this year by Hartwell Medical.

ALSO: Photos from Day 1 of EMS Today

The first award was the 2019 James O. Page/JEMS Leadership Award. It encourages EMS personnel and EMS agencies to deliver quality service, gain the respect of their colleagues in the field of EMS, and fight to do what’s in the best interest of patient care.

The award recognizes an individual or organization who exhibits the drive and tenacious effort to resolve important EMS issues or bring about positive change in an EMS system. The James O. Page/JEMS Leadership Award is not a single achievement award but rather one that recognizes great personal or agency effort to achieve goals.

This year’s award goes to Acadian Ambulance Chairman and CEO Richard Zuschlag (above pic). He was instrumental in creating Acadian Ambulance in 1971 with his two partners and made Acadian a leader in emergency communications, with Acadian receiving the first FCC license to transmit telemetry.

He helped build a fleet of state-of-the-art ambulances, launched Air Med to help medics reach patients in remote locations, and founded the National EMS Academy in response to a chronic shortage of paramedics.

Over the past 47 years, Acadian has touched the lives of millions. Today, Acadian is the nation’s largest employee-owned EMS provider. Richard’s work has had a tremendous impact on patients and customers. He also has influenced the lives of countless employees because he was the main proponent for the amazing Acadian Employee Stock Ownership Plan created in 1993. Employees now own 80% of Acadian Ambulance, earning financial security and stability for their retirement.

When notified of his selection for this year’s James O. Page/JEMS Leadership Award, Richard humbly said that of all his accomplishments, the one he is most proud of is the Employee Stock Ownership Plan. He remains the strongest advocate for this unique form of ownership, saying that he “believes it strengthens Acadian and makes Acadian better. As owners, every employee is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care and is responsible for the company, sharing in our future and success.”

L-R: A.J. Heightman, Hartwell Medical CEO Gary R Williams, Dr. Paul E. Phrampus, Mike McEvoy

John P. Pryor, MD/Street Medicine Society Award

The second award was the 2019 John P. Pryor, MD/Street Medicine Society Award. John P. Pryor, MD, was an EMS physician who was killed while serving in Iraq. Dr. Pryor posthumously received the first award in his name at the 2009 EMS Today conference. Each year, the Street Medicine Society, an informal forum of physicians who got their start as EMS professionals, awards a physician who has come up through the ranks with this award bearing Dr. Pryor’s name.

This year’s recipient is Dr. Paul E. Phrampus, a Professor of Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh, board certified in Emergency Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

Paul started when he joined the Millville Rescue Squad in Millville, New Jersey, as a volunteer in the early 1980s. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. During his Navy tenure, he actively volunteered at the Davis Corner Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. During that time, he became a Virginia state-certified cardiac technician and a Nationally Registered EMT-Paramedic.

Paul was accepted to medical school and graduated with an MD degree in 1997. He completed his residency training and board certification in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, where he has been on the faculty since 2000.

Paul has created simulation-based education for paramedic programs as well as an airway training program for paramedics and simulation-based competency assessment training programs for helicopter flight crews. Paul has been director of the Peter M Winter Institute for Simulation, served as a program chair for the International Meeting for Simulation Healthcare, and was past president of the Society for Simulation Healthcare. He has also served as a past board member and annual meeting chair of the National Association of EMS Physicians, authored more than 20 publications directly related to EMS and prehospital care, and mentored many others involved in research associated with prehospital care.

Dr. Phrampus has contributed to JEMS regularly for more than 35 years.

Special thanks to Hartwell Medical for sponsoring this year’s James O. Page/JEMS Leadership Award and this year’s John P. Pryor, MD/Street Medicine Society Award. Visit them at www.hartwellmedical.com.

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