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2012 EMS Awards Ceremony Photos

California emergency medical services providers and associates were recognized for exceptional acts of bravery and service to their communities and to the state at a luncheon ceremony in San Francisco December 5, 2012. Dr. Howard Backer, Director of the EMS Authority, and Interim Commission Chair Matt Powers, presented the 2012 EMS Awards.

The EMS Awards Committee reviews all applications submitted and determines which awards will be granted. This year, the committee consisted of:

The luncheon ceremony was hosted by the Emergency Medical Services Authority with support from the San Francisco Paramedic Association. American Medical Response BoundTree Medical and Paramedics Plus generously sponsored lunch for all of the award recipients.In addition, Art Hseih representing the California Rescue and Paramedic Association, graciously served as our photographer for the event. Please ask for permission before using event photographs in any published format (web or print) and be sure to credit Art with a photo by-line for his excellent work. Larger versions of the photos are available. Robin R Robinson is the EMS Awards Coordinator for EMSA and can assist you in submitting nominations for future awards. Please contact her at 916-431-3701.




Jack Franklin – Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City Fire Department

While off duty on the evening of December 20, 2011, Franklin came upon a pedestrian who had been struck by a motorcycle and was in respiratory arrest.Franklin immediately responded, administering artificial respirations until an ambulance arrived, at which point Franklin assisted the responders with continued patient care and stabilization.

Jack Franklin

Herculano “Lano” Tucay – Visalia, American Medical Response

Driving home after his shift had ended on August 1, 2011, EMT Tucay came upon a truck that had crashed into an apartment complex and was on fire. EMT Tucay responded immediately by exiting his vehicle, jumping over a median, stopping busy oncoming traffic, and pulling the driver from the burning vehicle. Tucay rolled the driver, who was on fire, in nearby wet grass to extinguish the flames. Fearing the truck may explode, Tucay quickly evacuated nearby residents before returning to the driver to render additional aid.

Jeffrey Yock – Daly City, San Mateo County EMS Agency

While volunteering his services at a US Golf Association tournament on June 14, 2011, Paramedic Yock responded to a radio broadcast that a spectator had collapsed near the 15th tee. Yock arrived on scene to find a patient that was not breathing and had no pulse. After radioing a request for an AED, Yock took over CPR from a SFPD officer already on scene. When the AED arrived several minutes later, Yock placed the pads on the patient and administered one shock. After the shock, Yock confirmed the patient had a pulse, and quickly worked with on scene personnel to transport the patient to the hospital, where he made a full recovery.


Shawn Ellis – San Jose, Rural/Metro

Noticing smoke billowing from a second floor residence on the morning of June 15, 2012, Paramedic Ellis and his partner radioed for backup before attempting to enter the home. Getting no response after kicking and knocking on the front door, Ellis gained entrance by kicking in a side door. With visible smoke and flames, Ellis quickly ran upstairs to look for occupants. In a smoke-filled bedroom, Ellis found a sleeping occupant, quickly woke her and assisted her downstairs and out of the burning house where she received care and assessment.



Creed Black, Brian Carmine, Travis McCormick – Campbell, Non‐EMS affiliated

Right Stuff Health Club employees Creed, Brian and Travis collectively helped to resuscitate a club patron who had suffered cardiac arrest on January 20, 2012. The three men quickly worked together, administering CPR and calling 9-1-1. The patient had regained a strong pulse and regular breathing at time of transport.

Steve and Angela Finnegan – Vacaville, Non‐EMS affiliated

While on a walk on November 27, 2011, Steve and Angela witnessed a woman running out of her home, frantically exclaiming that something was wrong with her 14-year old son. After explaining to the mother that she knew CPR, Angela and her husband quickly began to render aid to the patient.
Austin Martinez – Stockton, Non‐EMS affiliated

While Austin, 15, and friend Robert were practicing driving on May 2, 2012, a maneuver gone wrong resulted with the Jeep rolling down a rocky embankment into a water-filled canal. Submerged in nine feet of water and upside down, Austin freed himself from the Jeep, then pulled the non-responsive Robert from the murky water and began to administer CPR. Both boys were transported to the hospital where they were treated for head lacerations.

Staff Sergeant Valdir Ruiz – Vacaville, Non‐EMS affiliated

While off duty, Airman Ruiz was enjoying a dinner with his family on May 1, 2012 at local restaurant when he observed an elderly woman choking and gasping for air in an adjoining booth. Ruiz reacted immediately, administering the Heimlich maneuver and successfully dislodging the obstruction.




Steve “Butch” Spalding – Quartz Hill, Non‐EMS affiliated

Butch was on his way to work the chilly morning of February 28, 2012 when he observed a car that had slipped on ice, rolled down a snow-covered embankment and become submerged in a freezing aqueduct. Butch immediately exited his vehicle, laid down in the snow and mud where he was able to pull the driver from the automobile just before it had completely submerged and just as hypothermia was setting in on the young woman. Butch held and talked to the woman to keep her alert until help arrived.


Tamera Wilson – Bakersfield, Hall Ambulance

EMT trainee Tamera Wilson was in the parking lot of a local grocery store on February 1, 2012 when she heard the frantic screams of a young mother whose toddler was choking on a small ball swallowed from a keychain. Recalling her EMT training, Wilson responded instinctively,administering four back blows, and successfully dislodging the obstruction.




Travis Creteau – Chula Vista, U.S. Border Patrol

On the evening of August 5, 2012, Agent Creteau witnessed a car careen off Otay Lakes Road before it came to rest on its roof in the reservoir. Immediately after impact, Agent Creteau dutifully swam toward the sinking vehicle, and with the help of two other Agents and one civilian, extricated the two five year old girls from the back seat. The Agents rendered medical aid to the girls until a helicopter arrived that transported them to a hospital, where they were later pronounced dead.


Dan Frohlich, Curtis Lau, Donovan Mathias, John Renegar– Mountain View, Mountain View Police Department

Sergeant Frohlich, Officer Lau, Officer Renegar, and Reserve Officer Mathias all responded to a 9-1-1 call for a vehicle that had crashed into a house on July 23, 2011, and discovered that the driver was in full cardiac arrest. Using their training in CPR and use of a defibrillator, the four managed to save the man’s life by restarting his heart on scene while an ambulance was en-route.

(Donovan Mathias not pictured)

Philip Helmer – San Francisco, San Francisco Police Academy

While providing player security at the U.S. Open Golf Championship on June 14, 2012, Officer Helmer came upon a man who was lying on the ground near a golf cart suffering a seizure.Quickly reacting to the situation, Helmer asked a bystander to hold the man's head while he checked for a pulse. After discovering the man had no pulse, Helmer radioed for an ambulance before beginning CPR. Once medical staff arrived on scene, they administered an AED shock and transported the man to the hospital, where he recovered.



Jesse Allured – Napa, Napa County EMS Agency

When the county EMS Office Director left the position unexpectedly, Jesse provided superior leadership, ensured continuity of operations, worked to update the county's EMS and MCI plans, and implemented Medical Priority Dispatch and First Watch systems.


Dr. Joel Levis – Santa Clara, Kaiser Permanente/Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Joel Levis is an integral part of the Santa Clara EMS System. He is a professor of surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, a physician at Kaiser Santa Clara, Medical Director of Foothill College's paramedic training program, and he serves as a member of many boards and committees to improve the local EMS system.


Brian Newton – San Jose, Rural/Metro

Noticing smoke billowing from a second‐floor residence June 15, 2012, Newton and partner gained entrance by kicking in a side door. The two swept the house, finding a girl sleeping in an upstairs bedroom. Once she was out of the building, Newton assisted in providing assessment and care.


Ricky Rod – San Diego, Rural/Metro

Ricky Rod is the field training coordinator for Rural/Metro Ambulance of San Diego Rod is a regular contributor to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services and he trains the athletic trainers with the San Diego Chargers, San Diego High School and the region's universities on emergency treatment methods. Rod has also participated in national and international disasters since 1996 as a member of a federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team.



Nancy Alvarez – Long Beach, Los Angeles County Fire Department

Senior Nurse Alvarez’s EMS outreach and educational efforts in the Los Angeles region are second to none. Alvarez trains all paramedics and EMTs in Los Angeles County which includes two battalions comprised of 13 fire stations containing 225 uniformed personnel, plus dozens of civilians.


Gordon Anderson – San Diego, San Diego County EMS Agency

In Anderson’s 44 years of distinguished EMS service to the San Diego community, he has trained over 1,100 civilians in CPR. Anderson regularly volunteers his time to community outreach programs which include graffiti removal, oil changes for seniors, and CPR instruction.


Reema Makani Boccia – San Diego, Rural/Metro

As public relations manager for Rural/Metro Ambulance of San Diego, Reema Makani Boccia leads internal and external communications, social media, event planning and community outreach. Among her many creative initiatives are a robust EMS Week schedule, her monthly public safety segments on the local TV news, the "Neighborhood Beat" CPR program, the Esteban Bahena Memorial Scholarship, a bi-monthly employee newsletter, and an Ambassador program training personnel to participate in community events.


James Bradbury – Bakersfield, Hall Ambulance Service Inc.

EMT Bradbury has logged more volunteer hours during his tenure at Hall Ambulance than all other employees combined. Bradbury provides mentorship to other Hall Ambulance employees, is active in the Mayor's Highway Cleanup Project, makes regular EMS presentations to schools, churches and community groups, and is an EMT Preceptor responsible for assisting new employees during their orientation program.


Karrie Groves – Marin, Marin County EMS Agency

Nurse Groves is the "Cheerleader for Survival." She developed and organized several community EMS activities, including Sidewalk CPR where volunteers trained over 700 individuals in CPR, the Marin County Survivors' Celebration, and a Flash Mob at the Sausalito Art Festival that is designed to raise awareness of the importance of citizen CPR.


Diane St. Denis – San Jose, Santa Clara County Disaster Response Program Volunteer

Emergency Room Nurse St. Denis has exhibited outstanding mentorship and dedication during her six years of exemplary volunteer service to the Santa Clara EMS Agency. Working with the Every 15 Minutes program, St. Denis makes 3-4 presentations to high schools each year. St. Denis has volunteered hundreds of hours to the Santa Clara County Mass Care Shelter Committee, the local Red Cross chapter, the local food bank and community flu clinics, in addition to participating in dozens of trainings, deployments and exercises.




Michael Antonucci, Jr. – Upland, Upland Fire Department

Chief Antonucci retired as Chief of the Upland Fire Department this year after devoting over 37 years to EMS in California, operating ground transport ambulance in El Dorado County and air ambulance in Kern and San Bernardino counties. He also served with the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, where he was responsible for eight Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces and coordinated the California fire service's preparations for incidents involving hazardous materials, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, floods, and mass casualties. Over the years he responded to many disasters, including the Loma Prieta and Northridge earthquakes. As part of the FEMA USAR Advance Incident Support Team, he responded to the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, Hurricane Bertha, and the Centennial Park bombing at the Atlanta Olympics. Chief Antonucci is also a co-founder of the California Fire EMS and Disaster Conference and Expo held annually in Palm Springs.



Dr. Marianne Gausche‐Hill – Riverside, UCLA Medical Center

Marianne Gausche‐Hill is the Director of Emergency Medical Services and Director of the EMS and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowships at Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. She is nationally known for her research in airway management for children and for her leadership in the field of pediatric emergency medicine. Dr. Gausche-Hill has devoted hundreds of hours to the Emergency Medical Services Authority EMS for Children program and is an essential partner in that effort.



Sheldon Gilbert – San Leandro, Paramedics Plus

Fire Chief Sheldon Gilbert began his EMS career as a paramedic and, in 1986, joined the service that would become the Alameda County Fire Department. He was instrumental in the creation and growth of the ACFD and established the Alameda County Fire Department Paramedic Program. Chief Gilbert has been active in improving EMS statewide in his roles as President of the California Fire Chiefs Association and as a Governor's Appointee to the California EMS Commission. He has also served as a co-chair to the Blue Ribbon Task Force and as a County Fire Department Representative on the FIRESCOPE Board of Directors. Chief Gilbert retired from the fire service last year and is now California Chief Operating Officer for Paramedics Plus.



Harvey Hall – Bakersfield, Hall Ambulance Service, Inc.

In 1971, Harvey Hall founded Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. Forty years later he still serves at the helm and now employs 400 people. He is active in the California Ambulance Association as well as in community work serving homeless, military veterans, and underprivileged youth. In addition, Hall is serving his third term as Mayor of Bakersfield.


Miles Julihn – San Rafael, Marin County EMS Agency

Miles Julihn began his EMS career as a paramedic firefighter and eventually led four fire departments as a fire chief. He retired from Menlo Park Fire Protection District in 2002. He is now EMS Administrator in Marin County. From 2009 to 2011 Miles served as President of the EMS Administrators Association of California.


Dr. Baxter Larmon – Los Angeles, UCLA Medical Center

Dr. Larmon is director and co‐founder of the Prehospital Care Research Forum at UCLA and the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care, which was the first program to receive national accreditation. He also serves on the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council providing valuable guidance to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.



Dr. Robert Mackersie – San Francisco, UC San Francisco Department of Medicine.

Dr. Mackersie is a surgeon with board certification in surgical critical care, practicing in general and trauma surgery and serves as Trauma Medical Director at the University of California/San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Mackersie currently serves as an officer for several surgical organizations and is a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Mackersie has been appointed Secretary/Treasurer for the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Dr. Mackersie has also expanded the Trauma Nurse Practitioner program, and has progressed in developing the first aero-medical transport facility at San Francisco General Hospital. He is a former Commissioner for the State Emergency Medical Services Authority. Dr. Mackersie directs the national program in Trauma System Planning and Evaluation for the American College of Surgeons, which includes the development of national benchmarks for trauma systems and trauma centers, and the creation of national guidelines for trauma systems development. He chairs the State Trauma Advisory Committee and he donates his time to assist California's local EMS agencies develop a local trauma system in addition to advising hospitals preparing for Trauma Center designation.




Dr. Eric Rudnick – Redding, Northern California EMS Agency and Santa Clara EMS Agency

Dr. Rudnick serves as medical director for both Nor Cal EMS Agency and for Santa Clara County EMS Agency. He serves as a member of the State Commission on EMS and he is a past president of the Emergency Medical Directors Association of California. Dr. Rudnick has shown his passion for EMS by his active involvement with numerous committees and working groups. Most recently he has worked to develop statewide guidelines and best practices for the treatment of patients with ventricular assist devices.



Bruce Barton – Riverside, Riverside County EMS Agency

Bruce Barton is being honored for his work to achieve consensus for a collaborative resolution to the issue of integration of fire service EMS into EMS systems during 2010 and 2011. Bruce went above and beyond his role as the President of the EMS Administrators Association and member of the EMS Commission in helping to lead a stakeholders workgroup on potential legislative solutions.



Alison Lowder (Santa Rosa)
Andrew Kelly (San Diego)
Brandon Resendez (Paradise)
Bruce Hasek (Paradise)
Bryan Frey (Orange)
Bryce Sweeney (Paradise)
Casey Silver (Chico)
Chad Smart (Orange)
Christi Nelson (Sunnyvale)
Clint Dona (Tustin)
David Antonowich (Chico)
David Ott (Sacramento)
Douglas Murray (San Francisco)
Dustin Slikker (San Diego)
Eileen Navarro (Bakersfield)
Garret Estevane (San Diego)
Heidi Woods (Bakersfield)
Jason Van Zile (San Diego)
Jeff Perkins (Bakersfield)
Jessica Hopkins (Orange)
Joe Hanley (Sebastopol)
Joe Taylor (San Diego)
John Singler (Paradise)
Joseph Dequattro (Vallejo)
Leanna Navarro (San Diego)
Matthew McDonald (Chino Hills)
Matthew Palma (San Francisco)
Mike Hilliard (Bakersfield)
Nicole Bonn (Vallejo)
Pamela Watson (Vallejo)
Piti Sukavivatanachai (Orange)
Ryan Judson (San Diego)
Ryan Redd (Chico)
Sam Humphries (Vallejo)
Shawn Perryman (Bakersfield)
Steve Clifton (Sebastopol)
Tanya Johnson (Bakersfield)
Trenton Amaro (Pomona)


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