2019 EMS Awards Recipients

2019 EMS Awards Logo

Brave. Dedicated. Willing. Reliable. These words describe the 80,000 licensed or certified EMS providers in California. They demonstrate these qualities every day by coming to the aid of others when they are most in need and working to ensure that the EMS system operates well. However, each year, due to circumstance or extraordinary effort, certain individuals among us shine.

The EMS Authority seeks to recognize those individuals through the California Emergency Medical Services Awards Program. The awards program honors special accomplishments, meritorious and heroic acts, innovations or fresh ideas to improve EMS in the state, or other unique and/or significant contributions by EMS personnel, physicians, nurses, EMTs, other medical providers, local officials, members of the law enforcement community, citizens, and first responders.

Most of the awards will be presented during a luncheon ceremony following the regular meeting of the Commission on Emergency Medical Services on December 4, 2019, at the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel in San Francisco. In addition to the 58 awards handed out at the ceremony, 24 Clinical Excellence Awards and Certificates of Commendation will be presented at the recipients’ home stations apart from the formal ceremony in San Francisco.



Honors an EMT-I, EMT-II and EMT-Paramedic, each of whom is exemplary in his/her quality of patient care and/or dedication to their community. Any statewide certified EMT-I or EMT-II, and any licensed EMT-Paramedic is eligible. Nominations may be made by anyone.

John Ehrhart – San Diego – California Paramedic Foundation

For his pioneering leadership advocating the advancement of paramedicine as a working paramedic. As the co-founder and director of the CA Paramedic Foundation; John promotes advanced practice standards for paramedics, opioid use prevention programs, children’s injury prevention campaigns, and advancing EMS providers’ safety strategies, community paramedicine, and the use of health information exchange. He has experience as a ground and flight paramedic with a degree in human biology from the University of California San Diego. John actively participates with state and local policymakers to impact legislative and regulatory improvements for the EMS profession.


Honors an EMS educator who excels as a teacher or who has made a significant contribution to the EMS education program in the State.

Gretchen Medel – Discovery Bay – Contra Costa Community College District

For inspiring her students and teaching them to exemplify principles of respect, integrity, and humility. In 2008, Gretchen Medel left her position as President of a staffing company and began working as an EMT and soon after began teaching at high schools and colleges. Gretchen has mastered the use of instructional resources by incorporating videos and discussions in unique ways to enhance learning. She has proven that she genuinely cares about educating her students when deciding to continue teaching while also going through chemotherapy treatments. Gretchen’s impact has been far-reaching as she has touched and inspired those around her.


Honors a physician who serves or has served the EMS system by providing medical direction, on-line or off-line, and who has served with distinction. A physician licensed in California who serves or has served meritoriously as an EMS physician supervisor or as an on-line medical control physician and who has made a special contribution through such activities as systems development, continuing education, quality assurance, medical community liaison, etc.

Marianne Gausche-Hill – Santa Fe Springs – Los Angeles County EMS Agency

For being instrumental in advancing the practice of EMS and working tirelessly to improve the care of all patients. As a pediatric emergency physician, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill has not only published extensively on pediatrics but has also led the implementation of EMS practices based upon current evidence. She serves in many leadership positions, including having been the president of the EMS Medical Directors Association of California and serving on countless national committees. Dr. Gausche-Hill is a mentor and role model for all levels of EMS professionals.


Honors an EMS system administrator who has distinguished him or her self through noteworthy contribution to a local, regional, or to the statewide EMS system. Local EMS administrators (supervisory operations, planning, or management personnel) in California are eligible.

Cathy Chidester – Santa Fe Springs – Los Angeles County EMS Agency

For her consistent dedication to emergency care and emergency medical services in the state of California. Cathy Chidester is relied upon as an expert in both EMS administration and EMS education. As the Director of the Los Angeles County EMS Agency, Chidester leads the largest multi-jurisdictional EMS system in the country. During her time in this position, she has helped expand the LA County Trauma System by adding new centers and services in 2010. She also helped oversee the implementation of STEMI, Cardiac Arrest, and Stroke Systems of Care. As a leader of many efforts to improve EMS delivery throughout the state, Cathy serves as the Regional Disaster Medical Health Coordinator of Region 1. Chidester has served as the local EMS agency (LEMSA) representative and a Board Member and Executive Committee Member with the Emergency Medical Services Administrators’ Association of California (EMSAAC).


Recognizes an individual for distinguished service or achievement affecting statewide EMS over an extended period of time. A maximum of ten Distinguished Service Medals will be awarded in any one year.

Howard Backer MD, FACEP, FAEMS – Rancho Cordova – EMS Authority Director (former)

For over 19 years of exemplary leadership in healthcare for the citizens of California. Dr. Howard Backer had been with the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) since 2011 and has been a champion for community paramedicine; specialty areas in emergency medicine in trauma, pediatrics, ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) and Stroke Critical Care Systems; and advancing health information technologies. His advocacy for the professionalism of pre-hospital medical services is evident throughout the State and was demonstrated by his leadership in coordinating State emergency medical and healthcare resources during the tragic wildfires in 2017 and 2018. Dr. Backer previously served for ten years at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Backer was Associate Secretary for Emergency Preparedness at the California Health and Human Services Agency. Before government service, Dr. Backer practiced emergency medicine full-time for 25 years in rural, urban, and suburban settings.

Carol Bebout R.N., MICN 0001 – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County EMS Authority

For her hard work and dedication to establishing the paramedic training system that we use today. As the head nurse of the Coronary Care Unit at Harbor General Hospital, Ms. Bebout was the first to teach one of the early paramedic programs in the state and nation. Bebout assisted Dr. Michael Criley in the development of the curriculum that started the paramedic service that we know today. Not only did she teach the students and find ways to operationalize the program, but she was the first Mobile Intensive Care Nurse.

John Michael Criley MD, FACC, MACP – Palo Verde Estates – David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

For over 50 years of service to the medical field as an innovator and a leader in EMS. In the 1960s Dr. John Michael Criley was an active researcher in emergency care for cardiac patients. He developed the concept of improving outcomes by delivering life-saving care and equipment to the patient outside of a hospital setting. His vision was to train fire department personnel to staff mobile ambulances that would have the capability to provide advanced cardiac care. In 1969 Dr. Criley advocated for this program with the Board of Supervisors and ultimately created a curriculum and trained the first twelve paramedics. Throughout his career, he has supported the development of emergency medical services both regionally and around the nation.

Evelyn Riley – La Crescenta – David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

For her dedication while providing EMS services for more than forty years. Evelyn Riley is a gifted educator, a creative scholar, and a realistic leader. Evelyn began her EMS career as a Mobile Intensive Care Nurse (MICN). In 1989 she became one of the first Fire Department Nurse Educators in California. In 1995 Evelyn became one of the first Fire Department Nurse/Quality Improvement Coordinators in the Southern California area. In 2001 she became the Director of Fire and Law Enforcement Division at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for Pre-hospital Care. Evelyn keeps an active commitment to teaching and coordination of educational and quality improvement activities.


Recognizes a uniformed EMT who by act and deed represents the most outstanding achievement or accomplishment in EMS over an extended period of time. This is the highest award that can be conferred in the absence of extreme conditions and extraordinary circumstances.

Nicole Gonzales – Port Hueneme – AMR Ventura

For over 15 years of selfless dedication to the community. Since December 2017, Nicole Gonzales has taken on leading the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program and she has become a great resource for anyone in need of the service regardless of their uniform. Nicole’s work in CISM creates a culture where first responders feel comfortable asking for help and speaking up when they go through a difficult experience. She has responded to several CISM activations ranging from an employee’s personal problems to line of duty deaths and her CISM efforts were instrumental during the Woolsey Fire and a mass shooting at a Ventura bar. Nicole continues to work as an EMT in the field responding to emergencies; and as a Field Training Officer, she has taken on a lead training role for current and new EMTs.

Jesse Winnen – Morgan Hill – CAL FIRE, Santa Clara Unit / Team 1

For his consistent dedication to improving emergency medical services. Battalion Chief Jesse Winnen manages the accreditation of new Paramedics and the credentials of current personnel. After several incidents where fireline personnel sustained injuries from chainsaws, Jesse saw a need for lightweight EMS equipment to be available on the fireline. He researched a company that created a small kit that included tourniquets, quick clot gauze, chest seals, compression dressings, sheers, and medical gloves. These kits are being purchased and placed on emergency apparatus statewide for several different departments. Chief Winnen was instrumental in creating the first minimum inventory list for all CAL FIRE BLS engine companies using industry best standards. He is also the instructor for the Medical Unit Leader course and has taught several courses for State and local government agencies. Jesse then takes his position on the CAL FIRE Team and brings his former students out to incidents and mentors them in the position until they are fully qualified.


Recognizes an individual for a meritorious act or service within EMS. This award also recognizes an EMT for an act that is above and beyond the call of duty in the course of a particular EMS emergency or event.

James Armstrong and Jason Bond – Napa – AMR Napa County
Michael Cabano – San Jose – Santa Clara County EMS Agency
Brad Gates – Rancho Cordova – EMS Authority (prev. AMR Contra Costa County)
Stephen Johnston – Rocklin – AMR Placer County
Michael Marsh – Dixon – American Medical Response
Chad Newland and Scott Newlin – Concord – AMR Contra Costa County
James Pierson – Vallejo – Medic Ambulance
Jason Weed – San Jose – Santa Clara County EMS Agency

For their accomplishments as an EMS Overhead Team, in response to several wildfire disasters. James Armstrong, Jason Bond, Michael Cabano, Brad Gates, Stephen Johnston, Michael Marsh, Chad Newland, Scott Newlin, James Pierson, and Jason Weed coordinated multiple evacuations and interfacility transports during the Valley Fire, the Clayton Fire, the North Bay Fires, the Mendocino Complex Fires, and the catastrophic Camp Fire. Under their exceptional leadership, no EMS crews or patients were injured or killed, no ambulances were involved in any accidents, and no patients were misplaced or lost. Based on the success of this “EMS Overhead Team” model, the EMS Authority Disaster Medical Services Division and the Ambulance Strike Team Advisory Committee is working to adopt the “EMS Overhead Team” concept pioneered in these events as a best practice moving forward.

Kevin Bebee, Joshua Guerriera, Daniel Lozano, Jeff MacPhail, Heinz Maibaum, Shaun Peyghambary, Robert Silvia, Bernhard Szilagyi – Gilroy – Gilroy Fire

For their heroic and selfless efforts while responding to victims of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Fire Engineers Kevin Bebee, Daniel Lozano, Jeff MacPhail, Heinz Maibaum, and Bernhard Szilagyi, Firefighters Joshua Guerriera and Robert Silvia and Captain Shaun Peyghambary were assigned to the Gilroy Garlic Festival for fire suppression and EMS response as needed. During clean up, they heard rapid gunfire and soon thereafter they witnessed panic and large crowds running out of the park in all directions. Captain Peyghambary made his way over to the other side of the festival and saw multiple injured people. He went back to the team and began to make assignments. They began to receive gunshot victims into a designated collection point and within 70 minutes they had treated and transported thirteen patients.

Stephen Brown – Fair Oaks – American Medical Response
Norbert Moreno – Sacramento – American Medical Response
Huy Truong – West Sacramento – American Medical Response

For their courage and dedication beyond the normal call of duty. Paramedics Huy Truong and Stephen Brown and EMT Norbert Moreno were a part of the response team the night Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona was ambushed. Truong, Brown, and Moreno along with Davis firefighters became the targets of an assailant who took Officer Corona’s life. As the shooting subsided, they all administered care to the fallen officer, providing the best possible care and taking great personal risk in keeping with the finest traditions of the emergency services.

Jonathan Hunt and Rick Puddy – Napa – AMR Napa County

For their immediate response to help a passenger found severely injured from a vehicle collision. While driving to post, Paramedic Rick Puddy and EMT Jonathan Hunt came upon a car that had collided head-on with a tree at high speed. They found the passenger severely injured and pinned under the dashboard with the car’s engine on fire. They grabbed their extinguishers and put out the flames and their patient was rapidly transported to the Trauma Receiving Center. Without the crew’s timely arrival and effective reaction to the immediate life-threatening circumstances, the patient may have suffered major burns and further significant injury in addition to the ones he sustained from the crash.

Richard Diliberti and Garrick Twedt – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department

For responding to a call of someone who had fallen approximately 40 feet in a remote area of Sylmar. While setting poles via helicopter, the ground around an old pole collapsed causing it to fall into the new pole while the patient was harnessed to it. Deputies Richard Diliberti and Garrick Twedt were both lowered to assist with patient care. Deputy Diliberti saw the patient had a 2-3 inch laceration, which was bleeding moderately and he had also suffered a possible ankle fracture. The deputies carried the patient approximately 50 yards up a trail to the back of a waiting vehicle that drove the patient to a waiting helicopter.

Keenan Blackburn – Chico – AMR Shasta County
Tosh Johndreau – Bella Vista – AMR Shasta County

For their courage, going into an active fire zone and putting their lives on the line to help their fellow first responders. They pushed through blackout smoke conditions and blistering heat as homes and vegetation burned around them and safely loaded the injured firefighters into the ambulance to be transported to Mercy Medical Center. All night, Johndreau and Blackburn went on call after call, as the west side of Redding continued to be evacuated.

Eric Childs – Fresno – American Ambulance
Dominic Smith – Fresno – American Ambulance

For acting with great courage in the face of danger and with a threat to their safety. Paramedic Eric Childs and EMT Dominic Smith were returning to station when they came upon a car crash involving a vehicle that hit the center divider head-on and was on fire. The ambulance crew immediately notified dispatch and jumped into action, managing to break the passenger side window and pull the driver out of the burning car. According to a CHP officer on the scene, had it not been for the American Ambulance crew, the unconscious driver most likely would have died in the vehicle.

Michael Copeland – Newbury Park – American Medical Response

For being an invaluable member of the EMS community for 25 years. Paramedic Michael Copeland regularly trains new paramedics and leads by example. On November 7, 2018, Mike responded to reports of a shooting at a local restaurant. As one of the first to arrive, he immediately began to treat a patient with multiple gunshot wounds. He would later realize that his patient was also a long-time friend and fellow first responder. Mike transported his patient to the hospital and returned to the scene to assist others. Soon afterward Mike would find himself volunteering to provide care to citizens of his community throughout several days of devastating wildfires.


Recognizes an EMS provider who, while in an off-duty or volunteer capacity, makes an extremely noteworthy contribution to efforts which result in the saving of a life.

Marcopolo Agraan – Sacramento – UC David Medical Center
Anthony Anaya – Elk Grove – Consumnes Service District Fire

For immediately responding to help a citizen in need. While off-duty and attending a local parade, UC Davis Registered Nurse Marcopolo Agraan and CSD Fire intern Anthony Anaya didn’t hesitate to help after seeing a band member collapse. Upon discovering the band member had no pulse and was not breathing, Agraan and Anaya initiated CPR. They continued their efforts until the Sacramento Fire Department arrived. The patient regained consciousness in the ER and was discharged only days later.

Herbert Alpers – Morgan Hill – CAL FIRE Santa Clara Unit

For his act of heroism and care for victims of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, while off duty. Fire Captain Paramedic Herbert Alpers was competing in the food challenge of the Gilroy Garlic Festival when someone began firing a gun at the event. He sent his family to a safe place and sprang into action, meeting with other first aid providers to triage and treat victims and organize transportation to hospitals. While off-duty and without any preparation, Alpers went above and beyond to provide treatment and help save lives.

Ashley Fellows – Gilroy – American Medical Response

For her quick actions and dedication to patient care while volunteering at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. As thousands of festival-goers tried to flee, Paramedic Ashley Fellows ran against the crowd to help the injured. She immediately began triaging patients along-side first responders, and she also performed CPR on one victim and helped load him into a truck for transport out of the festival. Ashley continued to provide aid and comfort to many more victims. When commended for her heroic actions, she humbly stated she was “just doing what she was trained to do.”

John-John Leal – San Jose – Royal Ambulance

For his quick thinking and EMT training that helped save the life of a friend during a camping trip. While camping in the remote Tahoe National Forest, John-John Leal and his friends were tubing down the river when suddenly the rapids began to intensify. After Leal made it through a rough stretch of the water he paddled to an island and waited for the others to make it through the rapids. He noticed his friend Juan fell off of his inner tube and blood was gushing down his arm from a two-inch gash between his wrist and his palm. Leal’s training kicked in and he took a friend’s shirt to make a tourniquet for Juan’s wound. John-John, together with another friend’s help, stood Juan up and they all began to climb the steep, rocky cliffside. Campers from the woods brought medical supplies and John-John cleaned up Juan’s wound. Once the fire department arrived, they placed a new tourniquet on Juan and put him into the ambulance. At UC Davis Medical, Juan spent seven hours in surgery and is now on the road to recovery.

Michael Martinez – Perris – CAL FIRE / Riverside County Fire Department

For quickly responding and immediately beginning life-saving CPR. CAL Fire Battalion Chief Michael Martinez was off duty enjoying a day at the pool when there was sudden commotion about a baby drowning in the pool. Chief Martinez immediately dropped what he was doing and assisted another in pulling the child from the pool. After checking for breathing and realizing the five-year-old was unresponsive, Martinez performed CPR and dialed 911 to request a Fire/EMS response. As CAL Fire Riverside County Fire Department arrived on the scene, the child was alert and breathing with a regular pulse. The patient was further cared for and transported to a local pediatric hospital and finally discharged from the hospital without further complications, in large part due to Martinez’s swift response.

Richard Wilson – Auburn – CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit

For saving the life of a young boy whose mom found him lifeless at the bottom of a local swimming pool. Although off duty, Fire Apparatus Engineer Rich Wilson ran to assist a frantic mother whose son was blue and without a pulse. Wilson immediately started CPR while bystanders called 911. After a few rounds of CPR, the boy started breathing on his own. The Huntington Beach Fire Department arrived and took over patient care and the boy recovered fully. Without Wilson’s heroic actions, the outcome may have been much different.

Christopher Wetzel – Perris – CAL FIRE

For his heroic efforts to assist injured citizens caught in an active shooting situation at an outdoor festival. While with his wife, EMT Christopher Wetzel noticed a man shot lying nearby, and he began to help him by applying pressure to the wound. As the gunfire started again, EMT Wetzel laid on top of the injured man to shield him from additional gunfire. In doing so, Wetzel soon noticed a pain in his stomach, the result of a bullet ricochet, but focused his concern on helping the injured man find safety. As Chris passed over care to another first responder, he attempted to get his wife out of the venue and to a safer location. Immediately outside of the gates, Chris noticed another man bleeding profusely, while Chris’s wife made it to safety, he stayed with this injured man to try to help. Once outside of the line of fire, Chris completed a full assessment while continuing to apply pressure to the man’s wound.


Recognizes outstanding heroism, extraordinary service, or achievement of non-EMTs (police officers, firefighters, lifeguards, dispatchers, and other public or private safety officers) for outstanding or exceptional support of a particular EMS emergency, event or operation.

Patricia Banda and Brandon Simon – Culver City – Culver City Police Department

For saving a five-year-old boy who was choking. Culver City Police Officers Patricia Banda and Brandon Simon responded to a 911 call from Rosa Hernandez who thought her son might be choking. As they arrived at Hernandez’s home they found Rosa holding her son, who was not breathing. Hernandez handed her son over to the officers and Officer Banda gave him back thrusts and eventually, he began to cry. The officers got him breathing before paramedics arrived but he was taken to the hospital as a precaution and is going to be just fine.

Brian Cappell – Culver City – Culver City Police Department

For quickly responding to a call for help with a choking infant. Brian Cappell arrived to find baby Harley not crying and with blood in her mouth. Right away, his training kicked in, and he flipped the baby over and started striking her on the back. Once Officer Cappell heard the baby’s cries, he breathed a sigh of relief, and soon paramedics arrived. Harley’s mom, Janet Lockridge, says words can’t express how thankful she is to Cappell for saving her daughter’s life.

Phil Dibene – Sacramento – California Highway Patrol

For remaining calm and assisting citizens with a roadside delivery. Calvin Thompson was on the phone with fire dispatchers who were guiding him and Tiffana LeMaster through childbirth when they pulled over onto the shoulder of Interstate 5. After delivering their baby Ezekiel on the side of the highway, they noticed he was blue and wasn’t breathing. California Highway Patrol Officer Phil Dibene arrived and picked up Ezekiel and gave him a few smacks on the back to clear his airway. While holding Ezekiel in the nursery at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Officer Dibene said he’s just elated that everything turned out well.

Katerine McNulty – Santa Rosa – Redwood Empire Dispatch Communications Authority

For leading her team through some of the most destructive wildfires in California’s history. Dispatch Operations Manager Katerine McNulty remained poised to perform call-taking, dispatching, and resource-ordering activities during the devastation from the Tubbs, Nuns and Pocket fires in 2017. On several occasions, Katerine gave life-saving instructions to citizens in situations that were so unique that no Emergency Fire Dispatch protocols existed for them. Many of the instructions provided have been adopted in the Trapped by Wildfire instructions of the latest EFD protocols. The work McNulty and her team did for those callers will now live on to save many more lives throughout the world.

Gregory Palomo – Oakland – Oakland Police Department

For saving a newborn baby’s life by performing CPR. Oakland Police Department Officer Gregory Palomo saved a life by resuscitating a newborn, just a few minutes old. Officer Palomo received a report of a woman sitting in a vehicle and in need of medical attention. Palomo located the woman and immediately noticed she had just given birth to a baby and the baby was not breathing. He performed CPR on the baby for about a minute before the infant began breathing. EMTs arrived shortly thereafter and took the baby to the hospital where he and the mother are reported to be doing well.


Recognizes an EMT who has made an outstanding commitment to non-patient care aspects of a community’s EMS system. Special emphasis is on EMS Public Information, Education, and Relations.

Erik Johansen – Hayward – Royal Ambulance

For consistently proving himself as dedicated, humble, and selfless in his service to his patients and his peers. With a tireless commitment to leadership, Erik Johansen is a role model for new EMTs entering the field. Recently Erik took over the FTO program at Royal, where he oversees and directs the training of over 200 recruits straight out of the EMT new hire academy. In addition to his role as a mentor, Erik was instrumental in overhauling the operational side of the FTO program. He immediately went to work to improve and standardize processes using LEAN thinking and data-driven initiatives. Erik has a passion for teaching and believes that teaching makes you the best learner, an attitude that makes Erik adaptable, transparent, and always willing to keep an open mind. In addition to leading the FTO program, Erik balances his time volunteering as an instructor at Chabot College’s EMT program while also studying to become a nurse.


Recognizes a civilian (non-certified, non-health care provider) who provides extraordinary service during the course of an EMS emergency.

Amanda Duncan – Sonora, CA

For her quick thinking and actions that saved a woman’s life. Amanda Duncan was swimming in a remote area of the Stanislaus National Forest when she saw a woman initially struggling to stay above water. Duncan then noticed the woman floating face down and jumped in to pull her out with the help of others. She performed CPR and several abdominal thrusts which dislodged a large obstruction of food from the victim’s throat. Duncan then hiked back to her car and called for help. A CAL Fire helicopter hoisted the victim to a waiting ambulance. Amanda’s selflessness and heroic actions saved the woman’s life.

Isabell Pierce – Newcastle, CA

For saving her father’s life by compressing a gunshot wound while he drove himself to a nearby fire station. Isabel Pierce saw her father Brian Pierce bleeding from his chest after being shot by a passing vehicle. Mr. Pierce grabbed a sweatband and placed it over the wound, and Isabel held it in place and applied pressure while her father continued to drive. They drove to a fire station in Loomis and paramedics rushed him to Sutter Roseville. Pierce’s right arm is in a sling, but doctors say his bone will heal and he is already thinking about getting back in the gym.

Michael Quinliven – Eureka, CA

For heroic acts to save motorists lives on two separate occasions. On July 2nd, Caltrans supervisor Mike Quinliven found a father and son who had both been shot in the head in their vehicle. Although he had no idea if the shooter was still nearby, Quinliven pulled the men from the vehicle and began to administer first aid. Doing so helped the son survive the ride to the hospital, but both men died. On July 29th Quinliven saw the Ranch Fire jump the highway while working on State Route 20. After notifying California Highway Patrol, he turned on his emergency lights and drove into the fire. He found Honalee Newman parked on the side of the road with three children in the car, trapped by flames and smoke. He knocked on the window and signaled for her to follow him. With enough visibility to see the center lines of the road, Quinliven guided the family out of the fire. Then he helped law enforcement evacuate more people out of the Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex fires which grew to 410,000 acres.


Recognizes an EMT who provides noteworthy patient care and treatment during the course of their duties. Clinical Excellence Awards are presented at the recipients’ home stations, not at the EMS Awards Ceremony in San Francisco.

Robert Ryland – Oakdale – Mountain Valley EMS Agency
For devoting himself to providing compassionate, quality emergency medical care and leadership to his patients and peers.
Jonathan Prucher – Oakdale – and Larry Schlueter – REACH Air Medical Services
For the rapid rescue and extraordinary treatment of a young patient who had suffered severe trauma following a shark attack at Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas.
Kristen Casteel – Rialto – AMR Sonoma
For her dedicated work ethic supporting vulnerable patients with exemplary focus during critical situations.
Casey Cheshier, Todd Kocisko, James Wolfhope – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department
For demonstrating remarkable patience and focus in locating and rescuing two injured hikers in the canyons of Mount Waterman.
Anthony Fascinato, Timothy Gregory, James Hamon – Redlands – AMR Redlands
For promptly responding to the call of duty when aiding a young patient experiencing neurological distress with lifesaving treatment.
Andrew Gallagher, Robert Goodfellow – San Diego – REACH Air Medical Services
For the determination and resilience he showed while transporting and treating an unresponsive, apneic patient from a remote location to ensure safety and save his life.
Luis Arechiga De Dios – San Mateo – and Eduardo Robles – Oakland – Royal Ambulance
For rendering care to a cyclist that had sustained a significant head injury from a vehicle collision and ensuring community safety thereafter.
Trevor Bolton, Michael Chavarria, Matthew Paulus – Auburn – CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit
For swiftly providing lifesaving care to a young, suffering child that was losing consciousness after being repeatedly stung by wasps.
Matt Jacobson, Brennan Murphy, Kalan Richards – Auburn – CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit
For rapidly assessing and providing an appropriate response to a distressed citizen whose life may have otherwise been lost.


Joseph Attkisson – Visalia – and Chau To – San Jose – CA Army National Guard 184th Infantry Battalion Aid Station
For banding together under extraordinary circumstances to provide relief for thousands of Butte County citizens through outstanding coordination, deployment, and organization of medical and health support services during the Camp Fire response.
Malcolm Meyers – Redding – Precious Cargo Non-Emergency Medical Services
For the remarkable initiative and commitment to public health and safety he displayed at the onset of and during the Camp Fire.
Stephen Robinson – Carlsbad – REACH Air Medical Services
For the rapid rescue and extraordinary treatment of a young patient who had suffered severe trauma following a shark attack at Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas.


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