2021 Award winners and video of the ceremony (click here).

Brave. Dedicated. Willing. Reliable.

These words describe the 86,000 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 brightest.

Nominate an EMS Hero!

Nominate an EMS Hero

EMSA is currently accepting nominations for consideration for the 2021 California EMS Awards Program. EMS providers, supervisors, and managers are encouraged to nominate any deserving individual for recognition. 

2021 California EMS Awards Nominations

EMSA will accept nominations for the annual awards on a continuous basis. However, all nominations for the 2021 awards program must be submitted by December 31, 2021.

Awards recipients will be selected and notified in early 2022, with a ceremony occuring shortly thereafter.

Be a Sponsor

Become an EMS Awards Sponsor!

The California EMS Awards Program operates at no cost to the State of California. The event is funded in part by the sale of dinner tickets (award recipients and their guest are hosted) and in part by sponsorship contributions. The event(s) would not be possible without the support that the EMS Authority receives from sponsorships from the EMS community.

Choose your level of sponsorship:

Platinum: $5,000       Gold: $3,500       Silver: $2,500       Bronze: $1,500

$5,000 – Platinum level sponsors present a prestigious award of choice and state a general message (and for an in-person event, receive eight event tickets)
$3,500 – Gold level sponsors present an “Of The Year” Award (and for and in-person event, receive four event tickets)
$2,500 – Silver level sponsors present one award (and for an in-person event, receive three event tickets)
$1,500 – Bronze level sponsors (for an in-person event, receive two events tickets)

Specialty sponsorships – call Jennifer to see what is available

In addition to helping out a worthy cause, sponsors are recognized for their contribution in several ways, including:

  • Verbal recognition during the awards program;
  • Inclusion of sponsor name and logo in full color on the event invitation, event signage, and program;
  • Prominent logo placement on event website;
  • Social media promotions;
  • Complimentary professional event photobook with sponsor name and logo. View our 2018 CA EMS Awards Photo Book!

Other contributions are gladly accepted!

For sponsorship opportunities please contact:

Jennifer Lim
Deputy Director of Policy, Legislative & External Affairs
California EMS Authority
10901 Gold Center Drive, Suite 400
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Phone: (916) 431-3700

Award Categories

Award Categories

The California EMS Awards Program honors special advocacy, meritorious acts, heroic acts, innovations or new approaches 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. These awards are intended to recognize meritorious acts of certified and/or licensed EMS providers. To nominate, state the nominee’s relationship to the EMS system, the types of service or acts for which the nomination is being made and provide supporting documentation where appropriate.

List of Individual Awards

Medal of Valor
EMS Cross
Distinguished Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Lifesaving Medal
Community Service Award
Inter-service EMS Recognition Medal
Civilian Award for EMS


Medal of Valor Graphic

Medal of Valor

Recognizes an EMT for acts of personal valor or heroism in the delivery of emergency medical care, which results in the saving of a life under extreme conditions and/or in extraordinary circumstances.

EMS Cross award picture

EMS Cross

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.

Distinguished Service Medal picutre

Distinguished Service Medal

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.

Meritorious Service Medal Picture

Meritorious Service Medal

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.

Lifesaving Medal Picture

Lifesaving Medal

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.

Community Service Award Picture

Community Service Award

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. A maximum of ten Community Service Awards will be conferred in any one year.

Inter-Service EMS Recognition Medal Picture

Inter-service EMS Recognition Medal

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.

Civillian Award for EMS Picture

Civilian Award for EMS

Recognizes a civilian (non-certified, non-health care provider) who provides extraordinary service during the course of an EMS emergency. Awards are relatively based upon the degree of patient outcome, extreme conditions, or extraordinary circumstances.


List of Statewide Awards

EMT of the Year
EMS Educator of the Year
EMS Medical Director of the Year
EMS Administrator of the Year

EMT of the Year Award Picture

EMT of the Year Award

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. Describe the nominee’s qualities and contributions to the local EMS service or system. Letters of support from fellow EMTs, local EMS directors, and local officials will be weighed heavily.

EMS Educator of the Year Award Picture

EMS Educator of the Year Award

Honors an EMS educator who excels as a teacher or who has made a significant contribution to the EMS education program in the State. Active EMS educators or EMS training officers are eligible. Nominations may be made by anyone. Include all specific background and achievements which delineate why the nominee is deserving.

EMS Medical Director of the Year Award Picture

EMS Medical Director of the Year Award

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. To nominate, detail the special contributions or meritorious service of the nominee and provide supporting documentation if appropriate.

EMS Administrator of the Year Picture

EMS Administrator of the Year Award

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. To nominate, identify the individual’s contributions, achievements, role in EMS and why he/she is deserving of the honor.

Special Recognition Ribbons

California EMS Awards Program – Individual Achievement Recognition

The Educational Achievement and Service Achievement bars serve to officially recognize EMTs who have completed specified periods of service and met certain educational benchmarks. The decorations are authorized by the EMS Authority to be worn by any EMT who has met the qualifications for the recognition.

Nominations are accepted on a continual basis. Individuals wishing to nominate themselves or others should complete a nomination form. All nominations must contain legible substantiating information from authoritative sources, including academic transcripts, degree copies, personnel records, or verification by human resources personnel. Upon verification, the achievement bar(s) and certificate(s) will be mailed to the nominee’s mailing address provided in the nomination form unless otherwise noted.

Service Achievement Award Picture

Educational Achievement Recognition

May be worn by an EMT who has completed an associate degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher learning.

Service Achievement Award Picture

Service Achievement Recognition

May be worn by an EMT who has completed 10 years of service. Numerals (2+) may be worn for every subsequent 10 years.

Service Achievement Award Picture

Clinical Excellence Award

Recognizes an EMT who provides noteworthy patient care and treatment during the course of their duties.


Contact Information

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact EMSA External Affairs at (916) 431-3700 or e-mail to externalaffairs@emsa.ca.gov.