EMS Awards Program

These awards honor 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.


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

The following decorations are authorized by the EMS Authority, but not awarded as part of a formal ceremony. These decorations may be worn by individual EMTs that have met the qualifications set forth below:

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.

<< Back to EMS Awards page