It was only fitting that many awards were given out during the annual Regional EMS Council Appreciation Banquet at the Genetti Hotel Thursday night.
EMS providers were reminded that their efforts to help people in emergencies are appreciated and that they should not forget they are heroes.
Joe Schmider, director of the state Department of Health-Bureau of EMS, said challenges for emergency providers are becoming harder all the time.
Joe Schmider, director of the state Department of Health-Bureau of EMS, speaks Thursday night at the annual Regional EMS Council Appreciation Banquet at the Genetti Hotel. Schmider said challenges for emergency providers are becoming harder all the time. Money is tighter and regulations and educational standards are changing.
Money is tighter for bringing EMS services to communities, and regulations and educational standards are changing.
He reminded the EMS personnel - who serve residents in Lycoming, Tioga and Sullivan counties - that they are among a group of statewide providers being dispatched 1.8 million times a year.
"And, you do it every single day," he said.
Award recipients recognized at annual banquet
The following individuals and agencies received awards during Thursday's Regional EMS Council Appreciation Banquet:
Rescue Technician of the Year, Jeff Kukuchka, Old Lycoming Fire Co.
Dispatcher of the Year, Stephanie Andrus
First Responder of the Year, Robert Miller, Muncy Township Volunteer Fire Co.
EMT of the Year, Tina Wright
Paramedic of the Year, Andrew Mattocks, Susquehanna Regional EMS
EMS Instructor of the Year, Paula Miller, Pennsdale Ambulance
Volunteer of the Year, Carl Shaner, Lairdsville Volunteer Fire Co.
EMT of the Year, Chris Kelly, Mildred Fire Co.
Rescue Technician of the Year, Danny Morrison, Laporte Volunteer Fire Co.
Ambulance Crew of the Year, Larry Laubach and Amos Osborne, Morris Firemen's Ambulance
EMT of the Year, Tim Mays, Wellsboro Ambulance
Paramedic of the Year, Steve Seeley, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital
Physician of the Year, Dr. Edgar Wong, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital
Dispatcher of the Year, Tammy Kendrick
Ambulance Service of the Year awards went to Eagles Mere Ambulance Association, Mansfield Firemen's Ambulance and Willing Hand Hose Co.
Leta Beam, a leadership and business coach, author and president of Vantage International, told the emergency responders that they make a huge contribution to society.
"We are at our very, very best when we bring ourselves to an emergency or crisis," she said.
Beam credited EMS personnel for being there for her late father in his final years.
"He was able to live independently, thanks to them," she said. "They were able to calm him down when he needed them."
Beam challenged EMS providers with being the best they can be.
She told them that everyone can be a leader, but it means stepping out of comfort zones.
"I dare you to lead from wherever you are in your organization," she said.
It can mean, she said, coaching other members of the organization, stepping up and doing more, and being a hero.
Beam said opportunities are always in plain sight.
The Kline A. DeWire Memorial EMS Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Steve Wilson, president of the Central Area Fire Chiefs Association, a flight medic with Geisinger Life Flight who also works part time with Susquehanna Regional Medical Center as an EMS.
Joe Radley, longtime bylaws committee chairman of Lycoming County EMS Council, also received special recognition.