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Lisa M. Camp awarded 2010 NAEMT Paramedic of the Year Award

Sep 29, 2010

NAEMT has awarded Lisa M. Camp, of Friendswood, Texas, the 2010 NAEMT Paramedic of the Year Award, sponsored by Masimo. The award was presented to Camp last night, September 28, at the NAEMT General Membership Meeting and Awards presentation, held in conjunction with EMS EXPO 2010 in Dallas.

Each year, NAEMT collaborates with other national EMS organizations to recognize outstanding achievements and contributions in EMS. The NAEMT Paramedic of the Year Award recognizes a paramedic who demonstrates excellence in the performance of emergency medical services. NAEMT award winners receive a $1,000 award stipend, plus free travel, lodging for three nights and registration for EMS EXPO 2010.

Camp, EMS Chief, Friendswood Volunteer EMS, was nominated for the award by her friend, Chief Roy L. Hunter, of Clear Lake Emergency Medical Corps. “I once was asked ‘what is a hero?’ I answered this as: A hero is someone you strive to imitate. Lisa Camp is my hero for all the wonderful things she does for her community and her country,” notes Hunter. “Lisa should be recognized due to her support of the citizens of Friendswood, the State of Texas, and the country through her leadership in quality prehospital patient care and community-wide emergency response. When it comes to emergency medical services, Lisa is the sage in the area. She gives so much of her time to the EMS community. She has been at the forefront in the areas of patient care, public access, medical control, disaster preparedness, public education and training.”

Improving patient care

Hunter notes that Camp’s EMS team uses cutting-edge technologies to help its patients recover as fully as possible from their emergencies. One of these technologies, which Camp was instrumental in setting up, was the use of a Induced Cooling by EMS (I.C.E) protocol. Camp had noted that post-resuscitation encephalopathy was the single largest contributor to post-resuscitation deaths and poor neurological outcomes. As part of an effort to reduce the disparity between EMS resuscitation rates and hospital discharge rates, Camp began looking at the use of induced hypothermia on post-resuscitation return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) patients. After finding limited side effects, she developed a comprehensive protocol for EMS to use induced hypothermia as part of a multifaceted approach to optimize neurologic resuscitation on the ROSC patients. The local emergency department, Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, under direction of Abel Longoria, M.D., submitted the original study to the medical review board. The information collected on patient care and outcomes led to this protocol becoming a permanent treatment for ROSC patients.

Additionally, noting a lag time in cardiac patients getting into the cardiac catheterization labs, Camp worked with EMS medical director Oscar Boultinghouse, M.D. and directed her EMS practitioners start double-lumen IV catheters and administration of Heparin in the field, and to send 12-Lead ECGs via telemetry. This solution has provided multiple entry ports for the various medications and procedures introduced in the lab, and allowed the emergency department physicians to get an early look at ECG tracing, all of which has significantly reduced the amount of time required for patient preparation. By performing at least three of the critical steps in cardiac patient care in the prehospital setting, Camp has helped the catheterization team to begin definitive, life-saving treatment sooner. The cardiac cath lab physicians in the local Houston area have attributed at least two successful catheterizations to the aggressive prehospital care provided by EMS practitioners under Camp’s direction. One patient’s family was told by the attending physician that the patient was alive only because of the advanced techniques utilized by Camp’s team.

Protecting the community and working nationally

Hunter also describes how, on behalf of her community, Camp has proactively prepared for the possibility of either a natural or man-made disaster by participating in and sponsoring conferences and drills in disaster management, acquiring specialized antidote kits, and training her services to use Level C personal protection equipment. “After the events of September 11, 2001, Lisa wanted to do more for her community and country and joined the Texas-3 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs), where she fills a vital leadership role,” says Hunter. As part of her position with the DMAT, Camp deployed to New Orleans for several weeks after Hurricane Katrina.

Camp has served as a mentor, supporter and advocate for EMS throughout the country, Hunter notes. “Having worked in EMS for more than 30 years, Lisa has always strived for the best in care from herself and from her service. Raised in a fire/EMS family, Lisa has been active in EMS and fire response since she became old enough to join the Friendswood Volunteer EMS (FVEMS) and Friendswood Volunteer Fire Department,” he says. Camp worked through the ranks to become the FVEMS Chief in 1995. She has created a successful continuing education program that informs members and provides them with motivation and confidence regarding their abilities to provide excellent patient care. “Leading by example, Lisa works several shifts, attends continuing education classes and goes to business meetings. She encourages FVEMS to be active within the community and assists in bimonthly free immunization clinics, community CPR training, child car seat safety inspections and other safety and injury prevention activities,” Hunter says. “Lisa took her own limited time to become trained as a Safety Clown and performs at schools and community events. She also formed a Bike Medic group, after getting the bicycles and other needed equipment donated to FVEMS. This has been a great asset to assist in emergency response to parades and races.”

Camp holds a Bachelor's degree in Public Management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Public Service Careers Department at the College of the Mainland, Texas City, teaching an online EMS management course and other EMS courses. Camp also serves on the college’s Public Service Advisory Board.

Other recent awards that Camp has won include 2008 EMS Educator, Greater Houston EMS; 2007 Public Education, Greater Houston EMS; 2007 EMS Administrator, Greater Houston EMS; 2007 Houston Astros Hometown Hero; 2007 Houston Astros Hometown Hero; 2007 Volunteer EMS Provider Award, Texas Department of State Health Services; 2002 EMS Administrator, Texas Department of State Health Services; and 2001 Volunteer EMS Provider Award, Texas Department of State Health Services.

“I would like to express my surprise and gratitude at being selected for the NAEMT 2010 Paramedic of the Year Award,” says Camp. “It is truly an honor to receive this prestigious award. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge my family, friends, colleagues and students that inspire me each day to advance EMS as a profession in our small part of the world. Thank you all!”