Advancing the EMS profession

Top News

All News

NAEMT awards 2010 Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award to Jonathan Politis, MPA, EMT-P

Sep 29, 2010

NAEMT has awarded the 2010 Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award to Jonathan Politis, MPA, EMT-P.

The award, NAEMT's most prestigious, is named after one of the founding members of NAEMT. It was presented last night to Politis at the NAEMT General Membership Meeting and Awards presentation, held in conjunction with EMS EXPO 2010 in Dallas. The award is sponsored by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

This award is granted to those few individuals who, through their actions, leadership and spirit, have demonstrated a lifetime commitment and dedication to the advancement of EMS,” said NAEMT President Patrick Moore as he presented the award to Politis.

Politis is one of the charter founding members of NAEMT and is chief of the Town of Colonie Emergency Medical Services Department, located near Albany, New York. “During Jon’s lifetime career in EMS he has provided personal leadership as part of many national events and led his system to be one of the best in the nation,” noted William (“Bill”) E. Brown, Jr., executive director of NREMT.

For the Town of Colonie, Politis served as founding chief from 1989 to 2010. His efforts brought together six volunteer rescue squads into one municipal third service EMS department. Politis now leads 80 career and 40 volunteer EMS practitioners within the department, which responds to 9,500 emergency calls per year and operates a fleet of 22 vehicles, serving a population of about 80,000.

Under his leadership, Colonie was named the NAEMT National Paramedic Service of the Year in 1999, the New York Regional EMS System of the Year in 2010, the New York State EMS System of the Year in 2010, and the International Association of Fire Chief’s Heart Saver Community of the Year in 2010.

As chief, Politis is directly involved in the town's emergency planning and incident management, and in the region's response to disasters.

Previously, he served as assistant director, EMS, New York State Department of Health in Albany, where he was responsible for the administration of all aspects of the EMS educational process for the state's 30,000 emergency medical technicians. Politis also has served as a state EMS training coordinator for both Vermont and New York, and in other roles. Beginning his work in EMS in 1971, and certified as a paramedic in 1980, Politis began his work as a firefighter.

Jon is a guy you want to be around. He’s a character and a leader with the highest degree of integrity. His input has changed EMS in his community, state and the nation,” said Brown, who nominated Politis for the award. “Jon Politis has had a distiguished EMS career that has lasted his lifetime.”

Politis is the author and contributing author of textbooks, curricula and manuals, as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles. He has served as a member of the NREMT Board of Directors for eight years and as a member of the Committee on Accreditation for the EMS Professions for 10 years. He also is an instructor and VIP Backcountry Ranger for the National Park Service in Grand Teton National Park, and has been a registered Alpine Senior Patroller since 1968 with the National Ski Patrol, which awarded him a service award in 1998.