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NAEMT Announces the 2017 Recipients of the EMS Advocate of the Year Award

Apr 25, 2017

NAEMT will present the 2017 EMS Advocate of the Year Awards on April 25 during EMS On The Hill Day. EMS Advocate of the Year Awards recognize professionals whose volunteer efforts advance EMS through educating and engaging elected government leaders, the EMS community, the wider healthcare community, and the public.

NAEMT congratulates and thanks the recipients for their determined support on behalf of the EMS profession and our patients! Three nominees were selected to receive the 2017 awards from nominations submitted from around the county. The recipients are:

Nick Adams (Georgia)
Nick has dedicated himself for almost 20 years to career and volunteer work serving others in his community. Working with local, regional and state fire departments, EMS agencies and local government, Nick has been an instrument for change within the EMS community. He has educated elected leaders through testimony and written work on the provisions of EMS legislation. He helped local and state leaders draft legislation to support the ability of EMS to provide quality patient care. Nick engaged EMS professionals in the Metro Atlanta and southeast region in advocating for the legislation. He frequently uses his social media outlets to encourage members of the EMS profession to support and advocate for legislation important to the industry. "So many of our society's greatest advocates go unsung and I feel Nick's song should be heard by the masses," said Ryan McKay, Paramedic and Lieutenant for Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services.

Jon Cohn (Wisconsin)
"Chief Cohn has been a leader in the area of EMS and a champion at the state level regarding EMS legislation," said Chief Rob Ugaste, President of the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association. He has also been actively involved in collaborating for the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs with the Professional Ambulance Association, Wisconsin Professional Firefighters Association, and the Wisconsin EMS Association on various EMS legislation. Jon has been active in Community Paramedic legislation, educating elected officials and building relationships with those who have influence over its passage. He has educated fellow EMS professionals about this legislation and how it would provide an additional means for paramedics to make a difference in the community. Jon strives to teach the importance of advocating for Community Paramedic legislation and how his peers can effectively advocate through the Milwaukee County EMS Mobile Integrated Health Steering Committee.

Garrett Hedeen (Indiana)

Serving as the elected official in the Local 416 Union, Garrett demonstrated his ability as a great advocate for Indianapolis EMS. He attended multiple hearings on the Hill to support all his colleagues in Indiana. Indianapolis EMS Lt. Jennifer McCarter-Fultz said, "Garrett was right there fighting for our voice." He has helped raise the public safety reputation of the Indiana Association of EMS in the city of Indianapolis and has continued his own education on public safety, which led to him receiving a Master's degree. Garrett is part of the Indiana EMS Commission, assists with multiple advocacy hearings, and reviews all new bills to ensure they are in the best interest of the EMS profession. Garrett's advocacy efforts have helped to advance the EMS profession and raise awareness to the important role of EMS to the communities of Indianapolis.

As part of the award, recipients have their expenses paid to participate in EMS On The Hill Day. Nominations for this award are evaluated on the extent to which the nominee effectively advocates for the passage of EMS legislation by:

  • Educating elected government leaders at the local, state or federal levels on the components of the legislation and how it supports the ability of EMS to provide quality patient care.
  • Building strong relationships with the elected officials and their staff who have influence over the passage of EMS legislation.
  • Educating fellow EMS professionals about EMS legislation; how the legislation would impact the ability of EMS to provide quality patient care, the importance of advocating for the legislation, and how to effectively advocate.
  • Engaging members of the EMS profession in advocacy activities in support of the legislation.

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