by Richard Uhlhorn
The Lake Chelan Community Hospital Emergency Medical Services held its annual EMS Awards Banquet at the Senior Center on Friday evening, February 28.
EMS Director Ray Eickmeyer
EMS Director Ray Eickmeyer thanked everyone for coming and said the banquet was dedicated to Alan Anderson who served the community for many years as an EMT before he passed.
After showing a video reviewing the Service’s 2019, Paramedic Kurt Middleton told the assembled crowd, “Our EMS crews are awesome. They provide the best care they can.” He lauded the leadership and said the Eickmeyer is a tremendous leader of the team.
Paramedic Kurt Middleton
In 2019, the EMS personnel underwent 136 hours of individual training, paid 236 visits to patients, responded to 1679 emergencies and attended and helped with 173 community events.
The current Service was begun in 1972 by Greta Griffiths along with other local residents and was called the Lake Chelan Valley Ambulance Service. “Today, we are in our 48th year,” said Ray Eickmeyer. “2019 was a good year and our ambulances traveled 53,000 miles.”
“We know we are providing the best care to our patients,” continued Eickmeyer. “We continue to lead the nation in critical care and only two counties in the State equal our service.”
A video interview with Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Cline was shown. Jerry suffered a cardiac arrest in 2019 and EMS crews and Fire District 7 personnel were on the scene in seven minutes. “Without our team, we would not of brought him (Jerry) back,” said Eickmeyer.
The following individuals were recognized at banquet.
First year pins were given to Paramedics TJ Bishop, Brian Dice, Jonah Dobbs and Natalie Renick. EMTs receiving first year pins included Jonathon Mendoza, Samantha Rains and Liliia Veremchuk. Greg Moser and Mark Schramm also received first year pins as paratransit drivers.
Paramedic Johnny Rebel received a five year pin, Paramedic Kurt Middleton received a 10 year pin and Paramedic Jim Gilden received a 25 year pin.
Paramedics Craig Vivian, Mistaya Johnston and Brandon Fogelson along with EMTs John Steiner and Linda Nunez all received Save Pins for cardiac arrest saves throughout 2019.
LCCH CEO George Rohrich
LCCH’s new CEO George Rohrich presented the 2019 Administrator’s Award for “Dedication and Service” to EMT Jared Eygabroad who was unable to attend the banquet. “These EMT’s are the best in the State,” said Rohrich. Eygabroad has taken on the job of the EMS Social Media.
Fire Chief Arnold Baker (left) and Dr. Ty Witt (right) received the 2019 Edward J. Armbruster Award for their respective organizations.
The 2019 Edward J. Armbruster Award was handed out by Kurt Middleton to both the Manson Fire Department and Chelan Rotary. Fire Chief Arnold Baker accepted the award for District 5 and Ty Witt accepted for the Rotary.
The Chelan Rotary has been installing wheelchair ramps for EMS patients that need them. Witt said, “We are humbled and honored to be able to help.”
Eickmeyer presented the “Director’s Award” to Paramedic Brandon Fogelson. “There are many in this room that deserve this award,” said Eickmeyer. “Brandon has gone beyond the call of duty this year.”
The 2019 Personnel of the Year given to “Outstanding Individuals Chosen by their Peers” went to EMT Cendie Dietrich, Rachel McCall, Richard Vincent, Mistaya Johnston and Lindsey Stone “These individuals all work well under pressure.”
After the awards were handed out, Eickmeyer stated that the EMS team does hard things. “We are helping others with health issues. We are in the one percent of the nation. When a person is in need, we need to own it. We save lives,” said Eickmeyer. He went on to say that the team’s work in non-emergency needs is just as important to the community. “We will do the right thing, no matter how hard it is.”
He thanked the community for its support. “Without the community, we would not be here.”