Emergency medical service providers were honored March 29 at the 2019 Interior Region EMS Symposium. Awards were given for outstanding achievement and performance of medical and emergency services. 

The symposium was hosted by the Interior Region Emergency Medical Services Council, Incorporated, a Fairbanks-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving emergency medical care in Interior Alaska. The IREMSC also promotes common safety and public education throughout a 236,000-square mile region that stretches from the Brooks Range to the Alaska Range and from the border of Canada to Kaltag.

The Fairbanks Fire Department received the Interior Region Ambulance Service Award for providing pre-hospital care or EMS support above and beyond their normal responsibilities. The department’s paramedic program began in 1973 and is the only provider of 24/7 paramedic-level care in the Interior. The department has also partnered with the University of Alaska Fairbanks CTC Paramedic program to provide in-field paramedic training. 

Jennal Burgett, of Galena, received the EMS Provider Award for performing exceptionally meritorious life saving skills and selfless response to emergency calls. Burgett is a volunteer Emergency Trauma Technician with the Galena EMS First Responder group and has been with the group for eight years. Galvin is a mother of three and works as a medical aid at the Galena clinic. 

Andrea Gelvin was awarded the EMS Educator of the Year Award, which recognizes those who display initiative, leadership and dedication to EMS training and help improve the EMS system in Interior Alaska. Gelvin became an ETT in Central in 1983 and began teaching emergency medical services in 1986. Gelvin has worked as an EMT in Fairbanks and developed and taught an EMT program at Hutchison High School from 1996 to 2011. Gelvin continues to teach ETT classes in rural areas and works with the UAF-CTC Allied Health Program as a teacher and medical assisting advisory committee member.  

Marc Dumas was presented with the Interior Region Medical Director Award. This award goes to a physician who exemplifies leadership and dedication to the EMS system and has helped improve that system in the Interior. Dumas was the medical director for the Fairbanks Fire Department for more than 10 years and has been involved with EMS for more than 40 years. Dumas has also been a tactical physician with the Fairbanks Police Department’s SWAT team for more than 20 years. 

North Pole Fire Chief Geoffrey Coon was awarded one of two Interior Region Special Achievement Awards in recognition for an outstanding even, life-saving procedure or special service performed for his community. Coon secured a grant to supply Stop-the-Bleed kits to every school in North Pole, and facilitated the training of school staff in the use of the kits. 

Daniel Rosales, an ETT with the Ester Fire Department, received the second Interior Region Special Achievement award. Rosales initiated a program for car seat inspections and heads the Ester Safety Day. He is currently finishing his EMT 1 course and is pursuing a criminal justice degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The Ester Fire Department won the blood drive award with a total of 11.5 gallons raised in one month. That is enough blood to treat 276 patients, according to event organizers. 

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/FDNMcrime.