All that hard work has paid off for the Echo Hose Ambulance Corps.
The local ambulance corps — which not only tend to patients during transport but also offers extensive community outreach programming — has been chosen by the "Council of Regional Presidents (CORP) for the 2019 Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service.
Echo Hose Ambulance Corps will officially receive this award during a ceremony on Monday, May 20, at 10 a.m. in the State Capitol’s Old Judiciary Room.
“It is an amazing honor to be recognized,” said Echo Hose Ambulance Corps Chief Michael Chaffee, who has held this post for the past decade. “As chief of this service, I am very proud of my folks here and everything they are doing to make this program successful.
“It is truly a humbling honor to be recognized. The things we’re doing in our little corner of the world are being noticed and appreciated, and we’re very thankful for that,” added Chaffee.
This award was established to recognize and commend an EMS organization, whether career or volunteer in structure, that has enhanced the understanding and support of the EMS system through its public service, community education and contributions to a city, town, region or the state as a whole.
Chaffee said this was the first time during his tenure that Echo Hose Ambulance Corps — with 26 staffers and 70 volunteers — has entered this competition, making the result so much more astounding.
“Our folks worked so hard,” said Chaffee. “They stepped up their game with community outreach, service delivery, the programs we offer at the training center. This year, we’ve seen so many people here that work so hard, I just wanted to see them recognized.”
The criteria used to select the honoree is EMS leadership and public education and community involvement.
For leadership, the organization’s members should exhibit leadership qualities, integrity, and guidance within local, regional, or state EMS organizations and/or boards; provides and promotes education, guidance, management, directorship, tutelage or coaching in any EMS related issue; and proactively participates in special events to promote emergency medical services.
For community involvement, the organization should heighten community awareness of the activities of emergency medical services; improve the skills of lay citizens in BLS (basic life support) through community training programs; and assist with community health screening events.
Chaffee said what set Echo Hose Ambulance apart is “our broad spectrum approach to what we do, with everything from service delivery, to ambulance calls, to taking care of our patients, to being there for the community with the various outreach programs we have and the community training that we offer.”
The chief said the department also collaborates and partners with numerous agencies in the area, focusing on programs dealing with the opioid crisis, first aid and CPR, bleeding control, all the way to baby-sitting classes.
“You name it, we try to touch on it,” said Chaffee. “If it is health-care related, we try to bring it to our area and make it successful.”
Chaffee also credited the department’s dedicated leadership team as well as the support from the membership that goes “above and beyond every day. It is amazing think about all the things we do.”