Nothing shed light on the important role that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff undertake in “Caring for Our Communities” – the theme of the 2021 EMS Week – like the coronavirus pandemic did.
“(It) has given people a small glimpse of the vital role of EMS professionals,” said Interim Fire Chief Joe King on Monday as he addressed the Board of County Commissioners at its regular meeting. “We quickly saw a year ago that EMS professionals across the country were ready to serve their communities despite the risks to their personal health and safety, lack of proper protective equipment, and other challenges.”
King wrapped his arm around the shoulder of Community Paramedic Caryn Prather – who is arguably like the den mother of Flagler County Fire Rescue – as he talked about the sacrifice and dedication of all the members of his department.
“We also recognize the need to make sure people understand that EMS isn’t just defined by lights and sirens or ambulance rides,” King said. “First responders are much more than that.”
He gave Prather’s shoulder a squeeze.
“It’s the paramedic who makes sure an elderly patient’s cat is feed while she’s in the hospital. It’s the department that assists with, or steps up, to run testing and vaccination sites. It’s the firefighter who holds a child’s hand on the way to the hospital so they aren’t scared,” King said. “It’s the crew that fights for a victim’s life at the end of long, sleepless night. It’s the emergency medical professionals who care for our communities, day in and day out.”
King turned the mic over to Prather who was short on words but long on emotion as she choked back her tears while speaking of how proud she is of Flagler County Fire Rescue.
The entire roster is certified as either EMT or paramedic in addition to their firefighter credentials (listed alphabetically): Tyler Allesee; Gilbert P. Aspinwall; Xavier C. Awe; Breonna M. Banks; Brady F. Barry; Cory Bauman; Timothy J. Biscay; Ryan Bowling; Adrian Brands; Kevin R. Brunelle; Eric K. Burney; Christopher A. Calio; Armando Castaneda; Charles M. Cook; Thomas G. Cope; Dylan J. Cronk; Alex W. Daugherty; Joseph P. Davis; Guy W. Dirmeir; Michael J. Dolce; David A. Dufek; Noah A. Dunaway; Christopher A. Ellis; Leonard B. Ensalaco; Ethan T. Epperson; Robert L. Errett; Tracy L. Farmer; Jason Feldman; Kevin H. Feldman; Jason L. Forte; Karl A. Froling Jr.; Michael Ginn; Christopher J. Gonzalez; Jake A. Gonzalez; Ivan E. Grant; Anthony J. Guerin; Bryce K. Gutman; Andrew E. Hardesty; Robert C. Headley; Khambrel K. Henry; Adam C. Holyko; David M. Hudson; Noah D. Hunt; Jesse A. Hunter; Marianne S. Huston; Jaevon Jones; Jonathan T. Kaye; Kristopher R. Kendra; John R. Keppler III; Andrew J. Keppler; Kevin C. Kesselring; Herschel C. King; Joseph W. King; John C. Krall; Beau Kruithoff; Jarrod D. Lanza; David R. Lawrence; Kyle W. Lockwood; Prince C. Mack; Justin M. McDonald; James T. Melady; Joseph C. Merritt; Jesus F. Mesta; Dennis J. Moore; Matthew A. Morgan; Dana Morris; Jon M. Moscowitz; Kyle P. Najpaver; Christopher Newcomb; Jeffrey G. Olsen; Kevin Ortega; Jared C. Parkey; Alex R. Patton; Logan D. Phipps; Michael D. Pius; Dylan M. Pontorno; Conlan Pottinger; Jason E. Powell; Caryn B. Prather; Aaron M. Price; Joshua T. Puttick; John E. Raffo; Jimmy R. Sanchez Jr.; Cory A. Sattar; Zachary T. Schroeder; Jaden M. Sellers; Wayne P. Semenick; James R. Shaw; Andrew W. Shook; Jesse G. Sintscha; Carson Sloan; Jerry N. Smith; Jodie D. Stafford III; John H. Steadman; Richard T. Steinhardt; Justin R. Stone; Mark A. Thomas; Ronald K. Titus; Adam M. VanDeusen; Daniel S. VanDeusen; Sean I. Walker; Steven T. Whaley; Taylor S. White; Roberto J. Zerbino; and, Reuben E. Zuazua.