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  • April 24, 2017 1:46 PM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars!

    Matthew Bradshaw
    Field Training Officer, Critical Care Paramedic

    REACT EMS
    Shawnee, OK

    REACT EMS is proud to recognize Matthew Bradshaw as a Star of Life 2017. Matt is a Field Training Officer and Critical Care Paramedic who has spent seven years with REACT.

    Matt is most appreciated for his tireless efforts to work with new Paramedics, developing them into skilled practitioners. To a person, Matt’s mentored Paramedics compliment his ability to help them identify areas to study as well as his ability to help them understand material to a level that enhances their patient care skills. Matt takes great pride in each of his charges, but never seems to overwhelm them with his expectations. A sign of a true leader is one that makes others around him better. Matt Bradshaw is a perfect example of that characteristic.

    Matt was Active Duty military for six years, and spent four years in the Reserves. He served in the Air Force, Army, and Navy. He started his EMS career as his military ended. He has worked for a variety of EMS organizations, and has been benefiting REACT since 2008.

    Matt and his wife, Shannon, are the proud parents of five children, ages six weeks to 20 years. Needless to say, they stay busy. Hunter is a junior at Baylor in the School of Nursing. Noah (7) and Jakob (5) are both playing baseball and have plenty of practices and games to attend. Carson likes to go along to baseball games and when they all go to the farm to ride the four-wheelers and feed the chickens.

    The REACT family and all of our patients have benefited from Matt being an important part of our team. We are proud to recognize him as our Star for 2017.


  • April 24, 2017 1:39 PM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars!

    Galen Hankal
    Field Supervisor
    REACT EMS
    Shawnee, OK

    REACT EMS is proud to recognize Galen Hankal as a Star of Life 2017. Galen is a Field Supervisor and Paramedic for REACT. With 11 years of experience, Galen is a true leader to all personnel and a reliable leader on the most challenging calls.

    In addition to his daily duties, Galen is the primary leader to manage and help EMTs and Paramedics looking to join our REACT Team. Galen shepherds the applicants from the first visit through our testing and interviews to selection and orientation, preparing them to be strong assets to our mission.

    Galen and his wife, Lezlie, are the parents of Collin (9) and Liam (6). They are an avid baseball family and go fishing with the boys during the off season.

    Galen has always shown compassion for his patients and the patients of his crews. Recently, Collin was injured in an ATV accident while visiting at his grandparents’ home. Suddenly, Galen and Lezlie were the family of an EMS patient. Collin was rushed to a rural facility and soon transported by air EMS to the Childrens’ Hospital for his internal injuries. Collin recovered completely, but it was a challenging experience for the whole family. Galen values the role of out-of-hospital providers even more, and his compassion for the families of our patients is even stronger.

    Galen is an excellent example of the great EMTs and Paramedics working at REACT. Again, we are proud that Galen Hankal is our Star of Life for 2017.


  • April 18, 2017 7:28 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars!

    Patricia Skeen
    Paramedic
    McCurtain County EMS

    McCurtain County EMS takes great pride in presenting Patricia Skeen as a Star for the OKAMA Stars of Life 2017.


    Pattie became a volunteer for McCurtain County EMS in 1994 when she received her first responder certification. She went on to receive earn Paramedic License in 1998.

    Pattie has utilized her skills to benefit her community by volunteering her time at any hour of the day to answer the call for help.

    Pattie is known for her hard work and dedication to her community. Pattie is willing to help others in their time of need, and has never asked for acknowledgement or recognition. Pattie also instructs CPR and assisted in instructing EMS training in her community.

    We are proud to name Patricia Skeen as a 2017 Star of Life.

  • April 18, 2017 7:26 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars!

    Debbie Prise
    Paramedic
    McCurtain County EMS

    McCurtain County EMS takes great pride in nominating Debbie Prise as our Star for the OKAMA Stars of Life 2017.


    Debbie became a volunteer for McCurtain County EMS in 1994 when she received her first responder certification, then went on to earn her Paramedic license in 1998.

    She has diligently helped her community and Northern McCurtain County by volunteering her skills and time, and by answering the call of duty for more than 24 years. Debbie is known for her compassion for her community, and for going above and beyond to assist any person in need.

    Debbie is a role model to others as well, she inspired her husband, Steve, and son, Travis, to take the EMS class and join her in serving the community. Debbie instructs CPR and assisted in instruction EMS classes in her area.

    We are proud to name Debbie Prise as a 2017 Star of Life.

  • April 03, 2017 9:02 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars of Life!

    Brian Wood
    Administrative Assistant
    Muskogee County EMS

    Brian began his career with Muskogee County EMS in 1992, having received his certification as an EMT the previous year. Brian initially started in dispatch and spent one fun-filled year telling medics where to go before he joined them and started working on the ambulance. Brian served the citizens of Muskogee County as an EMT-Intermediate for over 19 years. He also holds an associate degree in Police Science.

    In 2012 Brian transitioned from the ambulance to the office and became the Administrative Assistant to the Director and Assistant Director. Not as simple as it might sound, this job involves much more than “assisting.” In addition to daily support functions for the Executive Staff, Brian oversees scheduling for 120 medics- including last-minute call-in’s, extra duty shifts, time-off shifts, and serves as the initial point of contact for more than 140 employees. He also orders, oversees, and maintains all the uniform requests and replacements.

    Brian is known for his selflessness, hard work, and dedication. Among other awards, In 2012 Brian received the Muskogee County EMS award for the Office Employee of the Year. His kindness, composure, and his ever-present sense of humor have endeared him to all employees. He remains calm under pressure and shows true leadership by quietly going above and beyond to assist all of us in whatever way he can, never asking for acknowledgement or recognition.

    Brian is loved by everyone who knows him, and most especially by his girlfriend, Hadee, and by his brother, Randy. On a rare day when he is not at work, Brian enjoys working on his 60 acres and spending time with his friends, family, and his two dogs: Shorty and Natalie.

    Because of Brian’s outstanding professionalism and his exemplary performance, Muskogee County EMS is honored to endorse Brian Wood for the Oklahoma Ambulance Association Star of Life Award, 2017.


  • April 03, 2017 8:41 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars!

    Matthew R. Williams
    Paramedic, Field Training Officer
    LifeNet, Inc.
    Stillwater, Oklahoma

    Matt Williams is LifeNet’s 2017 Star of Life representing our Stillwater, Oklahoma division. His coworkers nominated him for his dedication to our patients and the community, and for his commitment to the LifeNet team. Matt is involved in multiple aspects of our EMS service including new employee development, quality assurance processes, education, and multiple leadership roles. He attended Oklahoma State University completing his paramedic education and he is pursuing a B.S. in Emergency Medical Services Administration at Columbia Southern University. 

    When he is not at work, which is a rarity, Matt spends time with his wife. Felisha, and seven children. They enjoy fishing, traveling, and attending various sporting events.

  • April 03, 2017 8:28 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars!

    Marilyn Williams
    Advanced Emergency Medical Technician

    Pafford EMS of Oklahoma

    Pafford EMS of Oklahoma would like to nominate Marilyn Williams as a 2017 Star of Life. Most EMS providers look at their peers in EMS as an extension of their immediate family, and Marilyn is no different. She often takes this family approach to unforeseen levels. Marilyn goes out of her way to ensure the crews who are working on holidays enjoy a holiday meal, even coming to the station on her day off.

    Whenever her peers face difficult times, whether it be on a professional or personal level, Marilyn has always been the first person to come to their aid, offering them any support she can provide, whether it be a shoulder to cry on, a warm meal, or just simply letting them know that she cares and will be praying for them.

  • April 03, 2017 8:25 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars!

    Derek Weinkauf
    EMT, Field Training Officer

    EMSA 
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Derek Weinkauf began his career at EMSA in December 2012. He not only has an incredible aptitude for working in EMS, but a stellar attitude to match. 

    “Derek’s approach to EMS is nothing but patient-centered and team-focused,” explained the person who nominated Derek for the Star of Life award. “He cares deeply about taking the best possible care of his patients in each and every circumstance.” 

    Derek has received numerous kudos from colleagues and patients, for providing excellent care on critical calls, being welcoming to students, and demonstrating incredible compassion when interacting with suicidal patients and worried family members. 

    A prolific field training officer, Derek believes that the keys to teaching others are to have patience with and be respectful toward those who are learning, and to realize that no one is perfect—but we can all strive toward excellence.



  • April 03, 2017 8:23 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars!

    Derek Vermillion
    Operations Supervisor
    LIFE EMS
    Enid, Oklahoma

    Life EMS is proud to recognize Derek Vermillion as a 2017 Star of Life.

    Derek began his career in EMS in 2010 as an EMT Basic with the Watonga Oklahoma Fire Department. Shortly thereafter, he was deployed to Iraq and Kuwait in the 45th Infantry Division for Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2011–2012 he was redeployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Upon returning in 2012, he enrolled in Paramedic school at Redlands Community College, completing his degree in 2014. Derek became employed at Life EMS in August of 2015, and has since been promoted to the position of Operations and QA Supervisor.

    Derek was instrumental in implementing new mapping system software for the service. He also played a key role in rebuilding the Volunteer rural Service in Watonga to prevent it from closing.

    Derek was chosen as a Star by his fellow medics. His passion and pride in his work at Life EMS and Watonga EMS is truly unprecedented.

    Thanks for choosing Life EMS, Derek.

  • April 03, 2017 8:22 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars!

    Kevin Sodowsky
    Training Supervisor, Communications
    LIFE EMS
    Enid, Oklahoma

    Life EMS takes great pleasure in presenting Kevin Sodowsky as our Star for the OKAMA Stars of Life event.
    Kevin resides in Ringwood, Oklahoma, where he graduated from high school. He then attended Northern Oklahoma College and earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration.

    He then moved back to Ringwood and worked for the City of Enid as a Community Intervention Center Attendant and subsequently transferred to the 911 center as a Police and Fire Dispatcher. In 1999 he moved to Houston, Texas and took a position with the Houston Police Department as a Senior Police Telecommunication Specialist. During his term of employment at Houston PD, Kevin helped write the training manuals for the Communication and CAD Systems. Kevin left his job as a Communication Specialist in 2007 to attempt a more regular schedule to raise a family who are near and dear to him and to this day he truly enjoys spending time with his son and daughter.

    In July of 2014 the lure of Emergency Dispatch prompted Kevin to accept a position with Life EMS as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher and a member of the Quality Assurance team, as well the Training Supervisor in the Communication Center.

    Kevin really enjoys riding out with the medics in order to develop a better understanding of that part of the operations. Kevin lives by the rule that “he knows that he will be going home at the end of his shift and he wants to assure his crews that they will do the same.” Kevin believes that he has found a home at Life EMS, and looks forward to future years with the fellow employees who have become a second family to him. Kevin, thanks for choosing Life EMS as your second family!
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