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  • 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!
  • April 03, 2017 8:21 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars of Life!

    Estes "Pat" Sherwood
    Paramedic
    Hughes County EMS

    Professional, reliable, passionate, caring, and community-focused are the qualities that best exemplify Hughes County EMS Paramedic Estes "Pat" Sherwood. Pat routinely receives compliments from patients, patients' families, and hospital staff. He is well-liked and deeply respected by his peers and supervisors.

    Pat joined Hughes County EMS in January 2010, and was promoted to Field Training Officer in 2011. He receive his EMS Instructor certification in 2012, then developed a Hughes County EMS-sponsored EMR class for area first responders. In January 2013, Pat was promoted to Operations Supervisor, a position he held until resigning to focus his attention on becoming a minister. Pat continues to serve as a Field Training Officer, a QA/QI committee member, and service Chaplain.

    Pat has developed a reputation as a role model to others, as someone who always has a smile on his face, and as a leader who demonstrates the highest level of compassion for his patients. His work has produced a variety of succcess stories at Hughes County EMS, ranging from patients surviving cardiac arrest, severe trauma, and strokes to bringing new life into this world in small communities around the county.

    Pat seeks ways to help out, accepts assignments without complaint, and consistently maintains a friendly demeanor. Pat has more than 20 years of experience in the ambulance industry, and is a key link in the chain of succes at Hughes County EMS. As such, Hughes County EMS and our Board of Trustees are proud to recognize Estes "Pat" Sherwood, NRP, as a 2017 Star of Life.

  • April 03, 2017 8:20 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars of Life!

    Scott E. Shadowens
    Supervisor, CRC
    Creek County Emergency Ambulance Service
    Sapula, Oklahoma

    Scott joined our team in September 2007. Right away he proved himself to be an excellent addition to Creek County EMS by providing reliable patient care and positive attitude. As a result of Scott's attributes, he was promoted to Supervisor and Compliance Resource Officer in October of 2012. Scott is known for his ability to solve problems fairly and with common sense, making him a go-to person among the leadership team.

    Scott's patient care abilities are considered exceptional as he treats every patient with empathy and compassion.

    In the spring of 2009, Scott responded to an assault victim lying unconscious in the middle of a busy street. As a result of Scott's quick actions and patient care, the patient walked into our headquarters to thank Scott for saving his life after waking up from a 7-year coma. This is just one of many examples of how Scott has proven himself to be a valuable member of our team and the community we serve.

  • April 03, 2017 8:14 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars of Life!

    Chris Page
    Paramedic
    EMSA
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    A U.S. Army veteran, Chris Page has been on the EMSA team for a little over a year. Two different people nominated him to receive the award, citing his strong work ethic and excellent patient care. “He is one of the most compassionate medics I have met, and he has an amazing natural intuition of what patients need, whether they are critical or non-critical,” wrote one of the individuals who nominated Chris. One notable call Chris recently ran involved a premature baby born at home, with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. The baby was unresponsive, blue and had a slow, weak heartbeat. Chris quickly removed the cord, provided chest compressions and successfully intubated the tiny patient. By the time they arrived at the hospital, the baby had pinked up, become responsive, and had a strong heartbeat.

  • April 03, 2017 8:07 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our Stars!

    Thomas Hovell
    EMT Basic
    Hughes County EMS

    From the start, Thomas Hovell has proven himself to be mature and wise beyond his years. He is smart, calm, and considerate.

    Thomas treats every patient with kindness and respect, and provides incredible medical care. Thomas never fails to lift the spirits of a coworker with a kind word, or to take extra time to ensure a fellow employee understands Hughes County EMS's goals and their role in helping attain them. Thomas is a very strong clinician who works hard to mentor and provide guidance to other staff and students on third rides.

    Hughes County Paramedics go out of their way to have Thomas as their EMT partner due to his outstanding work ethic and clinical skills. Thomas is the first EMT ALS-level providers are paired with when they are done with their third rides as Thomas is able to keep them calm and focused.

    Finally, Thomas has exceeded all expectations by participating in improvement projects. He is making a huge impact with his insight, input, and work. He has developed into a well-rounded, high-performing employee who manages to balance the interests of our patients, our people, and the Agency.

    Not only can Thomas be relied upon to put his best foot forward each day, he continuously strives to make Hughes County EMS a better place to work. He serves as one of our CPR instructors, and when not working on the ambulance he can routinely be found teaching CPR and first aid in local high schools.

    In the two years that Thomas has been employed by Hughes County, he has never missed a day of work. He is always first to volunteer for open shifts or to cover the shift of an absent medic.

    Hughes County EMS and our Board of Trustees are proud to recognize Thomas Hovell, EMT, as a 2017 Star of Life.

  • April 03, 2017 8:06 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars of Life!

    Brandon Gray
    Paramedic
    EMSStat / Norman Regional Hospital
    Norman, Oklahoma
    EMSStat’s Crimestopper Paramedic of the Year

    I am very pleased to announce the EMSStat’s Crimestopper’s Paramedic of the Year is Brandon Gray.

    Brandon first joined EMSStat in July 2007. He is currently a Relief Crew Chief, Critical Care Paramedic, excellent Field Training Officer, and the EMSStat’s SWAT Team Commander. In that role, he has been developing the relationship with the Moore Police Department, and EMSStat now trains monthly with Moore PD. Brandon is an excellent preceptor and takes a strong interest in the success of his students.

    An excerpt from his nomination states “Brandon is a very important member of our team here at EMSStat and provides excellent leadership in roles such as SWAT Team leader, Relief Crew Chief, and FTO/Critical Care training. B Crew runs much smoother due the hard work of Brandon. He has such a strong work ethic and strives for excellence in everything he does. He provides guidance to others and doesn’t just set a good example, he is the example in which to make comparisons. His medicine is excellent and his patients enjoy his presence. His paperwork is well organized and free of mistakes . Most importantly he is a great person to work with and everyone enjoys working with him. Brandon makes good decisions and is an excellent resource for his peers. Brandon has an impeccable service record here at EMSStat.”

    Brandon was a very close personal friend of EMSStat Paramedic Lem Findlay who was tragically killed in an accident earlier this year, and he took the loss very hard. Even so, Brandon was a rock for others to lean on and provided Lem’s wife, kids, and family with support while helping them make decisions and arrangements. “It takes a strong man to pull off that kind of dedication and he did it.”


  • April 03, 2017 7:51 AM | Oklahoma Ambulance Association (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2017 Stars of Life!

    James Garvin
    Paramedic, Supervisor
    Muskogee County EMS
    Muskogee, Oklahoma

    James Garvin began his career in EMS relatively late in life. Prior to becoming an EMT, James worked for 21 years as a machine operator for a nationally known paper production company. During his employment with the paper company, James became a member of the fire brigade and Emergency Response Team. When he retired in 2006, he came to Muskogee County EMS. Since he has been with us, James has furthered his education and is now a Paramedic. In addition to his duties as a Paramedic, James is a supervisor, Field Training Officer, and a certified CLEET officer and tactical medic with the Muskogee Police Department.

    James has embraced his new career with passion and professionalism. Soon after he started as an EMT, James saw a need to enhance our service’s mapping programs. On his own time and without expectation, James wrote and distributed a 30 page mapping companion that alphabetized and gave simple, easy-to-follow directions to the most obscure streets, avenues, and roads in our county. Even with our current mapping programs, medics still rely on the directions in James’s map book when they receive a call for an address on an unknown street.

    In the last 10 years with Muskogee County EMS, James has received numerous awards and accolades. Some of his many awards include EMT-Basic of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, Paramedic of the Year, Employee of the Month, and most importantly to him, multiple code saves. When asked what he likes most about this job, James is quick to say that it is the satisfaction of knowing he’s helped save someone’s life. “When I get there and they are in cardiac arrest, not breathing, no pulse, and then later they are being discharged from the hospital and sometimes even coming to see you and say ‘Thank you,’ well, it’s just something that can’t be explained. It’s the best thing in the world,” James explained.

    When James is not working, he still stays busy. He and his wife, Chanel, recently built a new house on 40 acres, doing all of the work themselves! James also loves to hunt and fish and spend time with his four sons, his two step-sons, and six grandchildren.

    Each day James exemplifies the standard for Muskogee County EMS in his professionalism, his compassion, and his exemplary performance. Muskogee County EMS is honored to endorse James Garvin for the Oklahoma Ambulance Association Star of Life Award, 2017.

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