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News Release

   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   May 24, 2002


Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Marilyn Riley
(609) 984-7160

Emergency Medical Services Awards Presented
As Part of EMS Week in New Jersey

As part of Emergency Medical Services week in New Jersey, 36 individuals and organizations are being recognized for life-saving actions and efforts to provide high-quality emergency medical services in the state, Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. announced today.

Governor James E. McGreevey has proclaimed May 19 - 25 as EMS Week in the State. Awards were presented May 20th at the fourth annual EMS Awards Program and Dinner sponsored by the Department of Health and Senior Services Office of Emergency Medical Services, in conjunction with the New Jersey Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council.

"This was a year of heroes and heroic actions. It is appropriate that we honor New Jersey's outstanding citizens and organizations, and thank them for their selfless service to help those in need," said Dr. Lacy. "Advances in emergency medical care have increased the number of lives saved every year in New Jersey. We have many dedicated New Jerseyans, from first responders to behind-the-scenes administrators and educators, working to create the best possible emergency medical services system for our state."

The Citizen Star of Life Award was presented to Cathy Housman, a nurse from South Amboy. When her neighbor suddenly collapsed, Ms. Housman performed CPR until police arrived. Police then used a defibrillator Ms. Housman had donated to the police department to save the man's life. A defibrillator is a small device used to resuscitate victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

New Jersey Task Force One, the state's urban search and rescue team, was given the EMS Star of Life Award for its work at Ground Zero following the September 11 attacks. Memorial awards were also given to four EMTs and paramedics who died in the line of duty on September 11.

Awards were given in a wide range of categories. They recognized Emergency Medical Technicians, paramedics, first responders and dispatchers; entire EMS services, including volunteer, privately owned and municipal services; EMS medical directors, administrators and educators; and private citizens who performed lifesaving acts.

Three young people also received the Youth Star of Life Award, which is given to young people whose quick thinking and fast action helped save a life.

Each year, more than three million New Jersey residents and visitors require emergency medical care for traumatic injuries, poisonings, heart attacks and other medical emergencies. Trained caregivers, from paramedics and EMTs on the scene to physicians and nurses in the hospitals, are called on daily to respond to these emergencies.

Basic life support services in New Jersey are provided by an estimated 500 to 600 volunteer ambulance squads and about 200 licensed ambulance services, with paramedics delivering advanced life support operating out of 30 mobile intensive care units statewide. There are more than 22,000 licensed EMTs and about 1,600 certified paramedics in the state.

The Department's Office of Emergency Medical Services is charged with creating comprehensive, coordinated, statewide emergency medical services system to provide the highest quality of care to all New Jerseyans. The Office oversees the education of all EMS personnel; licenses and monitors non-volunteer basic life support services, advanced life support programs and the vehicles in both programs; oversees the state's trauma system; monitors and coordinates the air medical helicopter program; directs the EMS for Children program; and develops new EMS initiatives.

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List of EMS Award recipients, by category.

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Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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