20 EMS professionals honored at State Capitol

Recently, the Arkansas Ambulance Association held its fourth annual “Stars of Life” celebration in Little Rock. “Stars of Life” is a special recognition program conducted by the Arkansas Ambulance Association in cooperation with the American Ambulance Association. On Thursday, May 15, 2008, twenty individuals from across the state gathered in Little Rock for a day of activities designed to recognize their heroic and commendable actions as part of the emergency medical services (EMS) system. Each “Star” was recognized in a ceremony held at the State Capitol. Honorees and their sponsors spent the day learning more about the state’s EMS system, visiting with key stakeholders, industry leaders, and law makers. The events concluded with a the Stars being honored on the field at Dickey-Stephens Ball Park in North Little Rock as the Arkansas Travelers took on the Tulsa Drillers.

The Stars of Life program is designed to raise awareness as to the value of emergency medical services (EMS) and to educate state leaders and others on the importance of strengthening the public safety net. Arkansas’ recognition event coincided with national ceremonies held in Washington, D.C. as part of National EMS Week observances. Together, the events served as springboards for National EMS Week activities held the third week of May.

The 2008 Arkansas Stars of Life included:

Bill Beadle, EMT Pine Bluff EASI
Gena Cannon, EMT Morrilton Med-Tech EMS
Jason Castleberry, Flight Paramedic Texarkana LifeNet
Chip Duboise, Paramedic Malvern ProMed Ambulance
Mary Harkness, Paramedic Hot Springs LifeNet
Chris Janes, Paramedic Nashville Howard Co. Ambulance
Justin Kinkade, Paramedic Nashville Howard Co. Ambulance
Jack McLaughlin, Paramedic Clinton Vital Link
Ronny Milligan, EMT Cave City Spring River Paramedics
Scott Pennington, EMT-Intermediate Magnolia Columbia Co. Ambulance
Tray Pickering, Fleet Mechanic Hot Springs LifeNet
David Pritchard, Paramedic Pine Bluff EASI
Jeremy Pugh, EMT Searcy NorthStar EMS
Tommy Rich, Paramedic El Dorado ProMed Ambulance
Jamie Robinson, EMT Berryville St. Johns EMS
Rena Suiter, EMT Texarkana LifeNet
Stephen Thompson, Paramedic Little Rock MEMS
Chaundra Townsend, EMT Little Rock MEMS
Sarah Uzzell, EMT Little Rock MEMS
Mark Willis, EMT Mountain View Vital Link

2008 Stars of Life at Arkansas Capitol

Mark Willis (left) is named the Arkansas Star of Life for 2008

Mark Willis (left) is named the Arkansas Star of Life for 2008

Each year, the ArAA selects one overall “Star” to be named as the Arkansas delegate to the National Stars of Life program held in Washington, D.C. The 2008 Arkansas Star of Life is Mark Willis from Vital Link. Mr. Willis is an EMT and was honored for his actions during the tornado events that struck the Mountain View area this spring. Willis took extraordinary steps to keep his unit in service during the height of the storm, worked countless hours in the next few days to respond to the community’s needs, and even helped organize relief efforts following the destruction.

For more information on this and other ArAA programs, visit www.aaaintouch.com