September 19, 2019
By: Dwayne Page
Last month DeKalb EMS joined first responders, the hospital, and other emergency services in putting their skills into practice during a mock disaster exercise. Less than a week later, a real life tragedy tested them again when ten people, including seven juveniles were injured in a two car crash in Smithville.
In recognition of their actions and professionalism in handling the crisis, Ascension Saint Thomas Health has presented the local ambulance service with an “Excellence in EMS Award”.
Brad Mullinax, Chief Administrative Officer of Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital presented the award to DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale this week. Members of the DeKalb EMS staff and other hospital officials and first responders joined them for the occasion.
“Saint Thomas started this award in January and has presented 4 awards to agencies that go above and beyond. Nominations are looked at carefully and multiple criteria must be met. Most importantly each award recipient has shown extraordinary care provided to our patients and community. DeKalb EMS embodies excellence in EMS,” said a hospital official.
The crash occurred on Wednesday night, September 4 on Highway 56 south and Joe Tittsworth Road in Smithville. Two adults and four children were in one of the vehicles while one adult and three kids were in the other automobile.
A landing zone for three helicopters was set up on Highway 56 near the crash scene. DeKalb EMS responded with three ambulances and received mutual aid support from Putnam County EMS which sent two ambulances.
All ten crash victims were transported to hospitals locally or elsewhere either by ambulance, helicopter, or private vehicle.
“Everything was put to the test that night but we have a great group of EMS staff and I am very proud of them. As always all the different agencies worked together in exercising their knowledge, professionalism and care for the patients. On behalf of DeKalb EMS, we are honored to receive this special award,” said DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale.
The following were gathered for the award presentation: left to right- Dr. Greenfield, Harlon McCloud, Kim Johnson, Amanda McCloud, Donny Green, Matt Adcock, Becky Atnip, Misty Green, Brad Mullinax, Stephanie Brown, Trent Phipps, Hoyte Hale, Danny Poss, Trevin Merriman, Donnie Cantrell, Jamie Parsley, Matt Melton, and Jamie Vernon.