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Front-line professionals honored during EMS Week

June 05, 2024 

As National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week came to a close on May 25, HSHS area hospitals, including St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, which is the Region 4 EMS System Resource Hospital, recognized the tremendous role that local EMS partners play in improving health in this region and in communities across the nation and awarded four awards to area first responders. 

“From hospitals’ perspective, EMS is an essential part of building a resilient health care system that functions efficiently and effectively every day and can respond to individual incidents, disasters and public health emergencies,” said Dawn Elliott, NREMTP, LI, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital EMS Coordinator. “Whether it is EMS crews, firefighters and police, or nurses and other providers in the hospitals, we are a team and work together as a team.”

The EMS Award winners were nominated by their peers, and they include:
  • Excellence in EMS Care Award - Mikel Buss, Abbott EMS. This award gives recognition to EMS (EMT/Paramedic) personnel who exemplify excellence in EMS and demonstrate superior field knowledge and expert skills for patient care to ensure care is effective, efficient and focused on the individual healthcare needs,
  • Field Training Officer (FTO) of the Year Award - Patrick Lenz, O’Fallon EMS. This is awarded to an FTO who has been in the preceptor or mentor role and excelled in guiding students and new staff to impart the importance of teamwork, clinical knowledge and maintains a positive attitude.
  • Rookie of the Year Award – Michael Speir, Abbott EMS - This is an award for new EMS personnel with less than two years of experience. 
  • Partners in EMS Award – Officer Keith Wempe, City of Breese - This award is for an individual who is a non-EMS staff member but consistently collaborates with EMS to assure the delivery of high-quality patient care.
As this is the 50th anniversary year of National EMS Week, HSHS celebrates and thanks all of our EMS partners for taking on the challenges of the past and for being willing to embrace the challenges of the future to continue to improve health in this region and in communities across the nation.  


Photo caption: Officer Keith Wempe, Breese Police Department, received the Partners in EMS Award from Dawn Elliot, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital EMS Coordinator during a special presentation celebrating National EMS Week.
Front-line professionals honored during EMS Week
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Kelly Barbeau

System Director, Communications & Public Relations