The Saratoga County EMS Council today announced recipients of the 2022 Saratoga County EMS Awards. An awards ceremony was held on July 14, 2022, at the Saratoga County Public Safety Building in Ballston Spa during a meeting of the Council.

Awards are provided to emergency services personnel, affiliated with a NYS EMS agency, who show individual or team heroism above and beyond the ordinary call of duty.

EMS Agency of the Year: Awarded to Edinburg Emergency Squad. Edinburg Emergency Squad is an all-volunteer, nimble, dynamic service organization that has consistently embraced change, delivered the highest quality EMS coupled with enhanced services to their citizens and community.  Formed in 1962, they remain the only all-volunteer ambulance service in Saratoga County, staffed by 22 volunteers, answering 100 calls annually and supported entirely by community donations.  Their vaccination efforts and COVID test kit distribution not only saved lives and prevented hospitalizations but earned these dedicated volunteers the respect and admiration of Saratoga County EMS.

EMS Educator of Excellence: awarded to Jean Tranka. Jean Tranka has served as a Certified Instructor Coordinator for the Saratoga County EMS Council for over 20 years.  Her care and concern for each and every student has not only earned her the nickname, “Mama Jean,” but is reflected in her consistently near 100% pass rates in her courses.  She has an exceptional ability to cultivate a rich enthusiasm for EMS and a lifelong commitment to learning in her students. Her outstanding teaching and educational coordination have maximally improved prehospital services in Saratoga County and beyond.

EMS Communications Specialist of the Year: Awarded to Thomas Lundquist. Thomas Lundquist joined the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department Communications Division in 2016.  His telephone CPR instructions have been responsible for dozens of cardiac arrest reversals.  On March 20, 2022 at 7:02 pm, Tom took a call from the family of a patient in labor.  The 24-year-old patient was 40 weeks pregnant with her third child.  Tom skillfully talked the father through delivery of a healthy baby girl over the course of the 11 minutes it took first responders to arrive.  His EMS experience also paid off months earlier when a fellow Desk Officer collapsed in cardiac arrest in the 911 Center.  Tom started compressions and later took lead of the resuscitation, resulting in his coworker returning to full duty.

Harriet C. Weber Leadership Award: Awarded to Alan Bell. Alan Bell is the Executive Director for Clifton Park & Halfmoon Ambulance Corps; he began his service in 1995 as a volunteer EMT.  Under his leadership the agency has been named by the Times Union as a top place to work for 5 consecutive years based on employee input.  Alan solicits input from the entire workforce, to continually move the organization forward.  Among the unique programs he implemented are regular visits to the stations by therapy dogs, a peer-to-peer support network, and an electronic performance review system providing regular performance feedback to every member. His servant leadership style of management sees Alan filling open shifts when needed, administering home vaccinations, and continually advancing his own education.

Saratoga County EMS Council has nominated all County awards recipients for Regional EMS Council Awards and was pleased to learn that REMO (the Regional EMS Council) accepted all four nominations for Regional Recognition.

Recipients of Saratoga County 2022 EMS Awards, left to right, Jean Tranka (Educator of Excellence), Thomas Lundquist (Communications Specialist), Alan Bell (Leadership Award), Nash Alexander (EMS Council Chairperson), Walt Fitzgerald (Edinburg Emergency Squad – Agency of the Year).