Geisinger’s 17th EMS Awards Reception Honors First Responders

Members News

Emergency medical services (EMS) providers and fellow first responders were recognized for service to their community recently during Geisinger’s EMS Provider of the Year Awards reception, which took place just before a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders home game at PNC Field in Moosic.

The 17th installment of the awards ceremony was part of a larger reception honoring nearly 200 first responders and their family members. Dinner and tickets to the ballgame were provided for all participants.

“We’re here to honor the people who put themselves at risk every day to care for members of our community when they need it most,” said Ron Strony, M.D., chair of Geisinger’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “We thank them for all they do and for partnering with us to improve how we respond to emergencies.”

John Campos, executive vice president of Emergency Medical Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania, received the Jack Lasky Lifetime Achievement Award, which is named in honor of a now-retired Geisinger EMS coordinator who served his community for 44 years in various roles.

During his 55-year career, Campos worked in Indiana, Pa., and organized EMS training for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Appalachian Commission in Kentucky. He’s worked for Emergency Medical Services for the last 45 years, leading service licensure, training certification, medical command authorization and incident management protocols, and he’s implemented multiple changes in state EMS regulations.

The two recipients of the James “Sox” Ruane Community Service Award were Kathryn Bommer, pre-hospital registered nurse and Geisinger Community Medical Center trauma education and injury prevention outreach coordinator, and Bennett Heyman, Geisinger EMS paramedic.

Bommer was honored for providing exceptional and optimal care, dedication to serving her local community and educating the next generation of first responders throughout her 45-year career.

Heyman was awarded for outstanding caring and skill, treating patients like members of his family, and his calm while tending to scared or combative patients.

And for their roles in responding to a May 24 fire and saving the life of a Scranton Fire Department captain who went into cardiac arrest during the call, 10 first responders received the Alice and Bob Walsh Heroism Award:

  • Bruce Beauvais, paramedic, Pennsylvania Ambulance
  • Shane Buschpics, private, Scranton Fire Department
  • Donald Chesek, chauffeur, Scranton Fire Department
  • John R. Davis, lieutenant, Scranton Fire Department
  • Martin Fallon, private, Scranton Fire Department
  • Amy Kadonoff, advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT), Pennsylvania Ambulance
  • Jim Ralston, paramedic, Taylor Fire Department
  • Dave Ross, paramedic, Clarks Summit Fire Department
  • Terry Smith, AEMT, Pennsylvania Ambulance
  • Maureen Slovenkai, fire police officer, Newton-Ransom Volunteer Fire Department

Nominees for the James “Sox” Ruane Community Service Award were:

  • Mark Blanchard,paramedic, Susquehanna Regional EMS,who always provides high-quality patient care; receives compliments from patients for his care, knowledge and skill; and is a remarkable asset to patients and families
  • Matt Carter, police officer, Archbald Police, for always being kind and willing to help someone in need and embodying the highest ideals of police service
  • The entire staff of Covington EMS for providing uninterrupted basic life support (BLS) service to the North Pocono region for two years through a combination of paid employees and unpaid volunteers
  • Adam Fensch, paramedic, Bloomsburg EMS, for always demonstrating kindness and compassion toward his patients and their families
  • Melanie Gerulsky, paramedic, Pennsylvania Ambulance, for creating and hosting Kids’ Day at Nay Aug Park to raise money for children’s services and build awareness of these services in the community
  • Clair Pete Manhart, EMT, Geisinger EMS and Bloomsburg Ambulance, for a long career of faithful service and always teaching that BLS saves lives and advanced life support (ALS) is the icing on the cake
  • Kristen Myers, EMT and business manager, Freeland Ambulance, Medic 41, for her tireless commitment to the community and her EMS colleagues, including bringing ALS services to the Freeland community and volunteering to provide EMS services at local youth sporting events
  • Stevie Spishock, paramedic, Americus and DH&L, for always demonstrating excellence and striving to improve herself and those around her
  • Edward Szafran, Kingston firefighter and chief of operations for Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance, for more than 20 years of providing outstanding service to his community as well as serving as a health technician for the National Disaster Medical System of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Bill White, firefighter and EMT, Justus Volunteer Fire Company Ambulance, for 50 years of outstanding service, including serving as deputy fire chief, assistant fire chief, ambulance lieutenant, chief driver, ambulance captain, chief engineer, dive rescue captain and president