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Vanderbilt LifeFlight, first responders, honored with ‘Star of Life’ awards

May. 17, 2022, 10:37 AM

by Jerry Jones

Vanderbilt LifeFlight and its emergency service partners were recently honored with two awards as part of the Children’s Emergency Care Alliance annual Star of Life awards ceremony.

The EMS Star of Life awards honor the accomplishments of EMS personnel across Tennessee who provide exemplary lifesaving care to adult and pediatric patients and reunite EMS caregivers with the people they treated. One recipient is chosen from each of the eight EMS regions in the state.

Vanderbilt LifeFlight took home awards from Region 5 and Region 6.

In Region 5, Vanderbilt LifeFlight 1 (Gallatin), Air Methods Communications, Robertson County EMS, Robertson County 911, Orlinda Fire Department, and White House City Fire Department were honored for saving the life of an 11-year-old involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Flight Nurse Allan Williams was one of the flight crew members who took care of that patient. He said the life of the young man was saved by the quick actions of first responders, who were on the scene of a motor vehicle crash in June 2021on Interstate 65. Traffic had backed up from that crash, causing another crash that injured the 11-year-old and his family.

“I had the privilege of celebrating the extraordinary work of everyone involved at the annual Star of Life Awards for an 11-year-old patient that I flew last year,” Williams said. “He and his family were involved in a car crash that left him in traumatic arrest for five minutes before we arrived on scene. In short, the actions and care provided by everyone involved — from the initial 911 call to the time he arrived at the hospital — made a difference in this patient’s life.”

In Region 6, Vanderbilt LifeFlight 4 (Mt. Pleasant), Perry County Emergency Medical Service, Perry County E-911, and Air Methods Communications, were honored for the care provided on a 12-day-old infant who was critically ill.

During the awards ceremony, emergency personnel were reunited with patients they saved, often for the first time since the day of their rescues. Patients were able to publicly thank the first responders on stage. EMS agencies are presented a stone star award, and each member of the EMS team involved in the rescues receives a certificate and a Star of Life pin that is worn on their dress uniforms.

The patients are presented with a Certificate of Life recognizing them for their bravery and resiliency.

The 2022 winners included:

Region 1 — Hawkins County Rescue Squad, Hawkins County EMS, Hawkins County EMA, Hawkins County Emergency Communications District, Church Hill Rescue Squad, Lakeview Volunteer Fire Department, Rogersville Fire Department, Striggersville Volunteer Fire Department, Highlands Emergency Air Rescue & Transport, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office.

Region 2 — Rural/Metro Fire, Knox County Rescue.

Region 3 — CareMed EMS of TN, UT Lifestar, AMR McMinn.

Region 4 — Cumberland County EMS, Crossville/Cumberland County Central Communications, Erlanger Life Force, Cumberland County Fire Department, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Region 5 — Vanderbilt LifeFlight, Air Methods, Air Methods AirCom, Robertson County EMS, Robertson County 911, Orlinda Fire Department, White House City Fire Department.

Region 6 — Perry County Emergency Medical Service, Perry County E-911, Air Methods Communications, Vanderbilt LifeFlight.

Region 8 — Shelby County Fire Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Fire Department Communications, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Communications.

Mutual Aid Partnership Award — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee Army National Guard.

State Award — Washington County/Johnson City EMS.

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