Tag: Obituary

In Memory of Larry Anderson

With heavy hearts, the American Ambulance Association shares the passing of former board member Larry Anderson. Please see the announcement below from Ron Slagell of Emergent Health Partners.

Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and former colleagues.

Larry retired in 2006 as the CEO of LifeCare Ambulance, a company he helped found in 1983 when the community’s EMS system was in crisis.  Larry had a lengthy career before his involvement in EMS as a hospital administrator, and was also involved in the creation of Huron Valley Ambulance.
LifeCare served on the Board and Committees of many non-profit organizations including MAAS and the American Ambulance Association, where he championed that ambulance accidents should be referred to as crashes, because most are preventable.
He was committed to his community, was known as an advocate for collaboration, and was passionate about patient care and safety. His contributions to EMS and public health will be long standing well beyond the time he was with us.

In Memory of Jack Stout

Updated July 20 to include a link to  Jack Stout’s obituary.

It is with heavy hearts that the American Ambulance Association shares news of the peaceful passing of EMS legend Jack Stout. Our thoughts are with the Stout family as well as Jack’s many friends and mobile healthcare colleagues. Thank you, Jack, for your leadership and vision which live on in your son, Todd, as well as in the life-saving actions of EMS professionals around the world. Rest in peace.

Read Jack Stout’s obituary in the Falls City Journal.

EMT Breonna Taylor’s Family Grieves A Life ‘Robbed’

From NPR.com,  “As The Nation Chants Her Name, Breonna Taylor’s Family Grieves A Life ‘Robbed‘”

The work schedule of an EMT could be grueling; it was especially so in early March, as worries about coronavirus spread.

But those who knew her say Taylor welcomed the opportunity to give back and to make a difference in someone’s life.

Friends and family agree that Taylor was attracted to a career in health care because she cared about people. In a Facebook post Taylor made as her uncle recovered from a stroke last year, she wrote:

Working in health care is so rewarding. It makes me feel so happy when I know I’ve made a difference in someone else’s life. I’m so appreciative of all the staff that has helped my uncle throughout this difficult time and those that will continue to make a difference in his life.

Read the full NPR article►

Rest in Peace, David Martin of AMR

Our hearts are broken for AMR Paramedic David Martin’s family, friends, and American Medical Response colleagues. Your service will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace, David. Your EMS brethren will take it from here.

William David Martin, EMT Paramedic, gave the ultimate sacrifice today. It was not his intent to sacrifice his life for…

Posted by AMR Southwest Mississippi on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

In Memory of Patrick Wells Smith

Patrick Wells Smith, age 65, passed away unexpectedly on June 21, 2019, at his home in Reno, Nev.  He was well-known as a nationally-respected innovator and icon in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) industry. Most recently he was the President and CEO of REMSA (Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority) and Care Flight, based in Reno, from January 1990 through March 2013 and then President of SEMSA (Sierra Emergency Medical Services Authority) also based in Reno,  from April 2013 to June 2018.

He was born on November 17, 1953 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to parents Ted Arvel Smith and Margaret Wells Smith. He was the second of three children. He attended Minnetonka High School, got his start as an EMT in 1973 as a college student in Minnesota, and soon began taking on supervisory roles for EMS agencies in Minnesota and Oregon. In 1980 he was hired as an assistant director of Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust in Kansas City where he consulted to establish EMS systems in Fort Wayne, IN.; Pinellas County, FL; Fort Worth, TX; and Little Rock, AK. He worked as Vice President of Eastern Ambulance in Syracuse New York after that before moving to Reno. 

He was well known for his innovation and leadership in EMS systems design and medical 911 communications systems. One of his most fascinating stories was his role as a first responder at the 1981 collapse of the walkway at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City where he was one of the initial responders on site. It killed 114 people and injured 216. That experience inspired the ways he help REMSA to prepare for many crises in which the team needed to respond with speed and outstanding systems, but still compassion.

During his time at REMSA he created and fostered programs such as the special events coverage team, community and professional education teams, and the TEMS program which attaches specially-trained paramedics from REMSA to the SWAT teams of local law enforcement. He received numerous local and national awards, including the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for small businesses in 2008 where he was awarded the opportunity to meet the President of the United States.

He was proudest in his professional life when talking about his REMSA/Care Flight team. “It’s about the people,” he would often say. He was a proud and loving father and grandfather who passed on his devotion to Disney and instilled a deep loyalty to the Minnesota Vikings in his family. 

He was very active at the leadership level volunteering in the American Ambulance Association, and also NAPUM, National Association of Public Utility Model, which was a group of EMS organizations across the nation, each with the unique structure of a Public Utility Model, which provided guaranteed quality of care, response times and coverage without tax subsidies. REMSA had been one of those PUMs since its creation in 1986.

He is survived by his five children: Michelle Bergren (Matt), Aaron Smith (Divya), Danielle Sanford (Michael), Theodore Smith (Hailey), and Allison Hahn (Mark), his seven grandchildren: Blake, Sage, Bode, Rishi, Rohan, Hadley, and Cole, his nephews Jason  and Jeremy Smith, and the mother of his children and ex-wife, Linda Smith, who remained his good friend and co-parent/grandparent, as well as his many other friends and EMS and medical profession colleagues.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Diana Smith and his brother James Smith. 

A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday July 2, from 4 to 7pm at 10379 Dixon Lane in Reno. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Truckee Meadows Community College to the Patrick Smith Memorial Scholarship, which will be for students who want to study to become an Emergency Medical Technician, or a Paramedic. 

Please send donations to:

TMCC Foundation
7000 Dandini Blvd, RDMT 200
Reno, Nevada 89512-3999 

You can also donate online at: https://www.tmcc.edu/foundation/support-tmcc/make-gift. In the “Leave a Comment” box just note your donation is for the Patrick Smith Memorial Scholarship.

In Memory of Fred Della Valle

The AAA Board is deeply saddened to share the passing of Fred Della Valle, former AAA Regional Director and longtime AMR leader. Our thoughts are with his wife, JoAnn, family, friends, and colleagues.

This page will be updated with his obituary as soon as it becomes available.

Arrangements

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wake
Iovanne Funeral Home
11 Wooster Place
New Haven, CT 06511
203-865-8961
www.iovanne.com

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
10:00 am
Mass of the Christian Burial
Saint Therese Church
555 Middletown Ave
North Haven, CT 06473
203-239-1671

Obituary

Read his obituary here.

Fred In His Own Words

In 2016, Fred shared with AAA a little bit about his life and professional journey.

Obituary for Steve Williamson

It is with deep sadness we share the passing of beloved family man, friend, colleague, and former AAA President Steve Williamson.

H. Stephen Williamson

Obituary

H. Stephen Williamson, 68, of Hope, Arkansas, formerly of Tulsa, Oklahoma, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle passed away suddenly on November 3, 2018 at his home.

Preceded in death by his mother, Evelyn Williamson, father, Hershel Williamson, and first wife, Pat Williamson, Steve is survived by his best friend and wife Rebecca Williamson (Smith); his two adored daughters Jennifer Thomas (Jason) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ashley Schneeberg (Matt) of Jenks, Oklahoma; his brother, Mark Williamson (Theresa) of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and his five step children, Blake Burruss (Rachel), Krista Sands, Holly Chapman (Joel), Sarah Lyn Smith and Jay Darrin Smith. He was an exceptional grandfather to his beautiful grandchildren and step grandchildren, Asa and Will Thomas, Kate and Ava Schneeberg, Barrett Burruss, Addysion Sands, Brycelyn Wiedel, and Gabe Chapman. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nephews, a niece, and his aunt, Blanche Wilson.

H. Stephen Williamson was the president and chief executive officer of Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) since the Authority began operations in 1978, and served for over 39 years. Under Williamson’s guidance, EMSA grew into Oklahoma’s largest EMS provider and one of the country’s most effective ambulance systems, achieving the standing of top 1% of ambulance services nationwide with accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. Due to his visionary leadership and passion for service, EMSA provided outstanding patient care, saving countless lives throughout Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and the surrounding counties. Prior to his tenure at EMSA, he served as administrator of Enid Memorial Hospital. He was a graduate of the University of Tulsa, earning a B.S. in Finance, as well as a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to his death, Steve was the Chief Financial Officer at Pafford EMS, the largest ambulance service provider in Arkansas.

Steve was a revered national leader in EMS. He held numerous national and state leadership positions including President of the American Ambulance Association, President of the Coalition of Advanced Emergency Medical Systems, Governor’s Appointee to the Oklahoma Emergency Response Systems Advisory Council, and President of the Eastern Oklahoma Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He was a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class XX.

Family will receive those wishing to pay their respects at a lunch and visitation beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at Fletcher Hall (attached to the church). Services will immediately follow at 1:00 p.m. at Parish of Christ the King Catholic Church, 1520 South Rockford Avenue, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74120. Internment at Calvary Cemetery 9101 South Harvard Ave, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Steve’s honor may be made to Bishop Kelly High School, 3905 South Hudson Avenue Tulsa, OK 74135 and the Code Green Campaign, P.O. Box 15365, Spokane Valley, Washington, 99215. Code Green advocates for mental health-, PTSD-, and suicide-awareness for EMS.

Steve touched countless hearts over the course of his extraordinary life. He will be forever loved and missed by all his family, friends, and colleagues.

In Memory of Lahiri Garcia & Paul Besaw (AMR Palm Beach/Broward)

The American Ambulance Association was deeply saddened to learn that Lahiri Garcia (51) and Paul Besaw (36) were killed on June 1 in the line of duty. Both were longstanding and respected team members at AMR Palm Beach/Broward County in Florida.

In an interview with WPTV, AMR Regional Director Bill Hall said, “The AMR family has lost two amazing people. They were dedicated husbands, fathers, friends and teammates. Our thoughts are with both families during this difficult time. Lahiri and Paul will be greatly missed. Garcia and Besaw were committed to caring for others, and together they had nearly 40 years of service for AMR and the community.”

“Thank you all for your kind thoughts and sentiments during the past few days. This week, we celebrate the lives of our fallen colleagues, Paul Besaw and Lahiri Garcia, who tragically lost their lives in an unfortunate ambulance accident last Thursday morning,” said Terance Ramotar, regional director of AMR. “These two gentleman have dedicated their lives to the EMS profession and we are preparing a tribute on Thursday to honor their service.”

A processional, followed by funeral services, is scheduled for Thursday, June 8, 2017, at Courtyard Gardens of Jupiter, FL, located at 1790 Indian Creek Drive West, Jupiter, FL. The staging will be on Indian Creek Drive West, and the processional will begin at approximately 9 a.m. The processional ends at Christ Fellowship Church (5343 Northlake Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL), where formal funeral services for Besaw and Garcia are to be held.

The AAA extends its deepest condolences to the Garcia and Besaw families, as well as their friends and colleagues.

In Memory of Walter L. Reisner

The American Ambulance Association was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Walter L. Reisner, longtime owner of Trans Am Ambulance Services. Walter was a pillar of the EMS community, and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and former colleagues.

In Memory of Joe Paolella, Sr

The American Ambulance Association was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Joseph “Joe” Paolella, Sr.

Joe, along with his brother Phil Paolella, was the co-owner of New Haven Ambulance Service, one of the four companies that founded American Medical Response (AMR).

Joe was an innovator and pioneer in the field of pre-hospital care, and he will be deeply missed by the American Ambulance Association and it’s members throughout the United States. Joe devoted much of his career to advocating for legislation and regulations that paved the way in ensuring that the highest levels of patient care are delivered by ambulance providers in Connecticut and across our nation. Joe also selflessly mentored many ambulance leaders throughout their careers, giving many hours of his time to developing the talents of others.

Joe’s wife, Lorraine Paolella, and their entire family are in our thoughts.

Visiting Hours

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Iovanne Funeral Home, Inc.
11 Wooster Place
New Haven, CT US 06511

Mass

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday morning at 11:30 in St. George Church, Guilford. Please go directly to Church Thursday morning. Burial will follow in All Saints Cemetery, North Haven.

St. George Church
33 Whitfield Street
Guilford, CT 06437

Donations in Lieu of Flowers

In lieu of flowers contributions in Joe’s memory may be made to The MSA Coalition 9935-D Rea Road, #212 Charlotte, NC 28277 or Masonicare Home Health & Hospice 22 Masonic Ave. Wallingford, CT 06492.

Obituary & Additional Details

Read Joe’s obituary at the Iovanne Funeral Home website►

In Memory of Allan S. Reichle (1934–2016)

The American Ambulance Association is saddened to report  that f Allan S. (“Al”) Reichle passed away on July 20. In addition to owning Springs Ambulance and other successful business ventures, Al served on AAA’s Government Affairs and AMBUPAC Committees. Our thoughts are with his family.

Service Information

Wiefels and Sons Mortuary

690 S. Vella Road
Palm Springs, CA  92264
Saturday 8/20/16 @ 10AM

Tribute to Melissa Hudson, EMT, EMD, EMD-Q

HudsonA long-time member of the EMS community died on Sunday, September 6. Melissa J. Hudson, EMT, EMD, EMD-Q, won widespread respect and well-deserved recognition during her 23 years of service at the Emergency Medical Services Authority in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was 52 years old.

Melissa started her career at EMSA on June 1, 1992. As an EMT, she was a strong patient advocate and was promoted to a preceptor role. Later, Melissa uncovered her life’s calling in the communications center. Melissa had an innate skill to calm callers and manage resources in a high-volume system. Her multitasking skills and ability to keep tracks of trucks in her head were legendary. It is no exaggeration to say that Melissa answered tens of thousands of emergency calls during her career. As a communications supervisor, Melissa set very high standards for herself and her crew, yet she also displayed great patience with and compassion toward her peers. She was a loyal friend, a dependable leader and a true force to be reckoned with.

In 2010, Melissa was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She chose and was able to work full-time, almost to the end of her life, while undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatment. Melissa was named the Oklahoma Emergency Medical Technician’s Communications Specialist of the Year in 2011. In 2013, she was commended by the Tulsa City Council for helping rescue a premature infant born in the midst of a violent domestic dispute. Melissa talked the mother through the birth, persuaded an irate man at the scene not to harm the mother or child, and provided CPR instruction to a police officer who arrived at the scene just minutes after the baby’s birth. In 2014, Melissa was nominated by her peers and selected to receive the EMS industry’s most prestigious honor, the American Ambulance Association Star of Life award.

Melissa spent quality time with friends and loved ones during the last five years of her life. On November 4, 2014, Melissa and her longtime love, Pamela Kritikos, were married. The two traveled to Europe, took a cruise with dear friends, and loved spending time with their furry companions, Dexter and Tugger.

Melissa is survived by her wife, Pamela Kritikos, her sisters Cheryl Hudson and Linda Lane, brother Ed Evans, and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Verl and Esther Hudson, and her twin sister, Patricia Hudson.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider a donation to a cause that was close to Melissa’s heart: ovarian cancer research, the American Cancer Society or the Tulsa Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.