POMEROY — May 16-22 is recognized nationally as National EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week and Meigs County EMS is recognizing its personnel for their efforts, particularly on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of EMS Week, Meigs County EMS Director Robbie Jacks announced that Billy Propes had been selected as the 2020 Paramedic of the Year and Natalie Michael as the 2020 Dispatcher of the Year for their work throughout the year. The awards are voted on by fellow EMS employees.
Jacks explained that during the past year-plus of the COVID-19 pandemic the men and women of Meigs EMS have went above and beyond, making many sacrifices to serve the community.
“Initially we didn’t know what to expect with it (COVID-19) or what impact it would have on the health and safety of our staff and the community,” said Jacks.
He explained that as new guidance kept coming in crews handled the transitions and various protocols well, being adaptable to any change that came along.
He thanked the Meigs County Health Department for their help in getting the needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and the employees who also helped to secure the needed items.
While all precautions were taken by the crews, there were still instances of infection among the staff. “At one time we had nine people infected; Our people stepped up to cover the needed shifts, making sacrifices and working long hours to help the community,” said Jacks.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our people, their professionalism and adaptability,” said Jacks. “We are starting to see a little light, but this isn’t going away.”
Now, Jacks is working with the union to provide pay increases for the crews at Meigs EMS.
Jacks said the new wages, once put in place, would bring Meigs County EMS to one of the best in the area for wages, rewarding the employees for their hard work and dedication.
“The Commissioners and the community have always been supportive of Meigs EMS and we appreciate them,” added Jacks.
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, “EMS Week is a perfect time to honor those frontline heroes dedicated to providing emergency medicine that saves so many lives every day.”
The theme for 2021 EMS Week is “This is EMS: Caring for Our Communities”.
EMS Week was established in 1974 by President Gerald Ford. It is now celebrated the third week of May each year.