STAMFORD, CT – On Wednesday, May 18, over 120 community members gathered together to help Stamford EMS celebrate its 30th anniversary of serving the City of Stamford. The event, held at the University of Connecticut in Stamford, included a special award ceremony and recognition of National EMS Week.
The topflight nonprofit organization has a lot to celebrate. Over the course of three decades, Stamford EMS has consistently expanded to meet the increasing needs of Stamford’s growing community.
When Stamford EMS was formed in 1992 it took over a patchwork of ambulance services and responded to 10,400 calls annually. Today, Stamford EMS is a well-respected, cutting-edge organization responding to over 16,000 per year.
“Stamford EMS provides such a high level of care, and is so well managed, that is one of the only C.A.A.S. accredited ambulance services in the entire state of Connecticut. That’s quite an accomplishment, and as far as I’m concerned, the service they provide is second to none anywhere in the country,” said Marc Kurzman, Chair of the Stamford EMS Board of Directors.
Recognizing the service of the organization’s outstanding field staff is a historied tradition of National EMS week. The work of Stamford EMS’s more than 90 paramedics, EMTs, and volunteers is a difficult one, made even more dangerous with the onset of the pandemic.
“You have been on the front line during this public health emergency, the Covid-19 pandemic, from day one. Selflessly putting your own lives at risk to protect the community,” said Thaddeus Jankowski, Stamford Director of Public Safety, Health and Welfare.
In recognition of the brave and selfless acts performed by Stamford EMS paramedics, EMTs, and volunteers, Jankowski read a proclamation from Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons. Jody Bishop-Pullman, Director of Public Health also expressed her appreciation of the organization and read a proclamation by Mayor Simmons naming May 15-21, 2022 as Stamford Emergency Medical Services Week.
The event also honored recently retired Chief of Service and CEO Patricia Squires. Chief Squires, led Stamford EMS since 2002, raising the level of professionalism of the organization and securing its C.A.A.S. accreditation. With a background as an emergency room nurse and an attorney, and extensive experience in healthcare and regulatory law, Squires was well suited for the position.
Squires was honored with a recognition award for her 20 years of outstanding service. Current Chief of Service Edward Browne read a proclamation by Mayor Simmons naming May 18, 2022, Patricia Squires Day.
A series of officer promotions were officially recognized, including Chief Executive Officer and Chief of Service Edward Browne, Assistant Chief Edward Podgorski, Deputy Chief Jessica Anderson, Deputy Chief Malcolm Dean, Captain Ann Costello, and Captain Brian Walsh.
Service longevity awards and honorable service medals were also awarded, including an inaugural Chief’s Medal of Honor awarded to paramedic David Parenti, EMT Justin Manley and EMT Ginger Warren. On March 4, 2022, this heroic trio took the initiative to secure an emotionally disturbed group home resident who was dangling from the building.
Stamford EMS presented longevity awards to those achieving five years of service or more. Chief of Service Edward Browne, Assistant Chief Edward Podgorski, Deputy Chief and Director of Post 53 Joseph Larcheveque, Paramedic John Kalotai, Paramedic Robert Smith, and Paramedic Jeffrey Sachtjen received awards for 30 years of service. Paramedic Robert Voss received an award for 25 years of service. Honorable service medals for 20 years of full-time service were presented to Captain William Ackley, Fleet Manager Mike Dombroski, Paramedic Rusty Sherman, and Paramedic Michael Mansi. Awards for 15 years of service were presented to Deputy Chief Jessica Anderson, Captain Brian Walsh, Paramedic Erik Anderson, Paramedic John Corris, Paramedic Pete Kessler, EMT Israel Lenardo, and Paramedic Randy Lilly.
Deputy Chief Malcolm Dean, Jr., EMT John DeMaio, Paramedic Andrew Konspore, and EMT Gary Wilson received awards for 10 years of service. Service medals for five years of service were distributed to Captain Ann Costelo, Paramedic David Brody, Paramedic Stephen Clark, EMT James Connelly, EMT Mark DiBiase, Paramedic Daniel French, EMT Steven Gill, EMT Robert Hackett, Paramedic John Iossa, EMT Zachary McEwan, EMT Paul Moeller, Paramedic David Parenti, EMT Alex Schwendeman, and Paramedic Justin Socha.
Medical Director’s Clinical Excellence Commendations were presented by Dr. Melissa Shear to Paramedic Timothy Crouch and Paramedic Jeffrey Sachtjen for Call Grade, and to Paramedic Daniel French and EMT John DeMaio for Service Grade. A Stamford EMS Unit Citation was presented to the volunteers who staff the BLS1 Ambulance.
Excellent Duty Commendations for Covid-19 response were awarded to the entire Stamford EMS team.
“This has been a crazy time to be in this profession. Normally we respond to all kinds of emergencies and that’s what we do every day. There is an element of danger, but this was something else,” said Chief of Service Edward Browne speaking about the pandemic. “You didn’t know when you went on a call whether you were going to get infected or bring that infection home to your family members. I could not be prouder of this staff.”