L.A. County Fire Museum Presents 'Pioneers of Paramedicine' Lifetime Achievement Award

Founding docs honored for early contributions to field.


LOS ANGELES, April 29 -- The County of Los Angeles Fire Museum announced today the induction of Eugene Nagel, MD, Leonard Cobb, MD, J. Michael Criley, MD, and Walter Graf, MD, the four founding fathers of paramedic programs, into the "Pioneers of Paramedicine" exhibit and receipt of the "Pioneers of Paramedicine" Lifetime Achievement Award made possible by founding sponsors, Philips Healthcare and Masimo Corporation.

The "Pioneers of Paramedicine" is a national program created by the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum Association Board of Directors to recognize and honor individuals whose lives and accomplishments exemplify the courage, independence and spirit of innovation that helped shape the development of modern emergency medical services in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to annual recognitions, the project will include a video interview series and a permanent exhibit at the museum's future home.

"If not for these determined visionaries who saw that the future of emergency medicine lay outside the hallowed walls of the hospital, the idea of paramedics and EMTs saving lives in the field may not have gotten off the ground for another decade. Countless lives would have been needlessly lost. Americans, and the world, owe them a debt of gratitude for their foresight and perseverance," said Randolph Mantooth, the museum's honorary chairman. "I extend my personal invitation to everyone in the business of saving lives to join us on May 8 for a once in a lifetime opportunity to pay tribute to the men who are not only responsible for the careers you enjoy, but who are truly the 'Pioneers of Paramedicine.'"

The development of the paramedicine industry created a niche of device innovation to support emergency professionals in the field. Only a decade ago, many of the lifesaving devices that emergency responders rely on today were only available in hospitals.

According to Masimo Founder and CEO, Joe Kiani, "As a manufacturer of lifesaving medical monitoring devices, arming emergency first responders with the innovative tools they need to save and preserve life has been a top priority. Today, through the Pioneers of Paramedicine, we honor the heroes who have dedicated their lives to saving all of ours. We proudly support and salute the founding fathers of paramedicine."

"Philips is committed to developing advanced resuscitation products that enable emergency medical professionals to perform lifesaving tasks every day," said Mike Miller, senior vice president and general manager, Cardiac Care for Philips Healthcare. "We are honored to contribute to the recognition of this important discipline and the people who paved the way."

The Gala and awards ceremony will be hosted on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. For additional details about the gala, visit http://www.pioneersofparamedicine.org/gala.html. For tickets, email PioneersofParamedicine@EventsbyOne.com.

About the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum

The County of Los Angeles Fire Museum Association is a California Public Benefit non profit 501(c)(3) Corporation, established in 1975 and incorporated in 1989. Acquisitions, restorations and operating funds are supported by monthly and annual membership dues paid by 3,000 active duty Los Angeles County Firefighters, retirees, members of other fire departments, and the public. The museum's collection includes over sixty historical apparatus, some dating back to the late 1800s, as well as hundreds of artifacts and thousands of photographs. The most popular vehicles in the collection are the original paramedic/rescue Squad 51 and Engine 51 from the 1970s television show EMERGENCY! The collection is currently housed in warehouse locations in South Gate and Bellflower, California. The Museum Association is governed by a seven-member board of directors, nominated and elected by the membership every two years. James O. Page was the sitting president at the time of his passing in 2004. Randolph Mantooth has served as honorary chairman and spokesperson since 2005. Updates on current activities, operating hours, and plans for future construction are found at www.LACountyFireMuseum.com.

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