Pennsylvania Department of Health Recognizes Emergency Medical Services Award Recipients

Pennsylvania Department of Health Recognizes Emergency Medical Services Award Recipients

Press Release Sep 21, 2017

September 21, 2017 – Lancaster, PA —The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council today recognized first responders from across the commonwealth at the 40th annual Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Conference for their commitment and dedication to delivering quality medical-care in the field during emergency situations.

“Every day, our first responders put their own lives on the line to make sure that a patient in crisis gets the emergency medical-care they need to survive,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “These award recipients stand out because they have gone above and beyond the call of duty. The Wolf Administration is committed to helping emergency medical-services staff, and all first responders, continue to have the resources and funding they need to protect Pennsylvanians.”

First responders were recognized at the event with awards in the following categories: clinical performance; education; communications; outstanding system contributions; innovation; and organization-level operations.

The 2017 award recipients are:

  • Advanced Life Support Practitioner of the Year – Tammy King-Whiteman, paramedic, Southern Chester County EMS
  • Basic Life Support Practitioner of the Year – Michele Lukitsch, emergency medical technician, Cetronia Ambulance Corps
  • EMS Educator of the Year – Nicholas Cutsumbis, paramedic, University of Pittsburgh
  • EMS Communications Award – Barbara Harshman, telecommunicator, Franklin County 911 Center
  • Amanda Wertz Memorial EMS for Children Award – Ted Fessides, paramedic, Cranberry Township Emergency Medical Services
  • Dr. George Moerkirk Memorial Outstanding Contribution to EMS Award – Douglas Garretson, paramedic, Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania
  • David J. Lindstrom EMS Innovation Award – Gary Watters, paramedic, Altoona Mobile Emergency Department (AMED) EMS Authority
  • Rescue Service of the Year – Mifflintown Hose Company No. 1
  • EMS Agency of the Year (Large Agency Division) – Northampton Regional EMS
  • EMS Agency of the Year (Small Agency Division) – Southern Chester County EMS

For more information on Emergency Medical Services in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of Health website at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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