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In Memoriam: EMS Icon Lou Jordan, 74

Lou Jordan (left)

Longtime EMS figure Louis Carl "Lou" Jordan, 74, of Union Bridge, Md., passed away November 25, 2017 following a long battle with cancer.

Born January 1, 1943 in Quincy, Mass., to the late Louis Joseph Jordan of Braintree and the late Clair "Bunny" Tenore Jordan Johnson of Abington, Jordan was husband of Marion Vallone Jordan, his wife of 23 years.

In addition to his wife, Jordan is survived by daughter Karen and her husband, James Hubbard; son Joseph and his wife, Kristine Jordan; daughter Jennifer and her husband, Barry; son Dale Jordan; and grandchildren Lisa, Megan, Nick, Kyle, Sara, Adam, and Frank. Jordan is also survived by brother Edward Jordan; brother Robert Jordan and his wife, MaryAnn; brother Kevin Jordan and his companion, Francine Diamond; sister Karen Cooper and her husband, Richard; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Jordan was known for his sense of humor and willingness to help anyone in need. 

Starting his career in the 36th Evacuation Hospital with the U.S. Army (1960–63), Jordan went on to serve as a firefighter-EMT and EMS trainer for the Baltimore City Fire Department and state of Maryland.

Trained by the federal government as one of the original 116 EMS instructors in the 1960s, he moved to full-time state employment and worked with Dr. R Adams Cowley as a part of the original Shock Trauma Unit at the former University Hospital (now University of Maryland Medical Center) in 1974. He went on to work with numerous national emergency service organizations and committees.

He helped develop the field provider programs for Maryland's statewide EMS system (MIEMSS) and served as a member of the Maryland Instructor Certification Review Board, training and evaluating EMS instructors for more than 14 years. He developed and initially taught the training program for both the Maryland State Police and the U.S. Park Police medevac helicopter programs.

He was director of prehospital care for Maryland state EMS from 1972 to 1986, during which time he developed the "trauma go team" for the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, was instrumental in developing medical protocols for advanced life support providers, and was project director for The Maryland Way, a skills manual used for many years in the state.

Jordan served as a regional representative of the National Registry of EMTs since the early 1970s and as a member of its practical exams committee. For 20 years he served as Maryland’s state training coordinator on the National Council of EMS Training. In 1976 he helped start the U.S. Virgin Islands Emergency Medical Service, and from 1976–2000 he represented them on the National Council of EMS Training. 

As chair of the Committee on EMS of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), he was able to guide the development of the first ASTM EMS national standard. He trained numerous SWAT and hostage-rescue teams to provide emergency medical care for various federal law enforcement agencies and participated in hurricane-response efforts in St. Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Jordan served as chair of the American Powerboat Association’s Safety and Rescue Committee for many years, earning numerous national awards. He was also the medical safety director for the U.S. high-dive team for several years.

He was owner of Emergency Training Associates, which he cofounded in 1979, and of Carroll County Screen Printing in Taneytown, Md. He was a member of the Union Bridge Fire Company since 1995, where he served as the public information officer and fire police officer, and served his community with the Taneytown Chamber of Commerce, Taneytown Lions Club, and Hesson-Snider American Legion Post 120. He was also a founding member of the National EMS Museum.

Most recently Jordan enjoyed playing Santa to many children in Carroll County and driving the trolley for Lorien Health Services in Taneytown.

A memorial service will be held Jan. 6, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET at the Union Bridge Fire Hall, Whyte and Locust Streets, Union Bridge, Md. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the National EMS Museum Foundation, P.O. Box 3, Chartley, Mass., 02712.

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