SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Suffolk Fire & Rescue EMS was honored on Monday night with the Outstanding EMS Agency Award by the Tidewater Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council, Inc.
“The Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue delivers the highest level of pre-hospital emergency medical care to the citizens of Suffolk and our visitors each and every day,” said Suffolk Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Barakey. “This award is for the 300 men and women of the Department who staff 8 Advance Life Support (ALS) medic units, 11 ALS Engine Companies, 3 ALS Ladder Companies and 1 ALS Heavy Rescue Company, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Council members presented several awards to individuals and agencies in Hampton Roads for their remarkable contributions to the EMS field.
“Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great and this year’s award recipients have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and passion for serving others. They continually strive to provide the highest quality of care when it is needed most. We take great pride in recognizing THE best EMS responders, instructors, dispatchers, nurses and agencies in the Tidewater region and Commonwealth of Virginia,” said David Long, executive director of the Tidewater EMS Council, Inc. “EMS is often the tip of the spear in the healthcare continuum working closely with hospitals, public health, and the law enforcement community.”
Officials at Suffolk Fire & Rescue worked consistently throughout the past year to implement new safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included wearing PPE when interacting with the public.
They also assisted Western Tidewater Health District workers with drive-thru COVID testing sites. In addition, they partnered with Meals on Wheels to provide in-home vaccinations for elderly citizens unable to reach a clinic.
Fire officials also created several paper and digital resources to help educate the public on proper techniques for reducing transmission and infection rates.
Suffolk Fire & Rescue, along with other winners, will have the opportunity to compete for the 2021 Governor’s EMS Awards, which will be announced later this year. Winners will be presented with a trophy and a certificate signed by the Governor.