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Tammy Chatman, Public Affairs
Washington, D.C. (October 1, 2017) – The National EMS Memorial Service, the National EMS Memorial Foundation and the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will pay tribute to the EMS and air medical fallen during the 2018 National EMS Weekend of Honor, scheduled May 18-20 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center located at 201Waterfront St., Oxon Hill, MD 20745.
There will be many activities during the three-days including two events that the public and media are invited and encouraged to attend as a show of support for the selfless service and sacrifice of the 2018 honorees. On Friday afternoon, May 18, 2018 the arrival and tribute ceremony the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR) will occur. Then on Saturday evening, May 19, 2018 the National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS), a formal ceremony to honor fallen EMS and air medical professionals, will be held. Both events will be located at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
It was in August 2015 that the three above-named EMS organizations agreed to collaborate on a shared vision and strategic plan to honor EMS heroes who have died in the line of duty. They continue to move forward with efforts to establish a permanent National EMS Memorial in the greater Washington, D.C. area, an effort being led by the National EMS Memorial Foundation. More updates on these efforts will be forthcoming.
“The National EMS Weekend of Honor coincides with the beginning of National EMS Week, which will be May 20-26,” said Jana Williams, president of the National EMS Memorial Service. “Our nation’s capital area in Maryland is a fitting location for these annual memorial events that commemorate our country’s brave men and women in the field of emergency medical services.”
The Weekend of Honor is organized and hosted by the following volunteer-staffed organizations: National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, National EMS Memorial Service, and the National EMS Memorial Foundation. See www.national-ems-memorial.org for more information on the specific event times and locations.
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On July 29, 2016, pilot Larry Mills, along with flight paramedic Michelle Tarwater, and flight nurse Deborah Kroon were transporting a patient when the Cal-Ore Life Flight fixed wing aircraft crashed north of the Arcata Airport.
All lives on board were lost. Larry was a dedicated pilot with over 20 years of experience. He was quick to smile, and loved karate, animals, all things military, and playing his drums. He especially loved flying. He frequently said that his was the only job in the world where he could do his favorite things: fly and be of service to others.
Harry T. Mesh, 27, of Dorchester, Mass., was killed in the line of duty March 13, 1938, when the ambulance he was in collided with the car on Bay Parkway at 86th Street while responding to an emergency call at 2 a.m, according to the New York Times.
“Police of the Bath Beach Station called a second ambulance for (an ambulance driver who was injured) and Mesh,” the New York Times article reads in part.
Mesh was serving an internship as a surgeon with New York City emergency ambulance at Harbor Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. He had been with the Harbor Hospital 10 months.
On December 17, 2016, Charles “Vachel” McMahan, a paramedic supervisor with Tri-State Ambulance, was transporting a patient from Wheeling, West Virginia, to Cambridge, Ohio, with a crew of four.
Near Cambridge, the ambulance encountered black ice causing it to lose control and roll several times. Both McMahan and the patient were killed.
McMahan started working for Tri-State Ambulance in 2013 and had recently been made division manager. He was loyal. compassionate, and generous. His strong hand, kind demeanor, talent, skills, and smile will be missed by all.
John F. Lynch Worcester EMS/UMASS Memorial Medical Center Worcester, Massachusetts John F. Lynch, 60, died December 5, 2016. He was a former paramedic at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Lynch was a liver and kidney transplant recipient in 1984, having contracted hepatitis C when he was bitten by a heroin addict whose life he was saving. He was known for being a true gentleman and a credit to his profession.
Morris Linker, 49, of the Bronx, was killed in the line of duty August 24, 1943, serving as an ambulance driver for Reception Hospital on Roosevelt Island.
Linker swerved to avoid a pedestrian and crashed the ambulance into the East River where it was submerged with Linker pinned behind the wheel.
According to the New York Times archives, an elderly woman stepped out in front of the ambulance he was driving, and he steered sharply to avoid her.
“The fender dumped her in the drive, more frightened than hurt, but the ambulance leaped the lower curb, tore down (a tree and hit a man),” who also died later, the New York Times article read in part.
“The ambulance, still upright, cleared the retaining wall and landed on its wheels in 10-feet of water, completely submerged.” Two hours passed before a department of sanitation truck lifted the vehicle where they found Linker slumped over the wheel.
In the pre-dawn hours on July 29, 2016, flight nurse Deborah Kroon, along with flight paramedic Michelle Tarwater and pilot Larry Mills, were aboard a Cal-Ore Life Flight fixed wing aircraft transporting a patient when it crashed near the Arcata Airport, leaving no survivors.
Deborah will always be remembered for her smile, laughter, and sense of humor. Her reassuring words to her patients were a comfort to many.
Captain Yuji Irie, of American Medflight in Elko, Nevada, died November 18, 2016, while working as an EMS pilot, transporting a critically ill patient on an American Medflight aircraft when it crashed killing four people.
Yuji was a Japanese immigrant to the United States. He had become a skilled and well-respected pilot, flying for companies from Las Vegas to the Mariana Islands in the South Pacific.
He planned to finish out his career flying with American Medflight because he loved helping people who were in need of critical care transport.
Yuji dreamed of building his own airplane and flying it across the Pacific to Japan. He was able to build his airplane. It sits in his son’s garage in Las Vegas.
Chad Hammond, 29, of Haynes Life Flight of Montgomery, Alabama, died in the early morning hours of March 26, 2016.
The Haynes Life Flight 2 helicopter crashed while in route to Montgomery, Alabama. Chad, serving as pilot, flight paramedic Jason Snipes, flight nurse Stacey Cernadas, along with the patient, all perished in the crash.
In 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration recognized Chad with inclusion in the FAA Airman Certification Database. This certification is for pilots who have met or exceeded the high educational, licensing, and medical standards established by the FAA.
His dream to become a Life Flight pilot became a reality in October 2015. He had also been a Certified Flight Instructor for Cloud 9 Helicopters.
Paramedic Raymond Davis, 60, of Lubbock County District EMS, died September 18, 2003, while working a 24-hour shift as a First Response Medic.
After having already responded to five emergencies during his shift, Davis’ colleagues were unable to reach him during a status check. After numerous attempts to reach Davis, supervisors were given his last known GPS location.
When help arrived on the scene, Davis was found deceased. Davis was a long-time paramedic who cares deeply for his patients and co-workers in Lubbock. He also worked as a volunteer paramedic for the Shallow Water EMS service for several years.