The 2018 National EMS Memorial Service Honorees

The National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS), the National EMS Memorial Foundation (NEMSMF), and the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR) remember and honor emergency medical services personnel who have died in the line of duty and recognizes the ultimate sacrifice our Nation’s fallen EMS have made for their fellow man in the Greater Washington DC area in May annually.

The NEMSMS, the NEMSMF, and the NEMSMBR will pay tribute to EMS fallen during 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.

It is with great honor that the National EMS Memorial Service announces the 2018 Honorees:

Scott Riola, RICO Aviation, 4/28/2017 Texas

Misty Nicholson, RICO Aviation 4/28/2017, Texas

Robin Shaw, RICO Aviation 4/28/2017, Texas

Frank Hafner, Allamuchy Green First Aid Squad, 6/8/2015, New Jersey

Robert Vetter, Mon Valley EMS, 6/27/2017, Pennsylvania

Cory Moore, RB Lawrence Ambulance, 7/5/2017, New York

Gregg Williams, RB Lawrence Ambulance, 7/5/2017,  New York

Roderick Cota, RB Lawrence Ambulance, 7/5/2017, New York

Edith Torres, FDNY 2/8/2017, New York

Rose Scott, FDNY 2/15/2017, New York

Mario Bastidas, FDNY 4/1/2017, New York

Christopher J Bosche, MO EMS Task Force One & Ohio D-MAT 9/12/2017, Ohio

Marina Challeen, HealthEast Medical Transportation, 10/9/2017, Minnesota

Michael Hahn, US Dept of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security, 9/18/2017, Virginia

Yadira Arroyo, FDNY, 3/16/2017, New York

Mark Harris, FDNY, 5/13/2017, New York

Krista McDonald, Southeast Hardin EMS, 10/14/2017, Ohio

Gregory Wentzel, First Aid & Safety Patrol EMS, 3/7/2017, Pennsylvania

Michael Collums, MedStat EMS, Inc., 2/21/2017, Mississippi

Paul Besaw, American Medical Response, 6/1/2017, Florida

Lahiri Garcia, American Medical Response, 6/1/2017, Florida

Michael Murphy, PennSTAR, 5/25/2017, Pennsylvania

Crystal Sollinger, Duke Life Flight, 9/8/2017, North Carolina

Jeffery Burke, Duke Life Flight, 9/8/2017, North Carolina

Kristopher Harrison, Duke Life Flight, 9/8/2017,  North Carolina

John Auld III, Pafford Air One, 11/19/2017, Louisianna

Michael Bollen, Pafford Air One, 11/19/2017, Louisianna

James Spruiell, Pafford Air One, 11/19/2017, Louisianna

Peter J Kelly, Methodist Hospital Ambulance, 2/12/1953, New York

John F Huoy, US Army Hospital-Fort Hamilton, 8/13/1944, New York

Roger W Ogburn, New York City Bellevue & Allied Hospital – Bellevue Ambulance Service, 7/24/1927, New York

John Leddy, Long Island College Hospital Ambulance Service, 7/31/1919, New York

Mrs. Charles Meyer, Women’s Motor Corps of American Ambulance Service, 2/13/1919, New York

Margaret Devere, Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Service, 10/24/1918, New York

Paddy Travers, Bellevue Hospital Ambulance Service, 7/7/1901  New York

David Blausen, Wilkins-Churchill Rescue One, 7/5/1971,  Pennsylvania

Announcement of 2018 National EMS Weekend of Honor Dates and Location

Media inquiries and interview requests, contact:
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 for more information on the specific event times and locations.

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Long-time EMS consultant, David A. Shrader, dies at 62

David A. Shrader, 62, passed away at his home October 26, 2017. He was surrounded by his loving family and a good dog. Dave was a kind and compassionate man. He worked a lifetime of caring for people and improving the systems that responded to emergencies. Dave started in EMS in 1972 as an EMT.  He founded the high angle rescue squad that responded to emergencies in Greenville, SC’s mountainous areas.  He was an EMT, then Paramedic. As his love for caring for people grew he moved into supervisory roles of EMS systems. He mentored many first responders and he guided the way cities and counties responded to medical emergencies.

Dave founded The Polaris Group, an EMS consulting firm that helps communities redesign their first response systems.  His work refined how many communities dispatch ambulances to emergencies.  His work spanned systems all across the country.  His colleagues say that his work “quite literally has saved millions of lives.” Another long-time colleague said “Dave was a charismatic and inspirational man who contributed so much to the lives of people around him, and to the lives of people who will never know him or what he did through his work. His impact on society will live on as a great testament to him.”

Dave also gave a huge part of his life to helping the communities he lived in.He was a member of the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department for 12 years. He was promoted to Deputy Chief and helped guide the department through many improvements.Dave not only spent his life rescuing people, he was always a fan of a good rescue dog. Many lucky four-footed family members graced his side through the years.
Dave loved adventure. He was a long-time pilot who was as happy to fly right-side up or upside down or a floatplane to Alaska.

In his younger years, he was an avid rock climber. He loved to sail and be on the water. He kayaked, camped and adventured all across North America from Alaska to Baja Mexico and many places in between. He loved to travel and explore new places.  Most of these wonderful adventures were shared with his loving wife Jeanne.

Dave is survived by his wife Jeanne, father Conrad Shrader, sister Nancy McHorney, her husband and their two children. He was predeceased by his mother Patricia.  Many good rescue dogs will also be waiting to greet him on the other side.

In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to any of the following: National EMS Memorial Service, the animal shelter of your choice or Interfaith Community Outreach, a local charity on the Outer Banks.

National EMS Memorial Service is an organization that takes care of the families of EMS workers killed in the line of duty.

National EMS Memorial Service
P.O. Box 279
Oilville, VA 23129-0602

Interfaith Community Outreach an organization that takes care of people facing a temporary emergency crisis.

Condolences to the family may be expressed via the online register at Gallop Funeral Services Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

2017 Honoree Larry Mills | Cal-Ore Life Flight

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.

2017 Honoree Harry T. Mesh | Harbor Hospital

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.

2017 Honoree Charles McMahan | Tri-State Ambulance

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.

2017 Honoree John F. Lynch | Worcester EMS/UMASS Memorial Medical Center

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.

2017 Honoree Morris Linker | Reception Hospital

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.

2017 Honoree Deborah Kroon | Cal-Ore Life Flight

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.