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 Yuji Irie | American Medflight

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.

2017 Honoree Sandra Cline | Mercy Health LifeStar Ambulance

Paramedic Sandra Cline, 45, of Mercy Health LifeStar Ambulance in Ohio, died September 23, 2016.

Cline was the driver of an ambulance transporting a patient to an extended care facility on September 22, 2016. En route to the facility, the ambulance was hit by another vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign.

She was airlifted to Mercy St. Vincent trauma center but ultimately succumbed to her injuries on September 23, 2016.

Cline was a paramedic for 25 years with Mercy Health LifeStar, and was known to enjoy the outdoors and time spent with her family.

2017 Honoree Stacy Cernadas | Haynes Life Flight

Flight nurse Stacy Cernadas died in a medical helicopter crash March 26, 2016, along with pilot Chad Hammond, 29, flight medic Jason Snipes, 34, and patient Zach Strickland.

The chopper crashed in the predawn hours of that Saturday in Goodman, about 80 miles south of Montgomery, after picking up Strickland from the scene of a highway crash. The aircraft was found in a heavily wooded and marshy area. The helicopter had been called after a motorist struck a ditch and a utility pole in a one-car accident around 11 p.m. Friday, March 25.

The helicopter was reported missing at 12:17 a.m. Saturday, March 26, and the wreckage was later discovered about a half-mile from the scene of the vehicle crash.

Cernadas was trained as a firefighter, paramedic, and registered nurse. She embodied all aspects of EMS in her community. Cernadas had been a flight nurse since September 2015.

Born in Huntsville but raised in Georgia, she was also a trauma nurse in Montgomery and a former flight attendant for a major airline traveling internationally.

“Stacey had a larger than life personality and had many, many friends all around the U.S.,” her father said at the time. “I can tell you that while we are extremely saddened by today’s events, we are immensely proud of Stacey. She loved more than anything being a flight nurse and helping those in critical need.”

2017 Honoree Hannah Callahan | Kings County Hospital

Hannah Callahan, 50, died December 3, 1954, in the line of duty as a Kings County Hospital Ambulance Attendant.

Callahan was shot after an emotionally disturbed man grabbed the firearm of an escorting police officer. The man shot and killed both Callahan and the police officer. He was then shot to death by another officer in response.

Unfortunately, only nearly-unreadable microfilm of the articles written about the event surrounding Callahan’s death remain. A headline revealed, “2nd Patrolman Fells Patient Trying to Escape Ambulance.”

2017 Honoree Clarence W. Barrow | The Roosevelt Hospital

Clarence W. Barrow, 27, of Orange, New Jersey, an Ambulance Surgeon at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan, New York, was killed while on duty November 27, 1905, when his ambulance was struck by a car at 6th Street and 5th Avenue, and he was thrown from the ambulance, striking his head, according to the New York Times.

“A ponderous sightseeing automobile struck the ambulance, which contained a woman patient, the driver, and a doctor,” the New York Times article reads in part. “The surgeon was thrown to the pavement and his skull fractured. He died within 10 minutes.” The New York Times released further articles the day of Barrow’s accident and death that told more of his life and his relationship

“A ponderous sightseeing automobile struck the ambulance, which contained a woman patient, the driver, and a doctor,” the New York Times article reads in part. “The surgeon was thrown to the pavement and his skull fractured. He died within 10 minutes.”

The New York Times released further articles the day of Barrow’s accident and death that told more of his life and his relationship with his community. “At Roosevelt Hospital it was said that Dr. Barrow was one of the most popular among the young physicians connected with the institution.”

Barrow was a 1901 graduate of Columbia University, and a 1905 graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

He started working with The Roosevelt Hospital July 1, 1905, and was scheduled to serve another year and eight months in their medical division.

2017 Honoree Samantha Agins | New Jersey Camp – Jaycees

EMT Samantha “Sam” Agins, 22, of New Jersey Camp Jaycee died August 11, 2015.

Agins was a nationally registered EMT working at New Jersey Camp Jaycee, a camp for people with special needs. She was enrolled to start at East Stroudsburg University in the pre-med program.

On August 8, 2015, the last day of camp, a camper collapsed from cardiac arrest. Agins ran to render aid with the assistance of an AED. The AED indicated no shock advised. She continued CPR until EMS arrived approximately 43 minutes later.

Despite the efforts of both Agins and other EMS to resuscitate the patient, the patient did not survive. She developed a headache after administering CPR.

Camp officials called her parents, and her mother picked her up from the camp and took her home to rest, thinking she was suffering from exhaustion. After a few hours of lying down to rest, Agins could not walk, talk, or see correctly. Her family called EMS, but when they arrived, she was no longer responsive.

She was taken to Pocono Medical Center where she was found to have a ruptured artery which resulted in several massive strokes. She was sent to Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia where she died August 11, 2015.

Agin’s actions were described as “heroic and valiant.” Her dad said she was always a giver and she was known for constantly wearing a beautiful smile. He said she was also an organ donor and her tissue was donated to save even more lives. She is a hero because she tried. Her dad said her legacy is: “If you can help someone, you always have to try.”

2017 Honoree Jason Adams | Sherwood Fire Department

Lieutenant R. Jason Adams, 29, died in the line of duty January 22, 2016, in Sherwood, Arkansas, while responding to a medical call as a volunteer with the East Pulaski County Fire Department in Arkansas. Adams’ interest in the fire service was sparked when he was assisted by a volunteer firefighter who responded to a call to his home when Adams was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for his second battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Adams was hired by the Sherwood Fire Department immediately following his graduation from the Arkansas Fire Training Academy, Firefighter Standards in April 2012. He served as a volunteer firefighter with the East Pulaski County Fire Department for 10 years and was a career firefighter with the Sherwood Fire Department for four years.