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.

National EMS Memorial Service 2016

Photos by Mark Mennie

The National EMS Weekend of Honor Pays Tribute to Fallen EMS Heroes

Washington, D.C. – The National EMS Memorial Service, the National EMS Memorial Foundation and the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will pay tribute to our fallen EMS and air medical providers from throughout the United States during the 2017 National EMS Weekend of Honor, scheduled May 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, Va.

There are many activities and events during the three-day Weekend of Honor, 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 2017 honorees:

FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017

The Arrival & Tribute of the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR)

The NEMSMBR celebrates the lives of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as well as EMS legacy personnel who have died of natural or nonemployment-related causes.

About 100 EMS Memorial Bike Riders, led by a procession of EMS vehicles, will arrive at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, concluding a trip that began on May 13 in Boston and kicking off the 2017 Weekend of Honor.

Riders are predominantly EMS professionals from across the U.S., and each rider wears dog tags bearing an honoree’s name, agency and date of their loss.

Upon arrival at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, the Presentation of Dog Tags to the families will occur. The rider will meet the family in front of the honoree’s biography to present one of their two dog tags worn during the ride — an emotionally powerful part of the Honor Weekend. The rider will keep the other dog tag as a lifetime reminder of the honoree’s sacrifice.

The Presentation of the Dog Tags is immediately followed by a short ceremony.

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017

National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS)  

The National EMS Memorial Service, a formal ceremony to honor fallen EMS professionals who have died in the line of duty, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.

The entire memorial service can be viewed via live-streaming.  Hundreds of EMS personnel from across the country will travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the NEMSMS, along with friends, co-workers of current and past honorees, dignitaries, EMS and business leaders, and government officials.

All participants in the NEMSMS will be in dress uniform, flight suits, or similar appropriate attire.  Honor Guards, along with bagpipe and drum corps will volunteer their time and services throughout the weekend.

An American flag, flown over the nation’s capitol, will be presented to each of the twenty-nine honoree’s family along with the NEMSMS medallion.  During the service, a National Moment of Silence will be called at 6 p.m. (Eastern), so that EMS agencies across the U.S. can pause simultaneously in 30 seconds of radio silence to pay respect and remember the fallen—together.

The year’s honorees are highlighted in a special Tribute Video, followed by an uplifting Candlelight Ceremony that concludes the service.  The National EMS Memorial “Tree of Life” will be on display.

Bronze oak leaves are engraved with the names of fallen honorees for each year since 1993. In August 2015, the three EMS organizations named above agreed to collaborate on a shared vision and strategic plan to honor EMS heroes who have died in the line of duty.

They are continuing 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. “This year, the National EMS Weekend of Honor coincides with the beginning of National EMS Week, which is May 21-27,” said Jana Williams, president of the National EMS Memorial Service. “Our nation’s capital area in Northern Virginia 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.”

Register for this year’s memorial service by clicking the button below:

Event Registration