This month, Westmoreland EMS was recognized by its peers, and it was announced that the department is in the running for a state-level award.

Kevin Brophy and Stephen Pincus of the Peninsulas EMS Council presented the 2021 Outstanding EMS Agency Award.

The Peninsulas EMS Council is a non-profit organization that assists local governments, hospitals, EMS agencies and healthcare providers by identifying, planning, and implementing a regional EMS program across all three peninsulas. The council also gives awards to whichever county agency it believes has delivered a sterling performance in a given year.

“We are the people behind the scenes that help coordinate a lot of things,” Brophy explained. “The staff of the council, all we do is coordinate the activity. We work in pairs, and if you are a part of one of the EMS groups being considered for an award, you have to leave the room, so this is truly an award from your peers.”

“This is a tremendously exciting time for the Peninsula EMS council,” Brophy stated, “To be honored like that by other organizations that look at your operations, that is a pretty high honor.”

A big part of what made this award possible, according to Brophy, is the volunteers that work at EMS and the fire department in Westmoreland County.

“Across the nation, volunteers age out,” Brophy continued, “They cannot give the time that it takes to provide service to the community, and it is extremely expensive to hire on new personnel. However, your investment that you’ve done, it’s paid in big dividends that change peoples’ lives… That is a rare sight, and when you have highly-trained professionals supplemented with volunteers, they are professionals too. You cannot put enough value on them.”

“What sets Westmoreland apart is that you have merged those systems between the trained and volunteer staff, while keeping up with that service demand. On behalf of our president of the council, our entire board of directors, and throughout the whole PEMS region, it is truly a great honor to present this [award],” said Brophy.

Nominated for a governor’s award

Pincus revealed that Westmoreland County’s EMS agency had been nominated for a governor’s award, the results of which will be announced in November at the Virginia EMS Symposium.

“We have to thank you all for the job you do,” Darryl Fisher, chairman for Westmoreland Board of Supervisors Chairman told Blake Byrd,  assistant chief of Westmoreland EMS. “We’ve been well aware of the challenges you’ve had to go through in the last few years, and seeing the progress you’ve made and the achievements you’ve had, I don’t want you to think for one minute that you are taken for granted by this board or the citizens of the county because you don’t achieve this level of recognition by not doing a good job. I am ecstatic to hear the department has gotten to the point where there is a waiting list of people eager to join. We’d like to thank you, your leadership, and your entire team that work both day and night,” said Fisher.