On March 9, the Tri-Community Ambulance Service held its 57th annual installation of officers and awards banquet at the Niagara Falls Events Center.
"This event helped recognize the accomplishments of 2012 while keeping our focus on 2013 and beyond. The evening was filled with fun, cheer and celebration recognizing the outstanding work the volunteers of Tri-Community Ambulance continue to do 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said President Philip Richardson.
Tri-Community Ambulance Service logged more than 1,300 calls for service in 2012; and logged 26,752 duty hours (an increase of 2,400 hours over 2011) in 2012. This time does not include the time spent at meetings, planning sessions, training sessions, EMT courses or the annual fundraiser.
•Tri-Community's Top 10 Responders were recognized for 2012: Todd Gehm, Kelsey Wielgosz, Adam Defelice, Rick Barker, Thomas McNamara, Nicole Wendt, Bobby Stuff, Corey Lauzau, John Voutour and Phil Richardson.
•"Top 10 Duty Hours personnel recognized were Aaron Bair, Rick Barker, Kelsey Wielgosz, Angela Onofrio, Adam Defelice, Nicole Wendt, Thomas McNamara, Corey Lauzau, Todd Gehm and Phil Richardson.
•Tri-Community also invites the membership to nominate a provider of the year for each level of care. The 2012 Driver of the Year was Jeremiah Keleher. EMT of the Year was Nicole Wendt. Advanced Life Support Provider of the Year was Thomas McNamara.
•Rookie of the Year honors had a three-way tie with Jeremiah Keleher, Bobby Stuff and Jared Kish.
The Tri-Community Ambulance Service was also honored to receive a donation from both the Emmons and the Gerbec families. Tri-Community has a permanent reminder of each family on its twin ambulances that were placed into service in 2010.
Joe Emmons was a fellow responder with the Shawnee Fire Co. and the Tri-Community Ambulance who was taken all too soon from both his volunteer family and the Emmons family, Richardson said. "Joe was a paramedic with Tri-Community, and was very influential in shaping our members as many have had him as an EMS instructor."
Jeff Gerbec, the son of Wheatfield Councilman Art Gerbec, died in an ATV accident. Art Gerbec is a member of the Bergholz Fire Company and a life member and past president of the Tri-Community Ambulance Service.
"Tri-Community Ambulance 331 is dedicated in the memory of Joe Emmons and Tri-Community Ambulance 332 is dedicated in the memory of Jeff Gerbec. We are very honored to have both families allow our ambulances to carry their loved one's names on them," Richardson said.
Tri-Community also took the time to formally install its elected officers of 2013: President Phil Richardson, Vice President Dennis Osborne, Treasurer Don Lauer, Secretary Alanna DePriest, Assistant Treasurer Steph Coder, Chief Sherri Reischel, 1st Assistant Chief Aaron Bair, 2nd Assistant Chief Todd Gehm, Trustee of Property and Grounds Adam Defelice, Trustee of EMS Supplies Amanda Ohlson and Trustee of Vehicles John Voutour.
A special thank you is extended to the Shawnee Fire Company for providing ambulance coverage for the duration of the Awards Dinner. A special thank you to the Bergholz, St. Johnsburg, Sanborn and Pekin fire companies for their continued hard work and dedication to their residents. We look forward to working with your companies for many years to come.
The Tri-Community Ambulance Service also would like to thank Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour for being our installing officer and Niagara County Fire Coordinator Jon Schultz for being our master of ceremonies, Richardson said.