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KEMSA Award Winners 2021

The Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association (KEMSA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 KEMSA annual awards. The awards were presented during the “Honoring Our Own” awards banquet that took place on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 7:00 pm at the Kansas Star Event Center in Mulvane, Kan. during the annual KEMSA Conference & Expo. We congratulate the following recipients and recognize their outstanding contributions to EMS in Kansas and the communities and patients they serve.

Learn about the 2021 winners below.

EMT of the Year - Eldon Headrick

Eldon Headrick is an EMT with Norwich EMS.  Eldon started as an EMT student in 2016 where he was actively engaged in learning, asking questions, and assisting fellow students. Class was a priority for him as he juggled working full-time and having a family. As the class went on, his enthusiasm grew, and it quickly became evident that he would be an asset to the EMS community. Eldon continues to look forward to training opportunities to continue to learn and understand new skills and techniques to best serve his service and patients. The spirit of volunteerism shines through his dedication and willingness to serve whether it be taking on additional call shifts, responding to emergencies on his days off and stepping up to transport patients to other hospitals even in the middle of the night. Whenever there is an event or standby, Eldon can be found providing coverage for those events. His willingness to serve extends beyond call time, as he is often found quietly washing trucks, fixing equipment, organizing the garage, and cleaning up. Eldon is not only committed to providing quality prehospital care to patients, but also passionate about community education and training and service on his city council. 

This award is given to a Kansas EMT who has significantly contributed to EMS at the community, state and/or national level. 

Paramedic of the Year - Korey Lucian

Korey Lucian is the Paramedic Supervisor with Cherokee County EMS, as well as serves as a Lieutenant for the Columbus Fire Department where he responds to medical calls in the area while off duty. Korey is always looking for ways to improve the community and foster a safe and efficient emergency response. He knows this starts with educating himself by spending hours participating in seminars, learning new techniques, and learning evidence-based practices. Korey oversees weekly training as well as the probationary fire academy for the Columbus Fire Department, formulating training scenarios each week to keep firefighters up to date with the newest techniques and developing muscle memory for when it really counts. In 2020, Korey was awarded the Columbus Firefighter of the Year for his relentless dedication to the community following a medical call for a code blue within the Columbus community he received while off-duty. Thanks to his quick thinking and top-notch skills, the patient is alive today and was able to walk out of the hospital just a few days later. Passionate about educating the next generation of paramedics and EMTS, Korey is also an adjunct professor for the Missouri Southern State University EMT class.

This award is for a Kansas Paramedic who has significantly contributed to EMS at the community, state and/or national level.  It can be any Kansas Paramedic whose primary responsibility is providing direct patient care.

Donald E. White Educator of the Year - Jeb Burress

Jeb Burress is the recently retired, Butler County Community College EMS Department Chair and Instructor. Jeb began his career in 1984 after completing his EMT course. With his outstanding personality and special skill of connecting with people, he was quickly identified as someone who could mentor and teach others, thus beginning his journey in EMS education as a lab assistant. Along the way he became a substitute teacher for the local school district, completed his EMT I/D certification, Training Officer I, Training Officer II, EMS Instructor/Coordinator and transitioned to AEMT. With a desire and talent to educate, he became full-time faculty, then lead EMS Instructor, Department Director and finally EMS Department Chair. Jeb has been described as one of the most patient and accommodating instructors to their students; bringing a level of energy, knowledge, and love for the filed to the classroom. Jeb has made a lasting impact on EMS education, made evident by the many EMTs and AEMTs who have passed through the doors of Butler County EMS and Rescue Squad.  The success of Jeb’s career in EMS Education extends beyond local, regional, and even Kansas borders as he has influenced and impacted several students who have gone on to many locations around the country. 

This award is offered to recognize any Kansas Instructor Coordinator who is recognized by the Kansas Board of EMS to conduct initial courses of instruction or continuing education instruction and is given to an outstanding instructor of initial or continuing EMS education.

Administrator of the Year - Christina Bartel

Christina (Chrissy) Bartel serves as the EMS Director for Norwich EMS. Chrissy began her EMS career in 2002 and continued her education as an EMT, EMT-I, and AEMT in 2012. She went on to become an Instructor Coordinator in 2008 and then when the time was right, a paramedic. In 2012, Chrissy was appointed to the EMS Director position upon the retirement of her predecessor. Quickly identifying the need for more educational opportunities, she encouraged her all-volunteer staff to participate in statewide trainings and pursue their AEMT certification.  Norwich EMS became one for the first to host AEMT transition classes. Chrissy has encouraged all technicians to take the ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign training, including the train the trainer portion. Since then, two technicians have given the ‘Stop the Bleed’ training for several community events. Norwich EMS has received recognition for their professional attitude and service to the community under Chrissy’s leadership. In 2018, Chrissy attended a 40-hour training session on Peer Support Groups, not only to aid her own crews, but to be on call should another service have a need. This led to the formation of the KEMSA Peer Support Society. Chrissy has been an active leader in KEMSA by serving on various committees, holding leadership positions with multiple KEMSA societies, and serving on the KEMSA Board of Directors.

This award is for an administrator who has made a significant contribution to EMS Administration on a local, state or national level, and it is awarded to an EMS administrator whose primary responsibility is the direction of individuals involved in the delivery of prehospital care.

Lifetime Achievement Award - Kerry McCue

Kerry McCue retired as Administrator of Ellis County Health Services in Hays, Kansas. Kerry received his EMT training at Colby Community College in 1976 and his paramedic training at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1979. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Kansas and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Kerry has been involved in EMS for 40 years; as a volunteer in rural Kansas, a paramedic in the Kansas City Metro area, Northwest Kansas (Region I) EMS Council Chairman, Member of the Kansas Board of EMS’ Planning and Coordination Committee, Chair of the Kansas Board of EMS’ Service Director’s Program Development Committee, Member of the Founders Committee for KEMSA, Past President of KEMSA, Chair of the KEMSA Administrator Society, member on the KS BCBS Provider Communication Advisory Committee, Member/Fiscal Agent for the Northwest Kansas Regional Homeland Security Council, Vice-Chair/Member of the Statewide Interoprable Communications Executive Committee, 911 Coordinating Council and Chair of the Kansas Hospital Association EMS/Hospital Committee and appointee to the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Trauma. In the community, Kerry has been involved with the local Optimist Club, the Ministerial Alliances Community Thanksgiving Dinner, and a coach of youth sports. In his retirement, he continues to coach youth basketball; work with Healthcare Coalitions with KDHE, KDADS and KHA on a COVID project to help transition patients/residents of Acute Care to Post-Acute Care facilities – a project that has been nominated for presentation at the National HCC Preparedness Conference. As a role model and mentor, he has made a significant contribution to EMS and EMS Administration throughout his career.  

This award recognizes an individual whose contributions to pre-hospital care have been consistent and long lasting, representing in effect, a lifetime of outstanding service to the profession and to the public.

Presidential Leadership Award – Mary Napier

Mary Napier, Outgoing KEMSA Chief Operations Officer has been working for KEMSA since 2006. She started as the KEMSA Chronicle editor and transitioned to membership/communications manager in 2010. Later in 2010, the KEMSA Board decided to capitalize on the momentum of the organization and hire someone to continue to grow and push the organization forward.  Mary took on the role of COO in April 2011.  For the last 10 years, Mary has allowed the volunteer KEMSA Board more time to focus on the big issues in Kansas EMS as well as their full-time jobs as she worked in the background to execute and shape the vision of KEMSA with their direction.  While Mary does not have an EMS background, she has worked hard over the last 10 years to make Kansas EMS better and has made a huge impact.  She will now return to her roots as she will continue as the KEMSA Chronicle editor in the future, but she will step back from her other duties to focus on her family.  We wish her the best. 

This award is selected by the KEMSA President and is given to someone who has helped Kansas EMS grow and progress.

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