At the Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps 2013 Awards Banquet, Chief Jeremy Mothershed urged members to "strive to do what is best for our service, our organization and most importantly, our citizens of this great city, county and state" in his annual address at the Bayou restaurant.
Moments later, Mothershed was honored for doing just that in his five years as chief.
The Past Chief's Award was presented to Mothershed to commemorate his service as the company's chief. The award is given to every chief of the ambulance corps when they leave the position.
"We've been extremely lucky to have a chief in the state of Maryland for five-plus years," his successor, Peter Quackenbush, said. "Most don't; most stay around for a year, maybe two or three."
"Five years ago, Jeremy had a dream and had a whole lot of work ahead of him," Quackenbush continued. "He had a track for us and how we were going to do it. He had his own goals for our company. Some were different than others, but he knew what direction we needed to be in."
"He knew where our company needed to be, and that's where he took us and that's where we are today," Quackenbush said before presenting Mothershed with his old service helmet as part of a company tradition with past chiefs.
Quackenbush also presented Mothershed with a new badge and a shadow box containing his name, his paramedic badge, the company's badge and a plaque on the bottom reading "Chief Jeremy Mothershed, 2008-2012, We Laughed, We Cried."
Mothershed was also recognized later in the evening for his 20 total years of service with the company.
The EMS Person of the Year award went to Zachary A. Coyle. Coyle was the number two responder for the corps in 2012 with 312 calls and has been a member since April 2008, when he joined the company at age 20.
Coyle is a "very honorable, very dedicated individual, and always willing to help out," Mothershed said. Coyle was presented with a watch, plaque and commendations from state, county and city officials, and will serve at the company's 5-9-3 captain in 2013.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Christian McGriffin for 21 years of service with the ambulance corps.
The Rookie of the Year Award went to Bridgette Lopez for showing "great potential," continuing "to help when needed" and for being "always willing and eager to do what is asked."
Havre de Grace City Councilman John P. Correri Jr., also a member of the ambulance corps' Board of Trustees, won this year's President's Award for his service to the corps.
"He is always willing to represent us. This individual is truly an asset to our company, but especially to me," company president Carol Barnett said before presenting the award to Correri.
The Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps responded to 1,958 calls in 2012. Of those calls, the top EMS responders for 2012 were Dale Clark with 357, Coyle with 312, Joe Gamatoria with 230, Ron Kane with 213, Chris Parker with 169, Peter Quackenbush with 145, Bridgette Lopez with 111, Gene Osborn with 104, Denise Buchanan with 92 and Neil Crouch with 85.
Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty personally thanked two responders from the corps – EMT Chris Parker and Paramedic Nick DaRita – for responding to a call after his 94-year-old mother-in-law suffered a fall.
"Your mannerisms with her, with my wife and myself; you made what we thought was a worse situation a lot better," Dougherty said to the two responders. "And to both of you, we'll be ever grateful and we thank you very much."
This year's outstanding service award went to Gene Osborn and Ronald Kane for making "great contributions to the company." Both were awarded plaques reading "for your commitment and dedication to excellence from the smallest projects to the largest undertaking, you are always there to see it through."
Mark Hemler was inducted in the Harford/Cecil Fireman's Association Hall of Fame by Joe Tolliver, president of the Hall of Fame committee.
"He must not have a life," Tolliver joked to laugher from the audience as he read Hemler's many committee assignments and awards during his time with the Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps.
Hemler joined the corps on March 7, 1979, and this year marks his 34th year of service. He was presented with a bar, medal, lapel pin, presentation box with his name engraved on it, and a hat in commemoration of the event. Hemler also received a merit award earlier in the evening for his help with the construction of the Norma Jean Rice Pavilion.
A group award was presented to 31 members for being part of standby crews during Hurricane Sandy. A plaque with their names reading "With deeply appreciation for your untiring efforts to ensure the safety of our citizens during this historic event" will be placed on the vestibule at the corps' station.
Steve Seeley received a merit award "for going above and beyond to ensure the safety of the citizens in Western Maryland during Hurricane Sandy." Seeley spent more than 60 hours as part of an EMS task force that assisted with emergency services in Western Maryland during the hurricane.
The Mary E. Gibson training award was presented to Zachary Coyle and Nazir Sadik. Both were awarded plaques reading "In recognition of your dedication and commitment to ensuring quality training to the members of the Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps."