Troy Firefighters honored with EMS Star of Life Award


COLUMBUS — Troy Firefighters were among first responders the Ohio Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) honored from across the state who showed courage and dedication in the face of difficult, life-threatening circumstances at its annual Star of Life Awards recognition ceremony.

EMS holds the Star of Life Awards ceremony each May coinciding with EMS Week, which this year is May 19-25. This year EMS celebrates its 50th anniversary.

“Each year I am amazed to learn of the heroic acts performed by Ohio’s men and women who serve in the EMS profession,” said EMS Executive Director Robert Wagoner, in a press release from the Ohio Department of Public Safety. “They are true public servants in every sense of the word.”

Crews from the Troy Fire Department responded to a call after a child found their little 18-month-old sister Ezali Stewart unresponsive floating face-down in a pool during a family reunion. While family members dialed the emergency number, said a city of Troy press release, Ezali’s mother, Abby Cathcart, pulled the her daughter out of the pool and started performing CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Within four minutes of receiving the 911 call, the Troy Fire Department was on the scene to administer CPR and got her to a trauma center within 20 minutes of the 911 call.. By the time the ambulance arrived, Ezali was starting to respond and breathe again. Ezali spent a few days at Dayton Children’s Hospital before returning home and is now a healthy and happy two-year-old.

The members of Troy Fire who were honored with the EMS Star of Life Award include: Firefighters/Paramedics Brandon Warner, Dakota Brown, Benjamin Schreiber, Platoon Commander Dale Thompson and EMT/Paramedic Eli Morando.

Other EMS Stars include:

• Akron Fire/EMS – Crews saved the life of a motorcycle rider who crashed and suffered serious injuries, including severe head trauma due to not wearing a helmet.

• City of Eaton Fire and EMS – Heroic actions during a “once in a career” call saved the life of an officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, who fell out of a deer stand while hunting with his son.

• Columbus Division of Fire – Medic 7 was dropping off a patient at the OSU Wexner ER when they heard a drowning call at the McCorkle Indoor Aquatic Pavilion a few blocks away, and their quick arrival helped save the life of a 16-year-old.

• Jackson Township (Stark County) Fire Department – Firefighter/paramedic Dawn Shaffer not only treated a SARTA bus driver who was trapped after a head-on collision, she stayed by the driver’s side during rescue efforts to keep her calm.

• Marysville Division of Fire – Quick thinking helped crews rescue a mechanic who was trapped under a truck, saving his life.

• Medina Life Support – EMS crews and Medina police officers saved a woman’s life by working together to corral a dog that was viciously attacking the woman inside her home.

• Physicians Ambulance – Paramedic Rachel Munsey was driving an ambulance through heavy traffic when she suffered a seizure. Her partner, Natalie Krill, stopped the ambulance, treated Munsey, and called for help.

• TEMS Joint Ambulance District – Bystanders found a man who had suffered a medical emergency inside his truck, with the door open, in sub-zero temperatures. They worked to both revive and warm him as they drove him to the nearest trauma center in Pittsburgh.

The 2024 EMS Star of Life Awards honorees are:

• EMS Agency of the Year: City of Monroe Fire Department, for the use of technology to assess performance and to assure crews provide unbiased care.

• EMS Medical Director of the Year: Dr. Jay Carter, for his instruction and leadership in guiding EMS crews in Northeast Ohio.

• EMS Provider of the Year: Jarrod Tupps of Delaware County Emergency Medical Services, for his decades of service and compassion to his community.

• Frank Giampetro Distinguished EMS Educator Award: Patty Willson, for her 50-plus years of service as a firefighter/paramedic and registered nurse in Lake County.

• Jack R. Liberator Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. David Keseg, for more than 30 years of service as Medical Director, of Columbus Division of Fire.

Videos of each recipient’s story will be posted under the EMS tab of the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s YouTube page. To view the Troy Fire Department’s video, go to:

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