Event notes service, professionalism
“I am very proud of your high level of service and professionalism,” said Mayor Bob Donchez as he kicked off an EMS week celebration May 21 by reading a proclamation declaring it EMS week in Bethlehem. The ceremony was held at the Bethlehem EMS facility on Dewberry Avenue, with paramedics, St. Luke’s and Lehigh Valley hospitals officials in attendance.
Former Deputy Fire Commissioner Eugene Novak was also recognized after having survived a lawn mowing accident that left him with severe burns over his body. The paramedics who responded and transported him to the Lehigh Valley Health Network Burn Center presented him with a special pin. Brian Joho, burn program coordinator at Lehigh Valley Hospital, said, “He’s here today because first responders did an excellent job.”
Dr. John Patterson was also recognized for his 36 years serving as medical adviser to Bethlehem’s EMS service. Patterson began serving in that capacity in 1982. Although he’s retiring from the St. Luke’s University Health Network’s emergency room, he said he will continue to teach medicine.
St. Luke’s vice president of patient care services, Janice Concilio, unveiled a plaque commemorating long-time Bethlehem paramedic William “Billy” Guth’s service to the City. Guth’s widow Mary was present to witness the reveal of the plaque. “We at St. Luke’s remember Billy with a fondness,” Concilio said.
EMS Director Tom Decker had paramedic Benjamin Perry model the new soft armor that Bethlehem paramedics will begin wearing for their personal protection when responding to calls.
Receiving service pins were paramedics Shannon Pressley (five years); Matthew Bielinski, Edward Coleman, Douglas Deutsch, Steven Dutt, Jeffrey Fritz and Michael Maguire (10 years); Barri-Jami Arnold, Joshua Daniels, IV and Edwin Hillegass, Jr. (15 years); and, Daniel Burnside (20 years).
The City of Bethlehem’s EMS has 24 full-time and 27 part-time paramedics who handle over 11,500 calls yearly.