HELENA — The Department of Public Health and Human Services held its annual Emergency Medical Services Awards Ceremony, where they honored Montana Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel from across the state through an award ceremony.
Jefferson County Resident Cari Ray nominated Jefferson Valley EMS for an award for saving her life after a near-fatal night.
"I had two brain aneurysms and one of them ruptured. It was a three-centimeter brain aneurysm that ruptured in the back of my neck. And they even said that they hadn't seen one that large. So it was it was very lucky that I was where I was to have Jefferson Valley there for me," said Ray.
For their efforts, Jefferson Valley EMS was honored with the 2023 EMS Service of the Year Award.
"They saved my life," said Ray.
Francis Jiono, with Jefferson Valley EMS, says it's an honor for the team to be recognized.
"It's refreshing to know that people care. Yeah, and we try to do a good job," said Jiono.
Around a half dozen agencies from across the state, along with their friends and family attended the ceremony. Including some from as far away as Miles City.
Jerry Lyons, a retired Great Falls EMS, and Fire Rescue personnel, says that being a part of Emergency Medical Services is like being a part of a big family.
"If you see an ambulance on the road or a flight helicopter or a fire truck," said Lyons, "doesn't matter what city you're in, you can feel for them and understand what they're going through."
Here are the complete list of all the award winners:
- Volunteer EMS Provider of the Year Award: Jack Berg, Meagher County Volunteer Ambulance
- Career EMS Career Provider of the Year Award: Jerry Lyons, Critical Care Paramedic and Lead Emergency Care Provider Instructor with Montana Medical Transport of Helena and Great Falls.
- EMS Service of the Year Award: Jefferson Valley EMS
- 911 Dispatcher of the Year Award: Jennifer LaCross, Gallatin County 911
- EMS Supporter of the Year Award: Miles City Police Department
- The EMS for Children Support Award: Jason Mahoney of Anaconda