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REMSA’s Tom earns EMT/Paramedic honor



Alan Tom, manager of special events and a emergency medical technician Intermediate (EMT-I) for the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA), has been named the Nevada EMT/Paramedic of the year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of the United States for his exemplary service in administering emergency medical assistance.

Tom first became an EMT 1982 when he first began his professional medical career at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center where he served as the Emergency Department Coordinator/ Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. He remained at Saint Mary’s for 22 years before joining REMSA in 2005.

With REMSA, Tom provides pre-hospital emergency care to the sick and injured in the Washoe County community on an ambulance and serves in a leadership position as the special events manager for the organization. Tom currently holds five separate EMS certifications including: EMT-Intermediate, Hazardous Materials Technician, Ski Patrol, Swift Water Rescue and Dive Master Rescue.

Tom also served as a Washoe County Reserve Sheriff for seven years and has been a volunteer for 26 years with the Washoe County Hasty Team and Special Vehicles Unit (SVU), the community’s local technical search and rescue teams. Tom continues to volunteer his time and serve on the Hasty Team and SVU. Tom is also the chairman for the medical committee for the Reno Rodeo and has been a Director of Reno Rodeo for the past 24 years.

“Though being on the Search and Rescue team puts Alan in austere environments placing his own life in jeopardy, he gives his time selflessly,” said Brian Taylor, director of special operations for REMSA. “His commitment to this position as well as his work at REMSA has saved many lives. Alan has dedicated his entire career to public service. He is passionate in his desire to serve his community in any capacity necessary. Alan embodies the ideal, dedication and proven commitment required of a recipient of this prestigious award.”

Tom’s heroic efforts were personified in late 2009 while he was responding to a 9-1-1 call for water rescue of possible drowning victims at Pyramid Lake. On the way to the scene, Tom passed a vehicle on the side of the road that had pulled over and called 9-1-1. After seeing the lights and sirens of the REMSA vehicle (non-ambulance), the passengers of the car waived down Tom who was en route to the lake because of the initial drowning 9-1-1 call. Informed by dispatch of the request for assistance from the pulled over car, Tom responded. Arriving at the vehicle, he found a 1-year-old girl who was involved in the drowning at Pyramid Lake without a pulse or respirations. Tom promptly called for an ambulance and began life saving measures. After many minutes working on the young child by himself, he resuscitated her. She subsequently was transferred to the hospital where she fully recovered. After the transport Tom continued to respond to the lake rescue to assist in the recovery of additional victims of the incident.

Tom received the REMSA Star Care Quarterly Award in December 2009 for his outstanding performance and efforts that saved the young child’s life. REMSA’s Star Care program is a peer driven recognition program and is one of the highest awards presented to its employees. Tom’s past recognitions also include receiving the Washoe County Sheriff’s “Medal for Lifesaving” in 2007.

REMSA is a private, not-for-profit emergency medical services system serving northern Nevada. REMSA’s state-of-the-art 9-1-1 dispatch communications center is fully accredited, as are all emergency medical transport services of the company. REMSA provides quality patient care with no taxpayer support or other subsidies.

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