CRANBERRY TWP — In a cleared ambulance bay, decorated with white tablecloths instead of yellow rescue vehicles for the night, Cranberry Township EMS celebrated its receipt of a statewide emergency medical services award Tuesday.
The ambulance service was named the recipient of the 2020 Pennsylvania Small EMS Agency of the Year award, beating out more than 1,200 other agencies throughout the state.
“It's taken many years for us to get to this point,” EMS Chief Ted Fessides said. “And I thank all of you for your contributions.”
Fessides attributed a large part of the agency's winning the award to its Save-A-Life Saturday event, in which it reunited three cardiac arrest survivors with responders who helped them survive. As part of its community involvement efforts, CTEMS trained nearly 400 people on how to perform CPR during 2019.
“Cranberry Township EMS is a step above the rest when it comes to emergency and nonemergency response and treatment, community outreach, EMS education and also preparedness,” J.R. Henry, of the state Emergency Health Services Council, said while announcing the award via livestream.
This is the first time CTEMS received the award, and Fessides said he believes it is the first time a Butler agency has won the award. It is granted annually to an agency that contributes to the development and growth of prehospital care within its community or communities.
CTEMS responded to more than 4,000 calls during 2019 within Cranberry, Seven Fields and New Sewickley Township in Beaver County. It also performed more than 250 car seat safety checks, teaching parents how to install car seats, and visited dozens of homes for Safe Landings visits, teaching parents and others how to do CPR and use an AED as well as checking for childproofing throughout the homes.
“Cranberry Township EMS truly epitomized what an EMS agency should be — a lot more than just taking people to the hospital,” Henry said.
Fessides praised not only the EMTs and paramedics who form the agency, but also their families.
“I also want to thank all the family members who came out here tonight,” he said. “We appreciate all the late night phone calls, the emails, missed meals, missed holidays that you guys put up with to let us do what we need to do. That's what we won the award for.”