Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Honoring Utah’s Emergency Responders

(Salt Lake City, Utah) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH), Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness paid tribute to the emergency medical professionals representing the many dedicated heroes whose mission is saving lives.  Today’s EMS Awards Ceremony gave special recognition to several different categories of responders who went above and beyond in the handling of critical situations. 

Special recognition was given to those who responded to a vehicle versus train crash last November.  Kaysville police, the Kaysville Fire Department, the Layton Fire Department, and the Davis County Sheriff’s office all responded when a UTA Frontrunner train ran into a van carrying three people.  The adult female driver, Clara Lewis, was found in critical condition with life-threatening head injuries.

When Davis county paramedics, Deputy Shane Archibald and Deputy Shane Sorenson, discovered her airway was restricted, they elected to use a pre-hospital rapid sequence intubation (RSI) protocol they had only recently been trained in, likely saving her life.  It was the first time they’d used the procedure. 

“As I reflect on the many lives the men and women in the EMS profession have affected, my respect and admiration for their commitment and fortitude continues to expand,” said Bureau Director Paul Patrick.  “It’s one of the highlights of the year to have the opportunity to thank them publicly and acknowledge their remarkable service.”

Special recognition also went to West Valley Police Officer Kevin Peck, whose story went viral in December after he responded to an incident involving a pedestrian and a UTA bus.  24-year old Aryann Smith’s legs were pinned under the large vehicle and she was awake and frightened.  Officer Peck crawled under the bus to take her pulse and remained there, holding her hand, until fire crews were able to lift up the bus and get her out.                                

For more information on the EMS Awards Ceremony and a complete list of winners, visit the UDOH Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness website at

Media Contact:
Tamara Goodin
Emergency Medical Services Systems
Cell: (801) 230-2963
Office: (801) 273-6672