Anyone who has had need of emergency help from the members of our Fire Division knows first-hand of their professional, caring and dedicated approach to providing assistance when we need it most. While all in the division are deserving of our gratitude and recognition, each year one of two members of the team stand out for an exceptional example of service.
I am proud to share that firefighters/paramedics Melinda Gabriel and David Wisner have been awarded the Dr. Mary E. Fontana EMS Distinguished Service Award for their work on a new paramedicine program introduced to our community over the past year.
In 2017, the Fire Division launched an innovative new program to facilitate a more tailored use of emergency care resources. CARES—Community, Assistance, Referrals and Education Services—is a community paramedicine program focusing on education, injury prevention and building community partnerships to help improve the lives of Upper Arlington residents. This program’s success is a direct result of hard work from the men and women who have contributed their time and knowledge to CARES. As operational leads for CARES, Melinda and David spent countless hours assessing the needs of the community, attending conferences and meetings, and helping to form a workable plan for our community.
Additionally, Melinda has worked to develop the “Street by Street CPR Program,” taking the division’s CPR training to the streets. Similarly, David has had an instrumental role creating and maintaining the relatively new “Special Needs Registry.”
Both Melinda and David’s empathy and compassion for their work and the residents of Upper Arlington makes them worthy of this distinguished award and reflects the utmost respect upon themselves and the Upper Arlington Fire Division. My congratulations to them both.