‘I haven’t done anything any other EMT wouldn’t do’

Monroe. Wayne Chan, president and training officer for Monroe Volunteer Ambulance, uses his award as 2023 national EMT of the Year to acknowledge the efforts of all emergency medical technicians, calling EMS ‘an essential service.’

| 22 Aug 2023 | 07:35

The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians will present the 2023 NAEMT/Demers-Braun-Crestline-Medix EMT of the Year Award next month in New Orleans to Wayne Chan, EMT with the Monroe Volunteer Ambulance.

“We congratulate the following recipients and recognize their outstanding contributions to the EMS profession and the patients they serve,” the association said in announcing award and listing some of Chan’s accomplishments with Monroe Volunteer Ambulance:

‘Makes everyone around him feel they are in good hands’

“Wayne Chan has been an EMT for over 20 years and is the president and training officer for Monroe Volunteer Ambulance in Monroe, New York. He is also a delegate to the Orange County EMS Council and serves as treasurer for the Hudson Valley Regional EMS Council.

“Chan’s patient care skills are exemplary and his confidence ‘makes everyone around him feel they are in good hands.’

“Chan has a way of interacting with patients and their families that instantly puts them at ease. He is methodical in his scene and patient assessment. He communicates with the family and accurately reports to the hospital to ensure the best possible outcomes.

“Chan is a patient advocate and has built a great rapport with area physicians and healthcare administrators to request help with volunteer retention, funding for equipment and long patient turnover times at the hospitals.

“He also continues his education path in active shooter events by researching and participating in drills to refine his skills in responding to mass casualty incidents.

“He holds monthly drills for the agency’s youth squad and seeks training opportunities to bring back to them.

“Chan received both Orange County’s and Hudson Valley’s Educator of the Year awards in 2018, and the Orange County, NY Meritorious Service Medal for contributions to EMS in 2019.”

‘The front of the front lines’

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Chan wrote in an email exchange with The Photo News. “I haven’t done anything any other EMT wouldn’t do. We go on calls, not knowing what we’ll find. We bring order to chaos. We meet people on their worst day and see more than most see in a lifetime.

“Then came COVID.

“We wore Tyvek suits, goggles and N95 masks. We were the front of the front lines. Putting ourselves and our families at risk, but we kept doing it.

“EMS is now struggling and at a turning point. It’s difficult to find EMTs and Paramedics due to the pay structure. In New York State EMS needs to be an essential service if it is to survive.

“All EMT and Paramedics must remember their mental health is of the utmost importance.

“In closing,” Chan added, “I have nothing but praise for all EMTs and Paramedics for doing what they do.”