Yuma, Arizona - Observation of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week continued last night with a Proclamation read by City of Yuma Deputy Mayor Gary Knight and special recognition of several local EMS personnel.

The Yuma Fire Department took time Thursday evening to recognize members of the Emergency Medical Service team selected for their exemplary performance, service, and achievements. Representing the Yuma Fire Department for these presentations was Chief Steve Irr. Assisting the Chief was Deputy Mayor Knight, City Administrator Greg Wilkinson, and EMS Battalion Chief Daniel Ott.

This year’s Paramedic of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Firefighter James Chavez.

Although James is one of the youngest paramedics in the Yuma Fire Department, he has consistently improved his skills and is an enthusiastic and professional paramedic, volunteering for special assignments and always having a positive attitude. He ensures all his patients are treated in a prompt and efficient manner. One such example is when his unit received a call about a vehicle versus house traffic crash.  His unit was first on scene, he established command and triaged three patients before the next due unit arrived. He provides extraordinary customer service and patient care, treating every patient with kindness and compassion regardless of his or her background or social status. His motivation and dedication are exemplary.

This year’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Fire Captain Erik Lohman.

There are few EMT’s on the department as dedicated, diligent and enthusiastic as Erik. As a Captain with 20 + years in the Department, he could take on fewer patient care duties but chooses to lead by example and fully utilize the skills he has developed over years of service. After many calls, Captain Lohman can be found completing the same task any new EMT would normally perform. Captain Lohman is an EMT who leads from the front, always providing excellent customer service and really truly enhancing the care given by the paramedics in the crew. Words cannot express how important it is to see an EMT provide such amazing care. Captain Lohman makes any crew he is a part of better.

This year’s Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Jose Zavala. 

Jose has the lowest average call processing times for Fire/EMS calls at 44 seconds. Between April 2017 and April 2018, he has answered over 16,000 phone calls, entering almost 7,400 total calls for service, almost 1,400 of which were Fire/EMS calls. This is the highest phone call volume of all of the dispatchers for an entire year. He has consistently scored in the high 90s for his monthly quality assurance reviews and exceeded the expectations for the program. Jose is always willing to help whenever he is asked. Throughout the year Jose has been recognized by his co-workers for his contributions and teamwork during large incidents including the Mesa Heights fire, an incident involving a pursuit, assault on an officer, a vehicle running into a house, a homicide, and multiple calls requiring CPR instructions. He is quick to recognize others for their efforts during busy shifts or large incidents. Jose’s co-workers enjoy working with him.

Special recognition was given to 8 high school seniors for completing the COOP program. They were Leonel Anaya (KHS), Yesenia Lizzaraga (KHS), Cory Moorehead (CHS), Brian Morones (CHS), Alexis Ulloa (GRHS), and Christopher Valdez (GRHS). In addition, Leonel Anaya (who took state honors in the Arizona National Skills USA competition and will go on to Nationals in Louisville, KY) was named “CO-OP of the Year”.

Other recognitions included awards for YFD personnel who delivered babies, a donation of veterinary oxygen masks by Desert Veterinary Clinic, completions of Hazardous Materials Technician and Paramedic Certifications, and recent promotions.