Outstanding EMS Call

On April 14, 2016, several Middlesex County agencies would join forces and respond to a serious motor vehicle accident involving four national guardsmen that occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike. At about 2:45 in the afternoon, a US Army Humvee carrying four soldiers overturned. Two of the four soldiers were trapped under the overturned Humvee, while the other two were out of the vehicle. Recognizing that the injuries met ALS critieria, BLS responders requested ground ALS, Northstar and Southstar. Crews from multiple jurisdictions worked to free the two soldiers trapped. Recognizing the severity of the one soldier, who's leg was amputated during the accident, a commercial tourniquet was successfully applied and the missing limb was put on ice and airlifted with the solider to the trauma center at RWJUH. A second soldier had an airway compromise, which needed to be stabilized prior to also being airlifted by a second helicopter to RWJUH trauma center. All four soldiers survived their injuries. The actions, collaboration, and the ability to efficiently and expediously provide quality prehospital emergency medical care were exemplified by all agencies who responded that day. The responders undoubtedly were honored to care for our military personnel who proudly and unselfishly serve our country every day.

For their actions and utmost collaboration to take care of our own, the award for Outstanding EMS Call goes to Monroe Township Municipal Ambulance Service, Milltown Rescue Squad, Robert Wood Johnson Mobile Health Services, NorthStar and SouthStar!

Outstanding Advanced Life Support – Specialty Care Transport Unit Nurse

This year's recipient has been a valuable member of his specialty care transport team for over a decade. He provides interfacility transport at all levels and skillfully provides critical and acute care to patients from pediatrics to end of life. He is committed to patient care and quality improvement. He also plays a major role in orienting nurses to the SCTU and is a role model for other staff members in his service.

His nursing excellence within the critical care transport community provides a foundation for all to model.

For his commitment to excellence, quality improvement and patient care, this year's Outstanding ALS-SCTU Nurse goes Matthew Mocarsky !

Outstanding Paramedic

This Paramedic started her career in 1982 and for 34 years has provided care to countless patients.  In 1988, she was one of the first female flight paramedics to join a new endeavor with then West Jersey Health System and University Hospital, to be part of the JEMSTAR program.  After 2 years of flying, she became a trail blazer in ground ALS care.   

Over the decades, she has always kept the ability to maintain quality patient care and dedicates herself in the field of education where she serves as an instructor in the Paramedic Science Program at Virtua.  Her drive and determination as a mentor and innovator is an inspiration to all who cross her path. 


For her distinguished commitment and dedication to patient care and her ability to be a true leader in EMS, this year’s Outstanding Paramedic goes to Loraine Russell!

Outstanding EMS Educator

When looking for the model EMS educator, one needs to look no further than this individual. His drive, commitment and passion to educate EMS professionals and beyond is unconditional.

One of the National EMS Education Standards is to incorporate medical simulation into the classroom. The reasons are obvious: while textbooks, lectures and skill labs have been the pillars of prehospital education, they fall short in teaching EMS providers how to think critically and make rapid decisions accurately.

Creating an environment for students to critically think is one that this individual clearly specializes in. As EMS evolves and becomes more complex, EMS educators, must integrate simulation technology into integrated practice; and this awardee does just that.

He connects with his students and does so with integrity and it is clear that he has had a major impact to all those that have benefited from participating in his simulation program.

Lastly, he has been an integral part of the simulation games since its inception and for that your colleagues are forever greatful.

For your commitment to excellence in education, this year’s award for Outstanding EMS Educator goes to Gary Ackerman!

Outstanding EMS Administrator

Strong leadership is a quality that every organization seeks to attain. John Quincy Adams said that “a leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not”.

Leadership is vital and oftentimes immeasurable in EMS. This year’s awardee has been instrumental as a NJ EMS Task Force Leader, educator, and Tour Chief. His knowledge and ultimate professional demeanor are characteristics that he exemplifies.

He was described as going above and beyond when his community is in need and his expertise has been invaluable.

For your dedication, commitment and leadership in EMS, this year’s Outstanding EMS Administrator goes to Steven Cicala!

Outstanding EMS Agency

This agency has undergone organizational change over the past several years and through this change has evolved as a true leader in EMS response. They not only respond to over 19,000 plus calls a year, but they are a major state asset that responds when called upon. As an agency of the NJ EMS Task Force, they have responded to multiple events throughout the state and currently is a lead agency in hazardous materials response, special operations, and rehab operations.

This Department has increased its response capabilities and is a host agency to one of the NJ EMS Task Force’s Medical Ambulance Buses and a Mass Care Response Unit. Additionally, they have trained and outfitted all of their EMS and Fire staff with special tactical equipment to ensure an integrated response with law enforcement to an active shooter incident.

Not only are they committed to 911 response and special operations, they are committed to education and quality improvement. This agency trains approximately 200 EMTs annually within their service and ensures all staff are competent to provide quality care to all the patients they encounter.

For their dedication and commitment to the City of Elizabeth and NJ residents at large, this year’s Outstanding EMS Agency goes to the Elizabeth Fire Department – EMS Division!