New York State Honors Three Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Professionals Who Died in Service to Others in 2010

Memorial Dedication Ceremony Pays Tribute to New York's 60,000 EMS Professionals

ALBANY, N.Y (May 18, 2011) – The names of three Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals who lost their lives in service to others in 2010 were added to the "Tree of Life" Memorial at the Empire State Plaza in Albany today during the annual New York State EMS Memorial Dedication Ceremony.

Honors were bestowed upon EMS professionals Paul A. Bazinet of Warren County, Karen A. Hand of Broome County, and LeRoy A. Kemp of Tioga County at the ceremony, which was attended by State and local officials, hundreds of EMS providers, and the families and friends of the fallen EMS professionals. The memorial now displays 42 names of EMS personnel who died in the line of duty.

State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., said, "The medical care provided by an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is the critical first step in treating people who suffer from an illness or accident, and many times these initial efforts will save a life. The extensive training EMS personnel receive ensures that high quality care is delivered in a timely manner in the field. We rightfully honor the contributions of the EMS community, and join with them to pay our respects to their three fallen colleagues who exhibited the best of qualities of human nature."

The three individuals honored today are:

  • LeRoy A. Kemp, 82, captain of the Fire Police for the Tioga Center Fire Department, Fire Department chaplain, member of the Tioga Center Emergency Squad, and chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Tioga Fire District. Mr. Kemp was responding to a mutual aid call on January 13, 2010, when his vehicle was involved in an accident. He died on the scene. Mr. Kemp served the fire company and community for 59 years, and perished on the date of his 64th wedding anniversary.
  • Karen A. Hand, 55, chief of the Broome Volunteer Emergency Squad, deputy EMS coordinator for Broome County, and a member of the Lisle Fire Department. Ms. Hand was providing medical care to a patient during an ambulance transport when she suffered cardiac arrest on October 5, 2010.
  • Paul A. Bazinet, 53, an EMT with Empire Ambulance Service and a technician in the Emergency Department at Glens Falls Hospital. Following the transport of a patient on January 3, 2010, Mr. Bazinet became ill and suffered cardiac arrest.

Emergency Medical Services professionals include EMTs, paramedics, emergency physicians and nurses, educators and individuals who work at 9-1-1 dispatch centers and participate in the New York State pre-hospital emergency patient care and transportation system. EMS responders must complete hundreds of hours of specialized training and continuing education, and also must maintain optimum standards of medical treatment and urgent care throughout their service career.

There are close to 2,000 EMS response agencies in New York that feature Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support professionals, and nearly 60,000 EMS professionals.

The New York State EMS Memorial Dedication Ceremony is held in conjunction with National EMS Week (May 16-20).