HAI’s Salute To Excellence awards recognized several EMS professionals this year. Presentations were made at the organization’s annual dinner here last night at Heli-Expo.
Dr. Gregory Powell is the recipient of the 2013 Eurocopter Golden Hour Award, given to individuals who expedite patient transport to the best possible care as quickly as possible. Dr. Powell is the founder of Canada’s Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS), a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1984 and dedicated to rapid air medical transport in Alberta. In the last 27 years, STARS has flown more than 23,000 patients and has grown to include bases in multiple Canadian provinces including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and eastern British Columbia. Powell served as STARS CEO from 1985 until last year.
Powell also was president of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians and president of the board of directors for the Association of Air Medical Services. He has published numerous papers on patient transport in medical and scientific journals. Powell has received numerous honors for his service including the Order of Canada, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Association of Air Medical Services’ Marriott-Carlson Lifetime Achievement Award for leadership.
Two U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers received the Sikorsky Humanitarian Award for rescuing two hikers last July on the south face of Washington’s Mount Rainier. O’Brien Starr-Hollow and Tyler Gaenzle from Coast Guard Station Columbia River initially located an uninjured hiker and then continued their search for his injured counterpart on a near-vertical snow- and ice-covered slope as darkness fell.
The injured hiker suffered a broken back, shattered left arm, leg and knee, and numerous internal injuries. The rescue swimmers attached the injured hiker to a backboard and lowered him 200 feet to a more suitable helicopter hoisting area. During the course of the rescue, Gaenzle sustained a 20-foot fall. The injured hiker eventually made a full recovery.