24 October 2003
Foxwall volunteer Rebecca Ruth was recognized with the 18th Annual EMS Award for EMT. Foxwall Chief Rick Duffy presented the award at the EMSI 29th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner.
From Rick’s presentation speech:
Good evening and thank you for giving me the opportunity to present the 18th Annual EMS Award for EMT.
I’m Rick Duffy, the Director of Foxwall Emergency Medical Service.
There are a lot of things that one can say about the individual who is to be awarded this distinction tonight. I could spend the remainder of the evening listing her accomplishments or telling you what I’ve been able to glean from knowing her the last year and a half… but I was asked to keep my remarks brief.
As the Director of an all-volunteer staffed EMS service, I feel somewhat fortunate that I can still say ALL-VOLUNTEER! In this day and age, volunteerism means something totally different than it meant over 30 years ago when I began my career in EMS. Today, more and more services are having to merge or go partially paid or even fully paid in order to provide the levels of care that are expected and demanded. People are neither able nor willing to make the commitment to volunteer in EMS due to a shift in the paradigm of altruism.
This year’s candidate is certainly an anomaly to that mentality. She is many things to many people, but in EMS she has already made her mark and no doubt, the impact she continually makes will be felt for a long time to come!
Rebecca Ruth is 26 years old and hails from Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Health with a Minor in Neuroscience from Penn State University in 1998. Since that time, she has worked in health care related fields where she has lectured, taught and performed research in areas of Human Anatomy, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychology and Emergency Medicine. Rebecca has a strong desire to become a physician and I have no doubt that she will accomplish this goal in the foreseeable future.
Rebecca only began her career in EMS in April of 2001, when she became Nationally Certified as an EMT. She then began volunteering at Eastern Area Prehospital Services in June and was offered employment in September of that year. She continues to work regularly at EAPS today.
Foxwall EMS was most fortunate that Rebecca accepted a volunteer position in August of 2002. She volunteers weekly and continues to be involved in numerous activities that support Foxwall in our communities. She assists our team in every way possible by covering understaffed shifts, instructing the public and health care providers in CPR, covering special events and assisting the service as Foxwall’s Infection Control Officer. When asked to assist in any capacity, Rebecca usually rises to the occasion.
Currently, Rebecca is completing the County Paramedic training and is precepting in the field. I have personally observed her on calls and during patient interactions, finding her to be confident and caring with the self-assuredness that no matter how severe the situation, she will provide the highest level of care to which she is capable.
Most recently, Rebecca became involved with Prevention Point Pittsburgh, a non profit corporation that’s mission is dedicated to reducing transmission rates of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other blood borne infectious diseases associated with injection drug use. This is accomplished through a needle exchange program in Pittsburgh neighborhoods where IV drug addiction is predominant. Rebecca is now spearheading a movement to bring a similar program to the Wilkinsburg community.
I am proud to present this award to an individual who I personally believe exemplifies all of the characteristics of an excellent EMT and a true humanitarian. She is selfless, compassionate, driven and humbly dedicated to bettering EMS and our community.
It’s really true that good things come in small packages!
Ladies and gentlemen please acknowledge Rebecca Ruth!