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Chris Wagner named 2016 EMS Professional of the Year by Illinois Rural Health Association

(GREENVILLE, IL) – At its Educational Conference and Annual Meeting on August 11 in Effingham, the Illinois Rural Health Association presented its “2016 EMS Professional of the Year” award to Chris Wagner, EMT-P, from HSHS Holy Family Hospital.
Each year, this award is presented to an individual who works within the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) profession and has made an impact on rural EMS.  Wagner was honored as a person who continuously goes above and beyond in order to make a positive difference for rural EMS. 
Wagner has been in EMS serving rural communities for 15 years.  He received his EMT training from Rend Lake College and Kaskaskia College.  He also has a Bachelor’s of Science from Greenville College.  He served as Lead Paramedic at Greenville Regional Hospital/HSHS Holy Family Hospital from 2009-2012.  He then took over the role as EMS System and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for HSHS Holy Family Hospital in 2012.
Chris Wagner was recognized for his numerous contributions to HSHS Holy Family Hospital, EMS region and community that have brought significant improvements to the quality of emergency services and preparedness for possible disasters. 
Wagner’s first and foremost focus on the education of EMS, first responders, hospital personnel and community members is noteworthy.  He started a community outreach program with EMS to visit local grade schools in the rural county during EMS week to teach children a new topic on health or emergency symptoms, and give tours of the ambulance with the goal being to decrease fear in children of EMS services or calling 911.  He is also a part of community outreach to the middle schools, high school, college, and community organizations teaching CPR and first aid.  
Chris was also recognized for his focus on the education and recognition for first responders and EMS crews, by providing instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and pediatric advanced life support (PALS) for EMS, hospital staff and community members to increase overall emergency safety knowledge in the community.  He created the Save Awards for paramedics to recognize EMS for events in which their extraordinary actions have led to lives being saved. 
Wagner’s participation in the EMS system meetings, and serving as Resource Coordinator for the region was of special note. With Bond County being the smallest Illinois County with few resources, Wagner brings ideas to the forefront for downstate Illinois to drive changes in standard orders and procedures.  He also serves on committees for the region and state to improve EMS care for rural residents, and works to obtain grants and funds for the region to increase technology and quality for the area.  He was also recognized for his Emergency Preparedness work with state, regional and county agencies in developing coordinated emergency drills that prepares all entities to work together in the case of potential disasters in the region.
Chris Wagner was deeply honored to receive such an award. “It was quite an honor to receive the Illinois Rural Health EMS Professional of the year award. The honor really belongs to the brave men and women that serve our community daily in the area of EMS the countless hours of dedication and sacrifice made on their part is overwhelming.”

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