Pinellas Paramedics Receive National Award
The Stars of Life award is given out by the American Ambulance Association.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Two Sunstar Paramedics employees, Kasey Ras and Jonathan Balzer, have received the American Ambulance Association’s Stars of Life award, which recognizes ambulance service professionals for outstanding service and dedication.
“Kasey and Jon consistently demonstrate exceptional service and dedication to high-quality patient care,” said Mark Postma, chief operating officer of Sunstar Paramedics. “We’re proud that Stars of Life has recognized these two outstanding professionals and their service to Pinellas County, and we’re proud to have them on the Sunstar Paramedics team.”
Ras was honored for her dedication to patient care and patient experience. She joined Sunstar Paramedics as a paramedic in 2010, after witnessing a serious accident that led her to pursue a career in emergency medical services (EMS). Ras has steadily progressed from a paramedic to a preceptor and field training officer to her current position as assistant operations supervisor. Ras also mentors and trains new students in the St. Petersburg College EMS program. She was recognized by St. Anthony’s Hospital as an EMS Hero of the Month in 2016.
Balzer was recognized for his commitment to safety and training, and his high performance in multiple departments throughout the organization. He started his career at Sunstar Paramedics in 2011 in the warehouse and material management department. Balzer then became an emergency medical technician (EMT) and quickly rose through the ranks to become a preceptor, then a field training officer. In addition, Balzer teaches Sunstar Paramedics’ emergency vehicle operator course and continuing medical education, including CPR classes and basic life support courses.
Ras and Balzer were among 108 emergency service personnel recognized during the Stars of Life Celebration in Washington, D.C. June 12-14.
The AAA was formed in 1979 in response to the need for improvements in medical transportation and emergency medical services. The American Ambulance Association represents hundreds of ambulance services across the U.S. that participate in emergency and nonemergency care and medical transportation. The Association serves as a voice and clearinghouse for ambulance services, and views pre-hospital care not only as a public service, but also as an essential part of the total public health care system.
Sunstar is the Pinellas County-owned first response ambulance service. The service is run by Paramedics Plus, a Texas-based corporation.
For information about Sunstar, go to pinellascounty.org.
Photo courtesy of Sunstar Paramedics. L-R, Mark Postma, Sunstar COO; Kasey Ras; Jonathan Balzer; Leslie McAllister, Sunstar operations manager.
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