KENILWORTH, NJ – Mike Eastman of the Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad was one of seventeen emergency medical services professionals recognized at Overlook Medical Center’s 23rd Annual Excellence in EMS Awards Celebration recently.

The event, which took place on May 23, at Galloping Hill Golf Course, helped mark National EMS Week.  Overlook Medical Center, part of Atlantic Health System, celebrated the important role of EMS first responders and highlighted the accomplishments of standout members from local squads in the region.

 “The brave men and women of the EMS community are in many cases the first point of contact in the continuum of patient care a person will receive in an emergency,” said Sharon Kelly MSN, RN, NEA-BC, director of Overlook’s emergency services at its Summit & Union campuses. “The care they provide has a tremendous impact on the care the patient will receive once they arrive to us at the hospital, so we are honored to celebrate the vital role they play and the EMS excellence we see in our own communities.”

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Eastman and sixteen other EMS members were given the EMT Excellence Award at the event for exceptional service. The awards were presented by colleagues, who described the winners’ accomplishments to the audience.

The award winners included:

  • Stephen Mortenson – Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad
  • Eric Breidenstein – Fanwood Rescue Squad
  • Kymm Balinth – Garwood First Aid Squad
  • Lisa Scanlon – Long Hill First Aid Squad
  • Lucy Fromtling – Mountainside Rescue Squad
  • Jessica Short – New Providence EMS
  • Rebecca (Becky) Lugara – Scotch Plains Rescue Squad
  • Andrew Shanes – Springfield First Aid Squad
  • Mike Eastman – Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad
  • Alexandra Valdes – Cranford First Aid Squad
  • Michael Maruschak – Elizabeth Fire Department
  • Christine Grobert – Chatham Emergency Squad
  • Allie Deegan – Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad
  • Matthew Butterly - Warren Township Rescue Squad
  • Katrina Dumapit – Watchung Rescue Squad
  • Trey Ellis – Westfield Rescue Squad
  • Nicholas Goley – Union Emergency Medical Unit

Overlook also presented two hospital team members with EMS Council Recognition Awards for their work collaborating with EMS personnel. The two award winners were Sergio Guzman and Diego Morales, both patient care technicians in Overlook’s emergency departments in Summit and Union Township, respectively.

In addition to the awards, the event also offered the first responders who attended an educational presentation by Ingrid Johnson, MSN, RN, nurse manager at Overlook’s Union emergency department, “Human Trafficking 101 for RNs and EMTs.” Johnson is an award-winning speaker and advocate for victims of human trafficking, sharing her story of her own daughter’s abduction and recovery.


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