EMS volunteers honored

Jen DiJoseph, second from left, is one of three Trumbull emergency responders to be honored during EMS Week.

Three Trumbull emergency responders will receive major awards during Connecticut EMS Week. In addition, the department will host an open house for the community, complete with demonstrations and educational programs, from 10 to 2 on Saturday.

Volunteer EMT Jen DiJoseph has been named the recipient of the Connecticut George A. Ganung Award. The award recognizes a volunteer for dedication to the service of others.

“Jen really goes above and beyond in representing the core values of EMS work,” said Trumbull EMS Director Leigh Goodman. “The job has changed so much over the years, and it has become so hard for volunteers to keep up with their course work and certifications, and she is just amazing with what she is willing to do for the community.”

DiJoseph’s dedication extends far beyond providing patient care, Goodman said.

“Every time we need someone to talk to a Brownie troop, she’s the first to volunteer,” Goodman said. “During snowstorms, she follows the ambulance to calls and while the EMTs are inside with a patient, she’ll shovel to make sure they have a clear path to bring the patient to the ambulance. She really does everything and we couldn’t be more proud.”

DiJoseph will receive the award in a ceremony at the State Capitol May 20.

In addition, two Trumbull responders will receive the St. Vincent’s Medical Center EMS Values Award.

Greg Saracino, a paramedic who started as a volunteer EMT 24 years ago, exemplifies empathy and compassion, Goodman said.

“Last year, we had a call for a 71-year-old man in cardiac arrest,” Goodman said. “He was able to restart the patient’s heart and provide excellent clinical care while also explaining everything he was doing and keeping the man’s family calm.”

Another time Saracino pushed a motorcyle back to a patient’s house after a minor accident. The patient was not badly injured but Saracino overheard them questioning how to get the bike back home, and acted, Goodman said.

“He’s quite a gem,” she said.

If people think of EMTs as caring for their patients, Ayers is best known for her compassion toward other EMTs, Goodman said. Emergency medical work is stressful and time-consuming, and Ayers is the go-to person when a volunteer needs a friendly ear.

“Whenever she’s in the building, she goes out of her way for the others,” Goodman said. “She’ll sit with the new volunteers, help them learn, and build up their confidence.”

More than one Trumbull EMT probably would not be there if not for Ayers, Goodman said.

“When a new volunteer starts thinking that maybe EMS work isn’t for them, she can turn them around,” Goodman said. “She believes in them, and that helps them start to believe in themselves.”