On Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Hutto Fire Rescue / Williamson County Emergency Services (Hutto Fire Rescue) received the award 2017 Texas EMS First Responder of the Year from the Texas Department of State Health Services EMS & Trauma Systems. This award was presented at the annual Texas EMS Conference which was held in Fort Worth. Annually the State of Texas honors persons and organizations that exemplifies the best that EMS/trauma system has to offer. These state EMS awards recognize the achievements made throughout the past year by these individuals and organizations. It is quite an honor to be nominated for one of the prestigious Texas awards and an honor to win. In particular the First Responder Award honors a first responder organization, such as Hutto Fire Rescue, that demonstrated leadership in EMS in patient care, public access, medical control, disaster preparedness, public education or training.

Hutto Fire Rescue was nominated by Williamson County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director Mike Knipstein. According to Director Knipstein, “I am nominating Hutto Fire Rescue for FRO (First Responder Organization) of the Year because they consistently demonstrate a high standard of professionalism and knowledge in the care of sick and injured patients. Hutto is an example of excellence and cooperation for BLS (Basic Life Support) medical response who consistently shows the responsibility and accountability of providing exemplary medical care and are clearly deserving of state level recognition for their model service.” Dr. Jeff Jarvis, Medical Director for Williamson County EMS goes on to say, “In our experience, these firefighters are always highly motivated, professional, medically competent, and provide excellent customer service, which is an absolute in the Williamson County EMS call management philosophy.”

Hutto Fire Rescue provides fire and rescue services to a 63-square mile area of Eastern Williamson County populated with approximately 45,000 citizens. According to Fire Chief Scott Kerwood, Hutto Fire Rescue is committed to providing the highest quality of patient care when they are requested for help. The Williamson County EMS system is a true partnership between EMS and Fire with both organization committed to making it work. Chief Kerwood also notes that maintaining a close relationship, both at the station engine to ambulance level and administration level is crucial to successful interoperability. In turn this provides a high continuity of care to all patients.

Director Knipstein goes on to state that “…Hutto Fire Rescue’s actions on medical calls demonstrates a capable comprehension of Standards of Care, resulting in consistently excellent patient care. These firefighters have been proactive in the commitment to their community by managing medical patients to a high standard of proficiency, prior to ALS (Advance Life Support) arrival.”

More information on all of the Texas Department of State Health Services EMS & Trauma Systems awards can be found at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/emstraumasystems.