Lake Emergency Medical Services is proud to announce that Michael R. Hilliard, Paramedic/Training Officer, was honored at the Florida State Department of Health, EMS Awards Ceremony held on July 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando. Michael Hilliard received the award for the Photo of the Year which is given to an individual or organization that best depicts this year’s National EMS Week theme: “EMS: Dedicated. For Life.”
During his acceptance speech at the awards ceremony Wednesday evening, Michael Hilliard explained that his photograph echoes the National EMS Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado which honors EMS line of duty deaths. The memorial is a Tree of Life represented by an oak tree, which symbolizes the strength of the EMS profession. The name of each National EMS Memorial Service honoree that has passed, their agency, and the date of loss is engraved on a bronze oak leaf, which is then added to the Tree of Life.
Michael Hilliard also paid homage to his friends and colleagues in the EMS field who have passed, stating, “This photograph is dedicated to those who have been our friends, who have guided us in our ways, and who made an impact to the communities in which we serve. To Joe Dragojevich, to Brian Gibson, to David DeLand, to Don MacIntyre, and to Matt Jeton; thank you for your dedication to life and to your families who supported your endeavors.”