Lake EMS receives International Recognition for Stroke Care

Lake EMS Executive Director Jerry Smith accepts the award for “Stroke Care in Emergency Medicine” for EMS field crews from Dr. Evan Allen, Medical Director for Florida Hospital’s Stroke System,

Lake EMS Executive Director Jerry Smith accepts the “Stroke Care in Emergency Medicine” award for EMS field crews from Dr. Evan Allen, Medical Director for Florida Hospital’s Stroke System.

“You are great and you have won an international award!” Those were the opening remarks of Dr. Evan Allen, Medical Director for the Florida Hospital Stroke System, as he presented an award to Lake EMS Executive Director Jerry Smith for EMS field crews on December 9, 2014. The award for “Stroke Care in Emergency Medicine” from the American Heart/American Stroke Association was given at the Lake EMS Board of Directors Meeting held at the Lake County Emergency Operations and Communications Center.

As Dr. Evan Allen explained, the award was originally presented at the International Stroke Conference in 2014. The stroke study which Dr. Allen headed, and Lake EMS participated in, was entitled, “Stroke Severity Adjusted EMS Triage Has Benefits for Bypassed Primary Stroke Centers.” Dr. Allen briefly explained the process by which severe stroke patients were triaged and bypassed Primary Stroke Centers to receive treatment at Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

Continue reading Lake EMS receives International Recognition for Stroke Care

Joseph Dragojevich Memorial Dive

On 18 October 2014, Lake EMS staff, Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department’s Water Emergency Team (WET), and crews from Quiescence Diving Services and Scuba-Do Dive Center joined forces for a memorial dive and installment of a commemorative plaque at the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove to honor the life of Captain Joseph Dragojevich Sr.

Joseph Dragojevich Memorial on the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove

Joseph Dragojevich Memorial on the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove

The Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department’s WET team, Capt. Rob Bleser and his crew from Quiescence Dive Center, along with staff from Scuba-Do Dive Center were the same entities who had been involved in the rescue and recovery efforts when Dragojevich perished in a diving accident at the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove exactly one year ago. An avid and experienced diver in his private life, Joseph Dragojevich’s professional life had been dedicated to saving others. He was a well-respected and well-loved District Chief with Lake EMS, serving Lake County Florida as a paramedic and field supervisor for more than 13 years.

Boats with divers above the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove

Boats with divers above the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove

Three boats carrying family, friends, emergency personnel, and divers traveled to the site of the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove, six miles offshore from Key Largo Saturday afternoon. Immediately upon arrival, Lake EMS Capt. Stewart Brown and Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department W.E.T. technical diver, Steve Schalk entered the water and dove down 96 feet on the port side of the ship where they installed a commemorative plaque which reads, “In Loving Memory of Joseph A. Dragojevich – June 11, 1970 to October 18, 2013.” Within 20 minutes, the rest of the divers joined Brown and Schalk to view and film the plaque.

Continue reading Joseph Dragojevich Memorial Dive