Recognized March 13 at the 2014 Northwest Georgia/Region 1 Emergency Medical Services Council Awards Banquet held at Salem Baptist Church in Dalton, Irish now is vying for the state level honor.
“Well, it’s pretty humbling actually. It’s not something that I ever expected,” the Cartersville resident said of the award.
One of 10 awards given, the honor is named for Danny Hall, a member of the fire and EMS services in Floyd and Murray counties before his death.
“Of the nine other awards presented each year at the Northwest Georgia/Region 1 EMS Awards Banquet, ... this award is among the most distinguished. The recipient is considered the best of the best from all paramedics working in the 16-county region of Northwest Georgia EMS,” said Region 1 Council Public Information Officer Jennifer King.
“The recipient may be nominated by their service, a co-worker or other stakeholder. Each nominee is measured by a panel of three independent evaluators who are national experts on the EMS community throughout the United States. This award is presented to a currently licensed Region 1 Paramedic who is employed by, or volunteers with, a Region 1 licensed EMS provider — ambulance, first responder or air service — and who has contributed significantly to EMS at the community, regional or state level,” she said. “The award recipient would have gone far above and beyond the call of duty in the direct delivery of patient care and in contributing to programs offered to the community that enhance the standing of EMS and/or the education of the public.”
Irish became an EMT in 1997 before gaining his paramedic certification in 1999. Now with Redmond Regional, Irish was employed with Bartow County previously and stills holds a position locally.
“I actually was appointed the [deputy] coroner position by [Coroner] Joel Guyton when he took office, so I’ve been with the coroner’s office for 13 years. It’s something I enjoy on my days off,” he said. “I’m a paramedic; I actually worked here in Bartow County for 13, 14 years before leaving to go to Redmond. It was just an opportunity to advance in my career.”
The outdoorsman — he calls himself an “avid bass fisherman” — said the ever-changing nature of emergency services keeps him hooked.
“I like being out in the community. I like having my job be different every day. You walk in and you never know what’s going to happen,” Irish said. “We work 24-hour shifts and a lot can transpire in 24 hours. It’s not your everyday, 8 to 5. … And I actually like being in the ambulance, being out riding around doing our thing and not being stuck in a building.”
According to Georgia Office of EMS and Trauma Region 1 Director David T. Foster, III, MLS, NRP, “This award displays the recipient’s commitment, not just to quality patient care, but to the level of community involvement he or she gives back to the community outside their normal duties.”
Foster continued, “In Brian’s case, his commitment to child advocacy, through several different venues, is what distinguished him from other candidates who were considered for the award by this year’s evaluators.”
To be able to make a difference in people’s lives stands out most for Irish in his 17-year career.
“I’ve had a couple of cardiac saves, if you will, in my career where, you know, they’ve been clinically dead when we’ve gotten there. You know, they’ve come back to shake my hand and say thank you. I mean obviously you know in those cases that you’ve made a difference in somebody’s life,” he said. “It’s always nice to have somebody that you know you’ve done what you can to help them and they’re living today because of your skills and your knowledge.”
Irish, along with all 2014 Region 1 EMS award recipients, now will have his nomination sent to the Georgia Association of Emergency Medical Services and will be considered for awards at the Georgia EMS Awards Banquet on May 22 at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth.