Dare paramedic receives prestigious VFW citation

Published 3:37 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

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Dare County EMS paramedic James Wilmoth – who has served residents and visitors of Dare County since 2017 and is currently assigned to the Dare MedFlight helicopter as a flight paramedic – has received the prestigious Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) North Carolina Emergency Medical Technician Public Servant Citation.

Wilmoth was recognized for this achievement during a presentation made by Dare County EMS director Chief Jennie Collins and Outer Banks VFW Post 10950 Commander Richard Probst at the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held March 4, 2024.

Each year, the VFW selects emergency medical technicians, members of law enforcement and firefighter personnel to receive various VFW public servant awards, which include the VFW Emergency Medical Technician Public Service Citation, VFW Law Enforcement Public Servant Citation and VFW Firefighters Public Servant Citation.

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According to the VFW, in order to be eligible to receive the Emergency Medical Technician Public Servant Citation, an individual must actively provide emergency medical treatment, rescue service or civil disaster assistance as a member of any public or volunteer company organized to give emergency medical care and provide rescue and civil disaster assistance to our nation’s citizens.

Nominations for the award are submitted to local VFW posts throughout North Carolina, whose officials review the submissions and then forward their recommendations to the VFW’s state headquarters. Wilmoth was selected as the 2024 award recipient by Outer Banks VFW Post 10950, which recommended that he receive the North Carolina Emergency Medical Technician Public Servant Citation.

After receiving and reviewing local VFW post recommendations from across the state, the North Carolina VFW selected an individual to be honored in each of the previously mentioned award categories – with Wilmoth being named the winner of the North Carolina Emergency Medical Technician Public Servant Citation.

As she began her presentation at the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting, Collins shared details about Wilmoth’s extensive experience in providing emergency medical services, as well as his knowledge, dedication and passion for assisting both patients and his peers throughout the Dare County EMS department.

“He draws on his extensive experience with EMS; he has worked for other agencies across the U.S., and he’s also a veteran of the California Army National Guard,” said Collins. “As a paramedic, he’s extremely proficient and dedicated to his craft. He has an in-depth knowledge of medications, physiology and critical care, and his peers actively seek him [out for] knowledge sharing and to work on things that they may be struggling with, so he is one of our go-to trainers for some of our highly specialized equipment, such as our ventilators and our IV pumps.”

Collins also commented on Wilmoth’s excellent communication skills and his willingness to consistently share his knowledge of the profession with others in order to better serve residents and visitors of the Dare County community when they require medical attention and intervention.

“He is known for his patience and effective communication with all levels of EMS providers, whether it’s a paramedic or a new EMT coming out of class,” said Collins. “He’s approachable, he adapts to the individual’s learning styles, and he’s one of our select few that are a field training officer on the [Dare MedFlight] helicopter also.”

As she continued her presentation, Collins noted that Wilmoth has demonstrated remarkable initiative and creativity in his role as a flight paramedic for Dare MedFlight and cited a specific example that highlights his unique contributions to the community.

According to the nomination form Collins submitted recommending that Wilmoth receive the award, “MedFlight personnel utilize night vision goggles (NVG) when flying at night. Each year, we host a MedFlight open house where the public can come in and learn about our air ambulance operations up close. James developed and built an NVG visualization prop that illustrated to the public how NVGs aid helicopter crew members to operate in the dark and increase safety due to the ability to visualize obstructions and hazards. This prop fostered numerous positive interactions with the public and increased their awareness of our agency’s capabilities.”

As Collins concluded her presentation, she commented, “James’ exceptional qualities – ranging from leadership and mentorship to clinical expertise and community impact ­– have been formally recognized by the VFW. His dedication to his profession and his significant contributions to our team and the patients we serve are deserving of this recognition.”

Outer Banks VFW Post 10950 Commander Richard Probst presented the North Carolina Emergency Medical Technician Public Servant Citation to Wilmoth “in special recognition of his exemplary service to humanity and administering emergency medical assistance” and wished him luck as his nomination is advanced for consideration at the national level, the award for which will be presented at the 125th VFW National Convention that is scheduled to be held in Louisville, Kentucky this summer.

For more information about the North Carolina EMT Public Servant Citation Award, go to VFWNC.com. For more information about Dare County EMS, go to darenc.gov/departments/emergency-medical-services-ems.