Deb Hayes smiles while holding the award she received Saturday at the EMS summer conference as Nebraska’s Statewide EMS Person of the Year. She is pictured sitting beside a new Stryker power-train, power-load cot recently installed in two of Imperial’s ambulances. (Johnson Publications photo)
Hayes receives state EMS Person of the Year
Deb Hayes, Imperial EMS president, had no idea when she attended the Nebraska Statewide EMS Summer Conference that anything special would be happening.
Hayes, along with several members of Imperial EMS, friends and family, was enjoying the banquet Saturday night in Kearney when a spokesperson stepped up to the podium to read a nomination letter.
“I didn’t even know I had been nominated, so I wasn’t expecting anything,” Hayes said.
As the letter was read, Hayes began to get suspicious when different pieces of information were revealed that only various members in Imperial EMS would know. That led her to believe there was a secret and concerted effort involving several people.
When she was called to the podium to receive the Nebraska Statewide EMS Person of the Year award, Hayes said she was speechless.
“Everyone knows that being speechless is not usually me,” she said with a laugh. “I never had a clue until that moment.”
One of the last items mentioned in the nomination letter was a suggestion to “give her a couple of Snickers candy bars, and it would keep her happy.”
“When I was presented with the plaque, they also gave me two Snickers candy bars as part of my award,” she said.
It was a great honor to receive the award and the recognition, she added.
The award is given to acknowledge someone who has helped their EMS service and improve community awareness about EMS and its importance.
“I am very proud to have been chosen to receive this award, and still a bit in shock,” Hayes said.
After the awards banquet was over, Hayes said she was congratulated by more people than she could count.
There were EMTs from all over, state staff, previous recipients of the award, friends, family and “some guy from Mason City,” she chuckled.
“It meant so much to me to get the award, and I want to thank everyone for their support and the nomination,” she said.
She still does not know the exact identity of who all wrote the letter, “and no one will tell me,” Hayes said.