HGH EMT Louis Mendiola Named 'Star of Life'

A local EMT was recently honored by the American Ambulance Association in the nation's capital.

Louis Mendiola, Humboldt General Hospital EMS Rescue NREMT-Intermediate, received the Star of Life award –the highest honor an Emergency Medical Service worker can receive.

Each year, the American Ambulance Association hosts the Stars of Life event in Washington, DC to publicly recognize and celebrate the achievements of their members.

American Ambulance Association President Jimmy Johnson said, "As a community, we understand that we are stronger when we take a moment to remember who we are and what we have done. That is why our organization strives to spotlight the best of the best in the emergency medical services field during the Stars of Life event."

Past Stars of Life have included heroic individuals involved with the response to September 11th and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "However," Johnson notes, "all of our stars have performed a duty equally important to the communities they serve on a daily basis."

While in Washington DC March 18-20, Mendiola joined his fellow Class of 2013 Stars for three days of education and recognition on Capitol Hill. In addition, Mendiola and his host, HGH CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish, met with Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller, to discuss legislative issues critical to all Emergency Medical Service professionals.

"We are so proud of Louis for receiving this high honor," said HGH EMS Rescue Director Pat Songer. "He has devoted his time, talent and strength to improving our community and we offer our congratulations."

Mendiola began his relationship with HGH EMS Rescue six years ago by taking his first EMT class. Since then, he has become a staple of the Humboldt County EMS community.

The Humboldt County native is a graduate of Lowry High School and the University of Nevada Reno, where he received his bachelor's degree in Community Health.

During his time at UNR, Mendiola stayed active at HGH EMS Rescue, driving 400 miles roundtrip just to pull a shift. During this time, he also worked part-time as an ER tech at Renown Medical Center in Reno—experiences that are now helping him assist in the development of a trauma protocol for Humboldt County.

Mendiola currently serves as the hospital's Wellness Coordinator, and has been heavily involved in the growth and development of the EMS Community Paramedicine and Industrial Services programs. His editorial contributions on Burning Man, rural EMS and Community Paramedicine have also been published in several national EMS magazines.

"As an EMT-Intermediate, Louis embodies everything we desire in a professional pre-hospital provider," said Songer, "from his dedication to the community and leadership by example, to his ability to effectively mentor new employees and act as a community liaison."

Songer continued, "It is simply Louis' standard to go above and beyond in all aspects of EMS."

For more information on HGH EMS Rescue, please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 160 or visit www.hghospital.ws.