Local Paramedic Captain Mike Cogsdill was recently honored by the American
Ambulance Association as a 2014 "Star of Life."
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. The award is the highest honor an Emergency Medical
Service worker can receive.
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 11 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 24-26, Cogsdill joined his fellow Class of
2014 Stars for three days of education and recognition on Capitol Hill.
One of the highlights of the event was when Jeff Bauman, who lost both
his legs during the Boston Marathon bombing, gave a moving keynote address
and presented each of the "Stars" with his or her medal as a
reminder that EMS providers are true heroes.
Additionally, Cogsdill and his host, Louis Mendiola, a 2013 Star of Life,
met with Nevada dignitaries, including Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller
and Representative Mark Amodei, to discuss legislative issues critical
to all Emergency Medical Service professionals.
"We are so proud of Mike for receiving this high honor," said
HGH EMS Rescue Chief Pat Songer. "He has devoted his time, talent
and strength to improving our community and we offer our most sincere
Cogsdill started his career at HGH EMS Rescue in 2011 as a paramedic and
preceptor. In January 2013, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant
in the Community Paramedicine division; last month, he was named captain
and the head of the agency's Community Paramedicine program.
community paramedicine was first coined in this country in 2001. The health care model continues
to recognize EMS as providing rapid response, but also allows for paramedics
to aid in prevention, evaluation, triage, referral and advice in an effort
to reduce visits to the emergency department.
Humboldt General Hospital currently has eight certified community paramedics—all
led by Cogsdill.
Their job is to formally identify patients who could benefit from the home
services such as hospital discharge follow-up, home safety inspections,
blood draws, oxygen saturation checks, medication reconciliation and /or
The service already has experienced good success with a community flu shot
program as well as an outreach program aimed at Humboldt County's
Songer said Cogsdill's dedication to the program as well as his competency,
loyalty and honesty have helped the program gain a strong foothold in
"Mike exemplifies the professional pre-hospital provider," said
Songer, "from his dedication to the community and his leadership
by example to mentoring new employees and acting as a community liaison."
Songer added, "We are seeing success with this program, in large part
due to Mike; we are thrilled he has received this national recognition
for his efforts."