Hazmat employees are tops in August

August 20, 2012

Harford County Division of Emergency Operations Hazmat Manager Clarence Ross, as well as part-time hazmat technicians John Simpson and Tom Miller have been named Employees of the Month for August. The three men were nominated by Michael Brunicke, acting deputy manager of the EOC.

The three EOC members were flying from Baltimore to Houston, Texas, to attend a special Xtreme Industrial Fire and Hazard Training School, when in-flight a passenger on their plane suffered a severe medical condition. Although a flight attendant was assisting the passenger, without hesitation or reservation, the three men assisted the flight attendant in providing emergency medical support.

In providing care for the patient, the three individuals opened the patient's blocked airway, performed airway management and oxygen therapy for approximately two hours. The three men continued to care for the patient until the plane landed and care was transferred to the Houston Fire Department.

Also assisting in the emergency care of the passenger were members of the Carroll County Hazardous Materials Team.

In his nomination, Acting Deputy Manager Brunicke stated, "Although they all have an EMS background, EMS care is not in their job description for Harford County. In my opinion they went above and beyond their assigned duties. Their action impacted the positive outcome for the patient."

Brunicke concluded his nomination by stating, "The three employees' caring, ready to help, fast acting and compassionate attitude certainly shined through during this incident and are the qualities you can expect from each of them every day."

Ross, a retired member of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, has been employed by the Harford County Division of Emergency Operations for five years and has a total of 38 years of service. Simpson has been a member of the Harford County Hazmat Team for 21 years and Miller is a 13-year member of the staff.

Commenting on being named one of the Employees of the Month, Ross stated, "I feel quite special to be nominated for such an award. I feel that Tom Miller, John Simpson and I were prepared and able to make a difference with this patient's life."

Miller added, "I am glad that Clarence, John and I were in the 'right place at the right time' and were able to assist. It's always a good feeling when you can make a difference in someone's life."

In presenting the three employees with their award, Harford County Executive David R. Craig stated, "These three distinguished members of the Harford County Hazardous Materials Team certainly went above and beyond the call of duty in rendering assistance to another passenger during their flight to Texas. Their unselfish and compassionate efforts speaks well of their professionalism and integrity as members of the Harford County Division of Emergency Operations. We are proud to have them as employees with Harford County Government."

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