2016 Senior Rescue Squad Member of the Year

Chris Vernovai

Vernovai, ChrisThe recipient of this year’s Senior Rescue Squad Member of the Year award is Chris Vernovai.

Chris has shown an unwavering, endless source of commitment to our community as a Paramedic provider, an educator, role model and community member.

In 2013, Chris was elected Captain of Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad (HCVRS).  Since first assuming the role of Captain, overall morale as well as community opinion of Highland County VRS has taken a positive turn.  In 2015, Chris was hired by the Highland County to serve as the County EMS Coordinator.

In 2015, Chris led the drive to offer a local EMT program for the benefit of Highland County VRS.  Chris developed a relationship with the EMS Council to secure an accredited training site at Highland County High School where local EMT programs could be conducted.  The initial class—started in the fall of 2015—had over 20 interested candidates. This program ended in April 2016 and it is hoped that there will be 12 newly minted EMT’s in service to the county.

Chris has been a vital source of updating our squad’s policies and procedures, implementing necessary changes that the organization has outgrown over the years.  Chris has helped open lines of communication between local officials–from our Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Department, Fire Departments, LEPC and civic groups.  In addition, HCVRS is now working together with surrounding fire and EMS agencies.

Chris consistently stresses the importance of the sharing and learning from everyone’s experience and expertise in order to work together as a team.

Chris’ schedule leaves little time for family and personal time. His time has been filled with countless hours of communication and preparation of providing, organizing and attending business meetings, continuing education classes, skills drills, equipment maintenance, ordering supplies, quality assurance and much more.

Award Background:

The Senior Rescue Squad Member of the Year Award is to recognize meritorious service and longevity of service to a rescue squad, and to promote long-term continuous service to EMS in Planning District 6.