Employee Recognition


I.                   Purpose  


To recognize members of the Division, on or off duty; community volunteers and citizens who have distinguished themselves above the call of duty, who perform an act of distinct heroism, or who provide an outstanding service to the Division or to the public safety of the community.


II.        Scope


The contents of this document will apply to all members of the Public Safety Division of EMS: officers, paramedics, EMTs--paid and volunteer, administrative and support staff including Emergency Response, Training, and Logistics.


III.       Statement


The awards committee will be comprised of members of the Department of Public Safety/ Division of EMS.


It is the intention of Manatee County Emergency Medical Services to appropriately recognize praiseworthy and commendable actions, service and efforts made by members of the Department; outside supporting agencies; our community volunteers and citizens.  This document applies to past, present and future actions recognized by the department. 


It shall be the responsibility of each member of the Division to recognize and report any and all actions that can be reasonably considered above and beyond the call of duty. It is the responsibility of the Award Committee to maintain a standard of credibility and to investigate each recommendation, gather all pertinent facts and issue the appropriate commendation award. It should be further understood that while every effort will be made to accurately investigate and review each recommendation, there will be situations where the gathering of the facts do not warrant enough evidence to make a recommendation. It must also be understood that there can only be service awards given to those who have been nominated and investigated.


The diverse nature of the profession of pre-hospital emergency medicine leads to acts of heroism during the normal performance of the duties and support functions assigned to the employee; and realizing that employees, both career and volunteer, may strive within their capacity to perform at a level above the expected norm, the following procedure shall be established for the nomination, investigation, selection and presentation of service awards to personnel.  It will also outline the proper display of awarded ribbons on the approved uniform. 


VI.       Procedure


Any employee of the Manatee County EMS may nominate another member for an award or commendation.  Supervisors will recognize exceptional performance by personnel under their supervision.  Any outside notice, letters, commendations or praise received by a member should be forwarded to the Awards Committee chairperson for consideration and review. 





Any employee of Manatee County Emergency Medical Services may nominate a citizen or outside agency for an award or commendation. 


All nomination investigations will be conducted by active members of the Awards Committee. 


Whenever an employee of Manatee County Emergency Medical Services has performed an act or rendered service that qualifies for recognition, whether for present or past events, the nomination sequence will be as follows:


  1. A written Nomination Application Form will be submitted in a timely manner to the Awards Committee chairperson.  Application forms may be found on the county intranet, Public Safety/Divisions/EMS Forms.   Forms must include a detailed and accurate account of the circumstances and be complete.  Incomplete forms will not be accepted for consideration. 


  1. The Awards Committee chairperson will review all nominations and request that an initial investigation be conducted.  The committee will conduct such investigation and submit recommendations for awards to the office of the Chief of the Division.  Upon approval by the MCEMS Chief, the Awards Committee will prepare the appropriate award.  The MCEMS Chief or his designee will present all awards. 


  1. At the discretion of the EMS Chief or Awards Committee chairperson, members of the Awards Committee may be sent to investigate a possible commendable act by our personnel.


4.      There will be an annual Awards Presentation during the nationally recognized

“EMS Week” in the month of May.  The department “Class A” uniform or business attire will be the required dress.  All awards will be presented during the awards presentation.  All nominations are due by April 01 for review and investigation in order to be included in the upcoming award presentation. The qualifying period for nominations will be

April 01 – March 31.  Example:  April 01, 2008, to March 31, 2009, for the 2009 Awards presentation. 


V.        Committee Appointments 


The Chief of the Division shall be responsible for the appointment of a chairperson to the Awards Committee.  The chairperson will serve at the will of the EMS Chief, or indefinitely.  The chairperson shall be responsible for all communications and assigned tasks through delegation to the committee members.  The Chief of the Division may appoint, or have the Awards Committee chairperson appoint all members of the Committee. 


The Awards Committee, a personnel participatory committee, is comprised of a chairperson and a minimum of five additional employees.  Committee members will serve on a voluntary basis and will be also known as the “Awards Committee” of the Department of Public Safety/Division of Emergency Medical Services.  Meetings will be scheduled by the chairperson on an as needed basis, but no less than twice per year.




The Awards Committee is responsible for screening nominations and designing awards to be presented to Department personnel, planning award presentation, the annual Awards Banquet, selecting and purchasing awards to be issued and executing the mandates of this general order.  The Awards Committee must meet the guidelines set forth by the Board of County Commissioners approved Awards Resolution 99-230.


VII.     Awards and Criteria


The following awards are established for citation by Manatee County EMS in order of their significance.


  • Lifesaving Award:  Awarded to individuals who have successfully saved a life (whether on or off duty), which would have otherwise been lost, through prompt and alert action and under some degree of hazard to the recipient.


  • Chief’s Commendation:  Reserved for the Chief of the Department to recognize a member or citizen for some outstanding achievement, within or outside the department, that causes a positive and dramatic change in the Department and/or the community.  


  • Paramedic / EMT of the Year:  Awarded to the Department member who, over the course of the year, has continually put forth an effort of the highest degree. This may involve training, emergency medical service, public safety/awareness or any combination of the aforementioned.  Furthermore, it may involve an individual event or a collection of exceptional performances. Any current member of the Department may nominate another for whatever reasons they feel appropriate. 


  • Rookie of the Year:  Awarded to a first year employee.  This will be awarded to the individual who has shown excellent learning skills, superior performance and a desire for gaining the skills, knowledge and education to be a successful and valuable asset to MCEMS. 


  • Volunteer of the Year:  Given to the volunteer who has shown superior motivation, participation and dedication to his/her community.


  • Citizen Action Bravery / Civilian Award:  Any member of the Department may recommend that a civilian be recognized for their efforts in the saving of a life or reducing a serious injury.


  • Phoenix Award:  Awarded to an individual who has successfully achieved five cardiac arrest recoveries.  Patient must be in cardiac arrest at any point during pre-hospital care, CPR and/or AED applied with successful results in conjunction with EMS/ALS interventions, and patient must have a pulse and respirations at the time of arrival and transfer to a medical facility.  Recipient must have been an active participant or member of the crew during these life saving events. 




  • Genesis Award: Awarded to individuals who have successfully delivered or assisted in the delivery of an infant in the field.  The delivery may occur prior to EMS/ALS arrival and/or in the conjunction with assisting EMS/ALS efforts.  Recipient must have been an active participant or member of the crew during the event.


  • Departmental/Unit Citation Award: Awarded to a crew, unit or entire Department whereby members acted in a unified and efficient manner to overcome adverse conditions to uphold the MCEMS mission.


  • Military Service Award: Awarded to any individual who has served or is presently serving in the National Guard or in regular or reserve U.S. Military service with the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard.


  • Employee Dedication to Service Award / Meritorious Service Award:  Awarded to an individual who displayed exemplary and highly unusual accomplishment toward the betterment of the Department; who preformed a highly credible accomplishment or service bringing public acclaim or appreciation to the member, the Department, or the profession as a result of training, devotion to duty, or service to the public.


  • Length of Service Award:  Awarded after completion of one year of service with Manatee County EMS (whether paid or volunteer).  Add a gold star for five years of service and an additional gold star for each subsequent five years of service up to fifteen years of service.


  • Career Service Award: Awarded after completion of twenty years of service with Manatee County Emergency Medical Services (whether paid or volunteer).  The burgundy with white stripe Career Service Award replaces the burgundy Length of Service Award worn for service from 1-19 years.  One gold star signifies 20 years of service, two gold stars signifies 25 years of service, three gold stars signifies 30 years of service. 


  • Career Service Retirement:  Awarded upon the retirement of service.  Blue bar with gold boarder and EMS insignia. 


  • Special Teams Award: Awarded to an individuals who meet the following criteria: 
    1. Current member, in good standing, of a MCEMS Special Team (SWAT, Saber, Hazmat or Honor Guard) for at least one year. 
    2. Attendance to training/events during a 12-month period, if applicable.



·         Campaign Awards:  The emergency event or disaster response to be recognized must meet the following criteria:


1.      The event must have been issued a Florida Department of Emergency Management mission number following the guidelines outlined by the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Disaster Response Plan.

2.      The duration of the emergency must exceed a 24-hour out-of-county deployment.