Keynote Speaker Lou Holtz addresses more than 1,000 attendees at Acadian’s Medic of the Year Luncheon on how to successfully go through life by following only three simple rules. Photo cred: Paul Kieu Photography
Acadian Ambulance held its annual luncheon at the Cajundome on Friday, May 6, 2016, to recognize its paramedics and EMTs who display exemplary attitudes, tireless work ethic and dedication, and provide excellent patient care. From across the company’s Louisiana and Mississippi service areas, 18 finalists were nominated by their peers.
Paramedic Sarah Young and EMT Allison Salamoni have been selected as the 2016 winners. Both honorees represent the Capital Region, which covers East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Point Coupee, East Feliciana, Livingston and Ascension parishes.
A native of Juneau, Alaska, Young works out of Baton Rouge. She began her EMS career in Washington before attending paramedic school in Idaho. During this time, she visited Baton Rouge to complete her clinical ride time and fell in love with the city. She decided to move and joined Acadian in early 2014.
Young is a member of the safety and wellness committee for her region. She has earned Acadian’s President’s Performance Award based on her excellent driving record and accurate medical records, and the Acadian Cares award for her positive patient interactions.
In her acceptance speech, Young expressed her gratitude to her fellow medics and coworkers, saying, “I feel incredibly fortunate to work within such a strong district, from the management to the field medics, to the dispatchers that keep us safe and organized out there on the streets. I’m lucky to be part of such a dedicated, compassionate and spirited team. We all lace up our boots, render the best possible prehospital care and make a difference in the communities we work for.”
An Acadian EMT since 2012, Salamoni works out of Plaquemine. She is a graduate of Acadian’s National EMS Academy EMT program, completed firefighter and hazmat training at LSU’s Fire and Emergency Training Institute, and earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Southeastern Louisiana University. Salamoni additionally serves as a governmental relations coordinator, safety committee member, and wellness advocate.
“I have yet to stop learning and bettering my skills, day in and day out,” Salamoni said in her EMT of the Year acceptance speech. “I love the rewarding aspect of this career and having the ability to touch at least one person’s life on a daily basis. During the past four years, I have realized the amount of pride I feel and respect I get daily from putting on my Acadian uniform, and from being part of the lifeline of my community.
“This has been an experience of a lifetime and I am looking forward to what my career holds for the future. Working with all of you, I am even more motivated to keep pursuing my dreams and to never become complacent.”
Senator Fred Mills Jr. served again this year as master of ceremonies, and Lou Holtz, legendary college football coach, sports analyst and bestselling author, was the keynote speaker. Holtz is known for bringing six different teams to bowl games, winning five college bowl games with different teams, and guiding four college teams to a final top 20 ranking. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in 2012.
Pictured L-R: Keynote Speaker Lou Holtz, Acadian Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag, Paramedic of the Year Sarah Young, EMT of the Year Allison Salamoni, Acadian Chief Medical Director Dr. Chuck Burnell and Acadian Ambulance President Jerry Romero
Holtz spoke to the audience about setting goals and working to achieve them in order to overcome seemingly impossible challenges. Coming from humble beginnings, he has created a life and legacy that inspired everyone in the audience to find a greater sense of purpose and the strength to fulfill that purpose.
Acadian Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag thanked the entire Acadian team for remaining dedicated to the company’s mission throughout its 45-year history. “It is truly humbling to sit among you today,” Zuschlag said. “Many people here in the audience have played an instrumental role in Acadian’s success through the years. Our employee-owners continue to help us grow our ambulance division into Texas, and expand our business in our six divisions.”
Acadian Ambulance is committed to its patients and its communities, providing emergency and non-emergency medical transportation in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.
Since 1971, Acadian has been dedicated to providing the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade, the company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services designed to offer the very best support and education in health, safety, and transportation. Acadian’s six divisions are Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Monitoring Services, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems.
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