Acadian Companies Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag received the James O. Page/JEMS Leadership Award during the EMS Today conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

The award, presented by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, recognizes an individual or organization who exhibits the drive and tenacious effort to resolve important EMS issues or bring about positive change in an EMS system, often at great personal or professional sacrifice. It is named for the late Jim Page, who is known in the industry as the “father of EMS” and the founder/publisher of JEMS, among many other roles.

“Richard did more than just improve the delivery of patient care in Louisiana, he was instrumental in creating it in 1971,” said A.J. Heightman, editor-in-chief of JEMS. “He and two partners founded Acadian Ambulance to fill the void created by funeral homes leaving the ambulance business. EMS communications were primitive, ambulances were poorly equipped, and formal EMT training was nonexistent. But Richard was determined to give residents the best emergency care and medical transportation possible, and the advances and innovations came quickly. Over the past 47 years, Acadian has touched the lives of millions. Today, Acadian is the nation’s largest employee-owned EMS provider, now serving four states.”

Upon receiving the award, Zuschlag reflected on the impact Page had on Acadian. “Back in 1993, Jim was asked to name the nation’s best ambulance service – and he chose Acadia