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Berkshire County Emergency Medical Service Providers Earn Statewide Honor

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Four Berkshire County emergency medical services providers are being recognized Tuesday as Massachusetts Stars of Life by the Massachusetts Ambulance Association.
 
The MAA will hosts its second annual Convoy of Champions ambulance parade from Worcester's University of Massachusetts Medical Science Park to the the Boston MedFlight hangar in Bedford for a Stars of Life Medallion and Pin Ceremony at 1:10 on Tuesday afternoon.
 
Twenty-two professionals are being honored statewide. Among them are Chris Bargmann and George Beckwith of Northern Berkshire EMS and Erica Bulshey and Shannon Regan of County Ambulance.
 
Bargmann, a paramedic, joined North Adams-based Northern Berkshire EMS last year after a four-year career in the field in Massachusetts. His service has included time with Action Ambulance, the Hadley Fire Department and the Northampton Fire Department.
 
Beckwith has been with Northern Berkshire EMS, formerly North Adams Ambulance, since 1989 as an emergency medical technician. "The war stories George has accumulated over the years are unmatched," according to a testimonial on the MAA's Facebook page. "You can always find him in the bay sharing a tale from back in the day when paramedics didn't exist and you had to improvise with what you had on the rig."
 
Bulshey came to Pittsfield's County Ambulance as an EMT in 2008 after serving as volunteer first-responder with the Florida Fire Department since 2001. In 2011, she earned certification as an advanced EMT. "She was one of the original members of the County Ambulance COVID response team," her testimonial reads. "Erica has taken a lead role on the team helping coordinate the many testing operations and most recently assisting with our vaccination site efforts."
 
Regan, a paramedic and field training officer at County Ambulance, began her career with the service in 2009 as a basic EMT. "Shannon is tenacious in her review and knowledge of the statewide treatment protocols and company policies," according to her testimonial. "She is known for clinical excellence and ability to keep teamwork at the forefront when dealing with complicated calls."
 
The Massachusetts Ambulance Association includes more than 30 ambulance service providers with 6,000 employees.
 
Tuesday's parade and ceremony are being held in conjunction with the 46th annual National EMS Week.

Tags: first responders,   recognition event,   

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Juneteenth Celebrated as State, National Holiday

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Saturday is the first time that Juneteenth will be celebrated as state holiday but also as a national holiday. 
 
The date has long been celebrated in parts of the country, sometimes as Emancipation Day, the day in 1865 when Union Army Gen. Gordan Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Texas, completing the end of slavery in the areas of the United States after more than 300 years. Juneteenth has been a state holiday in Texas for nearly 40 years.
 
President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation nearly three years earlier but it would take the advance of the Union Army into the Confederacy to make freedom a reality. 
 
Former Gov. Deval Patrick had first signed a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth in 2007 and, last July, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill making Juneteenth a state holiday.
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