March 4, 2008


COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Maury Regional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was presented with the 2008 Bob Thomas Advanced Life Support (ALS) Service Award by the Tennessee Ambulance Service Association (TASA) at its annual awards banquet and conference. This award recognizes the EMS system that exemplifies outstanding professionalism and service to the community, according to EMS Director Steve Fuston.

“I am immensely proud of the staff at Maury Regional EMS. It is their dedication to our community and their constant pursuit of excellence that has resulted in this award,” said Fuston. “They eagerly embrace new technology and projects—such as the chest pain center accreditation process—that will help us better serve the residents in this region who depend on us. We are also blessed to have a wonderful staff at the hospital with whom we work on a daily basis to help improve patient care.”

Criteria for the award includes qualifications of personnel, programs implemented by the organization which reflects a direct commitment to improve the level and quality of care provided, involvement of the medical community in the organization, population served, assistance with state and local EMS programs, and participation in development of local and state EMS-related protocols, standards, curriculum, training programs, research and/or community projects.

On November 1, 1967, Maury County helped lead the way for ambulance agencies by being the second established service in the state, with Maury Regional Hospital assuming management in 1996. Since its formation in 1967, the service has grown from seven employees trained in first aid, to 88 employees able to provide advanced life support 24-hours a day. Maury Regional EMS utilizes eight ambulances throughout Columbia, Mt. Pleasant, Neapolis, Culleoka and Hohenwald and is staffed with paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). The service has maintained an “A” rating from the state since it began its rating process.

In addition to the growth of the department, EMS has seen other advancements such as global positioning satellite technology allowing faster unit dispatching and improved tracking, a state-wide EMS radio network, and field transmission of EKGs to the hospital before patient arrival. Maury Regional EMS is designated by the state as the Regional Communications Center for southern Middle Tennessee, coordinating communications among ambulance services, hospitals, emergency management and public safety agencies in the thirteen-county area.

This award is presented to outstanding EMS services in honor of Mr. Bob Thomas, because of his dedicated service to both his community and to TASA. Thomas became director of the Maury County Ambulance Service in 1967. Because of his early years of managing a county ambulance service and other leadership abilities, he was elected the first president of TASA, a position in which he served for 18 months. In 1974, Thomas became the secretary/treasurer for the organization and held the position until his retirement from Maury County EMS in 1991. He has been affectionately referred to as the father of TASA.

“From the early leadership of Mr. Thomas to the outstanding staff we have today, Maury County has been blessed with a dedicated and highly skilled group of professionals who are the first to respond in a medical crisis. Their professionalism and compassion is to be commended. They are very deserving of this prestigious award,” said CEO Robert Otwell.


© 2008 Maury Regional Medical Center