Managing the pandemic has proven particularly challenging for South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) personnel, particularly during fire safety programs last fall.
The effort of one staff member in particular to carry out this annual initiative underscored the service’s commitment to the community.
Amanda Quinn was named the 2022 SHAES Firefighter of the Year in a vote by department members. She was honored at the department’s annual banquet on April 30.
Surprisingly, Quinn had been a full-time member of the department for just over seven months when she took on responsibility for fire safety awareness. She led staff in successfully running a program that adhered to Covid protocols across the various schools and coordinated the annual Community Fire Safety Entertainment Night which attracted over 500 people.
“Amanda is dedicated, compassionate and has a desire to learn,” said SHAES Executive Director Brandon Hinz. “His positive attitude has been so important with all the hurdles and hurdles the public service has had to overcome.
Quinn joined SHAES as a full-time firefighter/paramedic in March 2021. She had been a paid on-call paramedic since 2019. She is also a registered nurse specializing in emergency care through Bronson Health System. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand Valley State University. Her husband Phillip is an on-call paid member with SHAES.
“Amanda was actually an unofficial member of SHAES for a while, driving with Phillip in incidents,” Hinz observed.
The 2022 Departmental Leadership Award was presented to Drexal “Rex” Haner. A full-time assistant inspector, Haner was an on-call paid member before entering the military. He is the department’s newest full-time member. He is also responsible for the recruitment program.
“Good leadership does not require a title” said. Hintz. “Rex’s positive attitude is welcome every day.”
The department honored members for their years of service—James A. Quinn and Owen Ridley, 30; James D. Quinn, 20; Roseanna Fox and Brian Horan, Jr., five.
Special recognition was given to JD Quinn and Dawn Hinz for their lifesaving actions when a patient was arrested while in a SHAES ambulance en route to a Kalamazoo hospital. The patient, Jeff Herrera, attended the banquet to express his gratitude.
Members Ron Ridley, Cody Sedlak and Amanda Quinn were recognized for the successful delivery of a newborn.
“When that ‘mundane’ EMS or fire call turns into something more than it was originally dispatched, it’s so comforting to know that help is on the way,” said Hinz said.
SHAES responded to a record 2,592 incidents in 2021. The department expanded its corps of accredited fire instructors and expanded its contingent of rescue divers.