In Memoriam:  Kent Jules "Curly" Weber, 2 August 1923 - 24 February 2017


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The Virginia’s Emergency Medical Services Community lost its Grand Old Man this last Friday, as he finally submitted to a protracted illness at age 93.  Kent Jules “Curly” Weber, presided over EMS in Virginia like royalty for more than 4 decades, eternally beloved, always willing to share his wisdom and views - requested or not, always putting his commitment of service to others before himself, and always willing to lead and mentor - he helped create much of what we now take for granted in our statewide EMS system.

Born in 1923, Kent enlisted in the US Navy, graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1946 with a degree in marine.electrical engineering.  A naval aviator, he served with distinction and retired as a Commander after 32 years of service, two air medals and nine campaign and service medals.  After retiring from military service, he earned a Master’s Degree from George Washington University and taught organization and management at Golden Gate university before moving to the Hampton Roads area as a planning associate with the Tidewater Regional Health Planning Council.  There he helped establish and was the first Executive Director for the Tidewater Emergency Medical Services Council, an organization he continued to serve for the remainder of his life on its Board of Directors, many committees and as treasurer.  

Kent served the statewide EMS system on the State EMS Advisory Board where he helped guide system financial, legislation and policy development and where he helped create and champion the “Two For Life” funding initiative for EMS in Virginia.  He was also responsible for establishing many of the policies and procedures for the Financial Assistance Review Committee which oversees the Virginia Rescue Squad Assistance Fund.  In fact, Kent’s “Gold Star” is still received and prized by all those who have served on that committee with distinction.  Self effacing and quick witted, he always seemed to be around during critical system discussions to provide sage insight or to refocus debate and was often sought out for his advice and wisdom. He received many awards for his service to EMS in the Commonwealth over the years, including two Governor’s EMS Awards, including the coveted Award for “Excellence in Emergency Medical Services”. in fact, the Governor’s EMS Award for “Outstanding EMS Administrator” was renamed the “Kent J. Weber Trophy” in his honor. 

But Kent’s greatest service to Virginia’s EMS System and its many patients was in his mentoring EMS leaders and instilling in them the importance of personal integrity, the value of dedicated, knowledgable and tireless service, and most of all, the power of devoting time and energy to something bigger and more important than yourself.  The men and women he mentored continue to work tirelessly throughout Virginia and throughout the Country, thinking about, working for, and laboring to ensure that people who are injured or ill receive rapid, efficient and effective Emergency Medical Services.  Many of these leaders now mentor others. This is Kent’s legacy.

Thank you Kent.  We already miss you.

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Dear Regional Councils, Virginia Educators, EC Applicants, and EC Candidates:

This notification is to advise of pending changes to the Education Coordinator(EC) Process.

On February 3, 2017, the EMS Advisory Board approved recommended changes to the EC Certification process. (  See attached ). In order to implement this new process the Office is required to make the following changes immediately:

  1. The office will suspend accepting new EC Applications. New applications will be accepted through February 15th.
  2. Current EC Applicants will be required to complete their application before March 1, 2017. Any pending application still in the system on March 1, 2017, will be closed and the applicant will be required to reapply once the new process goes into effect.
  3. EC Candidates in the system after March 1, who wish to continue under the current process, must take and pass the EC Cognitive Pretest at a Regional Council CTS prior to April 23, 2017
  4. EC Candidates who have passed the Cognitive exam and who wish to continue under the current process, will be required to attend the Psychomotor Exam in May.
  5. We anticipate holding the last 5-day EC Institute in Blacksburg in June, 2017.

The New EC Process is expected to start late summer 2017. Stay tuned to our Web site and Social Media for updates as they are released.

Please forward this information to all providers immediately to make them aware of the changes

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me immediately


Gregory S. Neiman, MS, NRP, NCEE, CEMA (VA)

BLS Training Coordinator

Virginia Office of EMS

Virginia Department of Health

P: 804.888.9120

F: 804.371.3409

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 PEMS Region 2016 Governor's EMS Award Winners

EMS Regional AwardsThe Peninsulas EMS Council, Inc. is proud to announce that two of our 2016 PEMS Regional EMS Award winners have been recognized by Governor Terry McAuliffe at the 2016 Governor's EMS Award Ceremony in Norfolk on Saturday, 12 November.  

KopczynskiFire Chief Stephen P. Kopczynski of York County Department of Fire and Life Safety was selected for the inaugural 2016 James A. Nogle Award for Outstanding Contribution to EMS Emergency Preparedness and Response. 

For more than 25 years, Chief Kopczynski has been involved in EMS and emergency management.  Not content to be the leader of an award-winning fire and EMS agency, Chief Kopczynski also helped develop the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Medical Response System and has assisted in its oversight for over a decade.  In addition, he was one of the founders of the Virginia-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team and has served as one of its directors for over eight years.  He helped organize the Virginia Fire Service Council and is a major supporter of the Virginia Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement.  Chief Kopczynski also spearheaded the Hampton Roads Fire Chiefs Association as well as the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission's Regional Emergency Management Technical Advisory Committee to ensure that the region remains prepared for emergencies and disaster response situations.

As a result of his efforts, York County, the region and the Commonwealth are better trained and equipped, and have more robust, strategically located, integrated and exercised resources to respond to the medical consequences of a natural or man-made disaster.

Congratulations, Chief Kopczynski, for your selection as the 2016 Jim Nogle Award for Outstanding Contribution to EMS Emergency Preparedness and Response.  Thank you for all that you do!


WestKatherine West, BSN, MSEd, CIC, owner and course director for Infection Control Emergening Concepts, Inc., was selected for the 2016 Award for Outstanding Contribution to EMS Health and Safety.

Ms. West has been involved with infection control in EMS since 1978.  She is a recognized expert throughout the world, having published several texts, served as a consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute  for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  Katherine also currently sits on the faculty of the George Washington University, School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Even while sought out nationally as a speaker and presenter, Katherine takes the time to answer queries from her alumni when they are challenged by the often confused circumstances involving potential exposures and agency policies.  She provides a reassuring voice to agency leaders, managers and medical providers when they need it most.   Her training program has prepared hundreds of us to face these events with confidence.  When circumstances exceed our comfort zone, Katherine regularly provides well-founded guidance that meets both legal and practical requirements.

Congratulations, Katherine, for your selection as the 2016 Governors Award for Outstanding Contribution to EMS Health and Safety.  Thank you for your service to the Virginia Emergency Medical Services system!

"It is always an honor and a privelege to see the top performers in our region recognized for their hard work and and dedication to our regional EMS system through nomination by their peers for all of our regional awards," said PEMS Executive Director Michael Player.  "We are even more pleased when these efforts are recognized also by the Governor's Award Selection Committee and Governor McAuliffe, so please join us in honoring this year's Governor's EMS Award winners from PEMS region - Fire Chief Stephen Kopczynski and Ms. Katherine West.  Thank you both for your exceptional work for our EMS system over these many years!"

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