PEMS Medical Advisory Committee Postponed  

The PEMS MAC meeting scheduled for 9-10-20 has been postponed to 9-17-20.

dark blue horiz line290x10

Fall 2020 RSAF Grant Cycle Deadline Extended to September 16th 

PEMS has received notification from OEMS that the deadline for the Fall 2020 Cycle of RSAF has been extended to September 16, at 5 p.m. due to E-GIFT being down from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, September 13.  Agencies should make the most of the extended application period to get their applications in on time.

Contact Luke Parker, the OEMS Grants Manager at 804-888-9106 or the PEMS Regional EMS Council Office at 804-693-6234 if you have questions or need assistance.

dark blue horiz line290x10

PENINSULAS EMS COUNCIL Announces the 2020 Regional EMS Awards

The Peninsulas Emergency Medical Services (PEMS) Council, Inc., is proud to announce its 2020 Regional EMS award winners today, recognizing the outstanding achievements and notable work of individuals, agencies, organizations and facilities who provide emergency medical services in the PEMS region (Peninsula, Middle Peninsula, and Northern Neck).

“Most of us tend to take for granted that when we need it, we will have ready-access to a comprehensive, coordinated and efficient Emergency Medical Care System (EMS) system provided by caring, knowledgeable and skilled clinicians. That kind of a system does not just happen. It is the result of tens-of-thousands of hours of hard work, undertaken by thousands of dedicated individuals,” said Michael Player, Executive Director of the Peninsulas EMS Council, Inc. “Recognizing the excellence in our EMS system through the Regional EMS Awards program is critical to ensuring that their hard work does not go unnoticed, unappreciated, and most importantly, unsupported. The Peninsulas EMS Council is proud to showcase its high- performance system, and the individuals and agencies selected by their peers, who make our communities a better and safer place to live and work.”

Recipients of this year’s regional awards will have the chance to compete for the prestigious 2020 Governor’s EMS Awards, which will be announced later this year. Winners will be presented with a trophy and a certificate signed by the Governor.

To find a description of the awards criteria, please visit PEMS website at:

The 2020 Peninsulas EMS Council Regional Award Recipients

  • Excellence in EMS (Michael B. Player Award) – David L. Justis, M.D., Operational Medical Director, West Point Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad
  • Outstanding EMS Leadership (Russell Lowry, Jr. Award) – Mitchell L. Paulette, EMT-I. Richmond County Department of Emergency Services
  • Outstanding EMS Agency – Hampton Division of Fire and Rescue
  • Outstanding Prehospital Provider (Joseph B. Howard Award) – Christopher A. Judkins, N.R.P., James City County Fire Department
  • Innovation Excellence in EMS – Peninsulas COVID-19 Operations Center (City of Hampton, City of Newport News, City of Poquoson, City of Williamsburg, James City County, York County, Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital, Hampton VA Medical Center, Riverside Doctors Hospital of Williamsburg, Riverside Regional Medical Center, Sentara CarePlex Hospital, Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Navy Regional Mid-Atlantic, Hampton/Peninsula Health Districts, Peninsulas EMS Council )
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS by a Physician (Gaylord W. Ray, M.D. Award) – Amir K. Louka, M.D., Operational Medical Director for James City County Fire Department, Virginia Commonwealth University Emergency Medicine
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS by a Nurse (Melissa Holloway, R.N. Award) – Sara A. Watkins, R.N., Riverside Regional Medical Center
  • Outstanding Prehospital Educator – Tamara L. McDaniel, N.R.P., Richmond County Department of Emergency Services
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS for Children – Northumberland County Emergency Services
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS Health and Safety – Edward B. Cantwell, III, City of Hampton, Division of Fire and Rescue
  • Outstanding EMS Telecommunications Dispatcher – Tabbel B. Abrams, EMT, Newport News Police Department Communications Division
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS Preparedness and Response – Sherl Emerson, York County Department of Fire and Life Safety
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS by a High School Senior ($1,000 Scholarship) – Seth C. Craig, V, EMT, Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue

President’s Awards:

  • Exceptional Services for the PEMS Council as Regional Medical Director 2007-2020 – Cheryl L. Lawson, M.D., Riverside Regional Medical Center, Operational Medical Director, Newport News Fire Department

Special Recognition Awards:

  • Outstanding EMS Call – York County Department of Fire and Life Safety – December 22, 2019 75 vehicle Crash on Interstate 64.
  • Daily COVID-19 Updates for the Local Health Districts – Kevin G. Pearce, Hampton/Peninsula Health Districts
  • Daily VDEM Region 5 COVID-19 Sit-Reps/Weekly COVID Calls – Bruce Sterling, Virginia Department of Emergency Services
  • COVID Digests – Amy L. Green, Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition
  • VDH Partners COVID-19 Conference Calls – VDH Office of Emergency Preparedness
  • Regional Council Weekly COVID-19 Conference Calls – VDH Office of EMS
  • Outstanding Service Leadership - Jeffrey A. Bendit, N.R.P. – Peninsulas EMS Council
  • Outstanding Service Leadership – Paul D. Hoyle, N.R.P – Peninsulas EMS Council

dark blue horiz line290x10

VCU Needs EMS Provider's Opinions

“This study is being organized by an EMS provider, an undergraduate Professional Science major at the Virginia Commonwealth University, who is interested in gathering the opinions of other providers regarding current pelvic immobilization techniques and training protocols. Your opinions and background are valuable, and we thank you for considering completing this survey. We estimate the survey should take around 5 minutes to complete.

Primarily, the goal of this research is to study the attitude of EMS providers towards current pelvic immobilization protocols, as well as their level of perceived competency in the skill. The second objective of this study is to gather a random sample of EMS providers to gather more information surrounding the participation of minorities in EMS.

Please be assured that your responses will be kept strictly confidential. Participation in this research is completely voluntary. You have the right to stop at any point, for any reason, and without any prejudice. Upon completion of the survey, you will have the optional opportunity to be randomly selected to receive one of twenty $25 virtual Amazon gift cards by inputting your email in the form at the end. Emails will be kept strictly confidential and be immediately disposed of after winners have been contacted.    

For any questions about this research study, please contact the lead investigator Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or the student investigator, Tarek Haggy, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By clicking on this survey, you recognize that you are an active EMS provider in the United States of America. You acknowledge that your participation is voluntary, and that you are at least 18 years of age. After beginning, you may stop taking the survey at any time. Your completion of the survey will serve as your consent to be included in this research.

Thank you on behalf of the VCU department of Science and Sociology!”

Survey Link:   Pelvic Immobilization Protocol Survey

Thanks for your time!


Covid 19 Response

Rappahannock Area Health District

Virginia Department of Health

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


PEMS Announces New Regional Medical Director


The Peninsulas Emergency Medical Services Council, Inc. (PEMS) is pleased to announce that it has a new Regional Medical Director, Dr. Amir Louka, a Dual Board Certified Emergency and EMS Physician from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Dr. Louka, becomes the latest in a long line of distinguished physicians who have provided focused medical leadership to the PEMS Council’s Board of Directors and staff in the continued development of the comprehensive, coordinated regional emergency medical services delivery system.  Dr. Louka follows Dr. Cheryl Lawson, of Riverside Regional Medical Center who recently retired after serving as the PEMS Regional Medical Director for 13 years. 

The PEMS Regional Medical Director acts as a consultant and advocate for high quality patient care in the regional EMS system (the 16 cities and counties of the Peninsula, Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck).  In that capacity, Dr. Louka is well qualified to serve the region.  He graduated from the College of William and Mary and Eastern Virginia Medical School before completing a residency and a fellowship in Emergency Medicine at the Virginia Commonwealth University, where he joined the staff in 2018.  

Dr. Louka became involved with the PEMS Council in 2019 when he became the Operational Medical Director for the James City County Fire Department and a member of the PEMS Medical Advisory Committee. In March of 2020, when the region began to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Louka joined several of his fellow Operational Medical Directors and created a COVID-19 Protocol Task Force to evaluate the rapidly changing clinical environment and to ensure providers had the best information as well as the most up-to-date medical guidance.   

An active member of the National Association of EMS Physicians, Dr. Louka is acutely aware of current issues facing EMS systems throughout the country. Additionally, he is an active EMS provider himself, regularly standing duty as a volunteer field physician in Virginia Beach. Through varied field experience at all levels he has gained a deep understanding of the day-to-day challenges of prehospital care and the unique burden borne by providers and their agencies.

dark blue horiz line290x10

Page 2 of 4

Main Menu

Back To Top