I would like to take this opportunity to bring the community’s attention to the service and support of one of the longest serving volunteers of the Homer Volunteer Fire Department: Dr. William Bell, M.D.
After joining the department in April of 1986 as our medical director, Dr. Bell has provided our department with training, compassion, direction and a fair share of witty commentary on the occasional less-than-stellar performance.
Under Alaska State Emergency Medical Service regulations, a department’s medical director is tasked with providing medical oversight to the emergency medical technicians and paramedics of an agency on a regular basis, and to develop and implement any protocols or standing orders under which the EMTs and paramedics operate.
In addition, the medical director must review the response records of the department to ensure compliance with those standing orders. Since joining the department, Dr. Bell has far exceeded the basic requirements of the position, meeting with the department’s medical providers every month (except during softball season, when he may miss a month or two).
Dr. Bell, like other fire department volunteers, has a pager and radio and has been known to show up on a complicated medical scene to offer his help and expertise, including the Ryan Air tragedy. Dr. Bell has never faltered in his support of the fire department or its mission to provide the best service to the community by our EMTs and paramedics.
He is also the only two-time recipient of the George Longenbaugh M.D. Award, recognized in 1990 and again in 2001. The Longenbaugh Award is presented by the Governor’s Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services to “a physician who exemplifies leadership and dedication to EMS systems, and through his or her efforts, has significantly promoted the Alaska EMS System.”
Please join me in congratulating and thanking Dr. Bell for his 30 years of volunteer service to the department and community. We hope for many years to come.
Robert L. Painter, Chief
Homer Volunteer Fire Department