AUGUSTA — Jay Bradshaw, former chief of the Winthrop Ambulance Service who went on to lead Maine’s bureau of emergency medical services, was among those recognized Tuesday at an annual awards ceremony to honor all men and women who pick up the phone, day or night, when Mainers are in desperate need of medical attention.

About 100 people attended the event in the State House Hall of Flags.

Among those celebrated were paramedics, emergency medical technicians, physicians, rescue services and a health center, each from different parts of the state.

Following the ceremony, wreaths were laid outside the State House to commemorate eight emergency service providers from Maine who have died in the line of duty. The most recent of those deaths was Peter Larlee of East Millinocket, who had a heart attack following an emergency call on March 2.

Bradshaw, of Belgrade, took home the largest hardware of the day. He retired last year after 28 years working for the state, the majority as director of emergency medical services.

For that service, Bradshaw earned the Governor’s Award. According to a program for the event, the Governor’s Award is “for exceptional contribution to the EMS system at the state, national or system-wide level, with contributions in multiple areas of EMS.”

Bradshaw’s successor at the helm of the state’s emergency medical services, Shaun St. Germain, presented the award and listed several of Bradshaw’s accomplishments: implementing statewide training standards, growing the state’s emergency medicine system, and making Maine’s emergency medical services a national model.

In remarks to the audience, Bradshaw thanked those who had served as his mentors, including his predecessor at the state emergency medicine bureau, Kevin McGinnis.

“I was ambulance director in Winthrop when Kevin McGinnis became state EMS director, and I was so impressed with what he was doing with his divisions that I decided to join that team,” Bradshaw said after the ceremony. “I never started out to be an administrator. I got involved in EMS purely out of selfish reasons, because my wife and I were expecting our first child. I wanted to know some basic first aid about how to take care of this kid. From there, I got involved in the local rescue squad, and things just have a way of progressing.”

Asked what accomplishments he was most proud of during his time working for the state, Bradshaw deflected credit.

“All too often you hear people say ‘I did this. I did that.’ What I did was I had the good fortune to be the director of an office that involved a lot of people with high energy,” he said. “When I think of the fact that LifeFlight of Maine (a helicopter rescue service) came into being as a licensed service during that time, that we had electronic record work, that we had statewide EMS treatment protocols, it was almost accidental that I happened to be there with a lot of those things.”

When accepting the award, Bradshaw also thanked his peers, both for selecting him for the honor and doing what they do.

“Each of you play a role as a mentor to somebody, and for that, thank you,” he said. “Whether it’s as a parent or a spouse, just for whatever support you give. It means a great deal to the EMS system that you’re a part of it and that you’re here today to join in the celebration.”

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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