SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (November 7, 2012) – Employees from Rural/Metro Fire Department and Southwest Ambulance were honored this week for their life-saving team efforts in Pinal County, Arizona. Six firefighters and four EMS professionals were singled out for their outstanding commitment, along with deputies from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and flight crews from air medical transport provider Air Evac.


“We are very proud of our firefighters, paramedics and EMTs for their teamwork, professionalism and dedication to providing superior care to every patient,” said Fire Chief Dan Caudle. “Our strong partnership with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and the great team at Air Evac make it possible to provide exceptional responses to every call in the region.”

Each team member was recognized for a specific call during 2012 that resulted in a life saved.

  • On March 27th Fire Captain Neil Pavlov, Engineer Chris Vaughn and Firefighter William Young responded to a two-vehicle injury collision in San Tan Valley where a 9-year-old boy was found unresponsive. Though the child suffered catastrophic injuries, because of bystander CPR, first responder CPR and their quick, life-saving actions, the child’s life was saved. 
  • Fire Captain Roger Lewison, Engineer Brian Keith, Firefighter Rich Damante, Paramedic Jesse Marino and EMT Brock Cunningham were honored for a response on Oct. 5th involving a two-year-old who was choking. The frightened boy was turning blue rapidly and desperately fighting for air as the crew determined the lodged item wasn’t able to be removed. They immediately began administering oxygen and transported him to a nearby hospital, after which he quickly made a full recovery.
  • During a call on Sept. 22nd where a 65-year-old man was in cardiac arrest, Paramedic Mitchell Hilbe and EMT Justin Whelan worked with Pinal County deputies to administer CPR and AED treatment multiple times to save the patient. The victim made a full recovery.


Pinal County encompasses more than 5,000 square miles, and is the fastest-growing county in the United States. The PCSO deputies, Rural/Metro Fire Department, Southwest Ambulance, Air Evac and Banner Ironwood Medical Center work closely through the San Tan Valley Safety Coalition, caring for each patient as efficiently and quickly as possible. Along with Rural/Metro and Southwest Ambulance EMS professionals being trained in the highest levels of clinical and customer service, PCSO deputies are trained in CPR and AED to further support emergency responses in the county.

“I am very proud of our deputies, firefighters, EMTs and hospital staff who have played an important role in saving so many lives in Pinal County,” said Sheriff Paul Babeu.