Indiana Emergency Response Conference Announces 2019 Award Winners

(UNDATED) – The Indiana Emergency Response Conference (IERC) recently presented its annual awards, honoring the best and brightest among Indiana first responders and public safety officials. Award recipients may be nominated by other emergency responders, as well as individuals they may have assisted.

“Many deserving individuals were nominated from across the state, and the conference is humbled to honor even a small number of them,” said Douglas Randell, division chief of emergency medical services with Plainfield Fire Department and coordinator of the 2019 awards. “Peers understand the difficult work that these responders face every day, and while these awards are an important way for individuals to be recognized, the sheer number of nominees show that colleagues are noticing and honoring the blood, sweat and tears that responders pour into their work every day.”

The IERC serves as the annual gathering for firefighters, emergency medical services (EMS), law enforcement, emergency management agencies, hazardous materials professionals, special operations personnel and telecommunicators. It includes educational sessions, innovative presentations and discussions about some of the most pressing issues facing the emergency response community in Indiana.

The IERC was planned by the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety Medical. For more information visit

Below is a list of the award recipients. More information on each award recipient can be found online at

Legislator of the Year
Senator Jon Ford

Fire Instructor of the Year (Individual)
Steve Jordan, Instructor, Evansville Fire Department

Fire Instructor of the Year (Division)
Ohio Township Volunteer Fire Department, Training Division (Newburgh)

Dispatcher of the Year
Julie Kroger-Toby, St. Joseph County Public Safety Communications Consortium

EMS for Children Award
Cynthia Brown, EMT, Harrison County Hospital EMS

Heroic Rescue of the Year
Cory Potts, Lieutenant, Clarksville Fire Department

David J. Edwards Memorial Award, Primary (EMS) Instructor of the Year 
Eric Kraft, Captain, Clay Fire Territory (South Bend)

Specialty Care Award
Kevin Speer, President and CEO, Hendricks Regional Health

EMT-Basic of the Year
Michael Dilly, EMT-B, Crawford County EMS

Advanced EMT of the Year
Robert Swoboda, Advanced EMT, Delaware County EMS

Paramedic of the Year 
Abdullakh Abamislimov, Firefighter/Paramedic, Zionsville Fire Department 

EMS Advanced Life Support Provider of the Year (Fire Department-based) 
John Crawford, Assistant Chief of EMS, Fort Wayne Fire Department

EMS Advanced Life Support Provider of the Year (Non-Fire Department-based) 
Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, Operations Division (Fort Wayne)

EMS Basic Life Support Provider of the Year (Fire Department-based) 
Evansville Fire Department, EMS Division 

EMS Officer of the Year 
Andrew Hall, Lieutenant, Putnam County Operation Life

Firefighter of the Year 
Mike Carr, Firefighter/Paramedic, Noblesville Fire Department

Fire Officer of the Year 
Nick Mager, Assistant Chief, Cedar Lake Fire Department

Co-medical Director of the Year 
Stephanie Gardner, Hancock County EMS Medical Director, Hancock Regional Hospital
James Nossett, Medical Director, Hendricks Regional Health

Fire Chief of the Year (Volunteer) 
Chad Hanson, Fire Chief, Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Department (Monroe City)

Co-fire Chief of the Year (Career) 
Greg Wyant, Chief, City of Noblesville
James VanGorder, Fire Chief, Town of Zionsville