Annually, outstanding emergency service personnel are recognized and awarded for their dedication. Paramedics and EMT’s, along with representatives and supporters filled the Lafayette Convention Center on Friday for the annual Acadian Ambulance 2014 Paramedic Luncheon. Ten paramedics and eight EMT’s were chosen as finalists, after being nominated by their co-workers to represent their respective regions. Lafayette native Alex Durio received the top honor of 2014 Medic of the Year.
“I was shocked, flattered and excited,” said Durio. “i’m surrounded by very good people. My co-workers. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Finalists are chosen based on their positive attitudes and above average patient care. Durio joined Acadian in 2008, as an EMT in their New Orleans division. He completed his certification in 2010, returning to Lafayette as a critical care transport paramedic. However, Durio put his career on hold to join the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. One year later, Durio returned to Acadian. In 2013, because of his service, he received the Paramedic of the Year Commendation Award from the Attakapas Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Durio received the honor during the luncheon in front of 1,500 guests.
Callie Callais, another Lafayette native who currently works for the New Orleans’ Acadian Ambulance Division, also took home a top honor; the 2014 EMT of the year.
“I though it was a joke at first. I still don’t think I deserve it. I wish all the finalists could take home the award,” said Callais.
Louisiana Senator Fred Mills, Jr. Acted as master of ceremonies, while Wile Robertson of Duck dynasty served as keynote speaker.