– Chairman of International Academies of Emergency Dispatch Made Presentation


Huntsville – Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (HEMSI) received the official international Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) banner for the distinguished honor of becoming the 193rd Emergency Medical Dispatch Accredited Center in the world.  Jerry Overton, Chairman of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) made the presentation for the Salt Lake City-based organization, having traveled to Huntsville to honor HEMSI.

The IAED is non-profit, standard-setting organization promoting safe and effective emergency dispatch services worldwide.  An Accredited Center of Excellence is the highest distinction in 911 emergency communication services. HEMSI achieved accreditation for demonstrating rigorous compliance to the Medical Priority Dispatch System and associated international practice standards of excellence in system oversight, quality improvement programs, and individual certification of all emergency call takers.       

The presentation took place at the Huntsville/Madison County 911 Center where HEMSI conducts its call center operations, with HEMSI CEO Jon Howell, HEMSI Medical Director Sherrie Squyres, and 911 Center CEO Ernie Blair offering congratulations to the HEMSI team for the outstanding achievement.

In his remarks, Overton said, “This is the most difficult accreditation to earn and maintain because of the rigorous criteria.  Every dispatcher must be trained extensively and sustain the extremely high standards.  But this is the kind of dedication to excellence that saves lives.”

Overton explained that in many cases, the emergency medical dispatcher can increase a patient’s favorable outcome.  For instance, statistics show that talking a 911 caller through administering CPR to a heart attack victim raises neurological success rates by over 50%.

HEMSI CEO Jon Howell added, “This accreditation is demonstration of HEMSI’s commitment to providing the very highest standards of care for the citizens of Madison County and surrounding areas.  We congratulate our emergency dispatcher team and recognize their extreme dedication. They are our front line and quite often mean the difference between life and death.”



District 2 Huntsville City Councilwoman Jennie Robinson recently visited HEMSI to tour the facilities and learn more about the organization.  As a new member of the City Council, she wanted to know more about HEMSI’s operations and services.

HEMSI was honored to host her visit, and Robinson was impressed with what she saw.  She said, “My visit to HEMSI was a great learning experience. The staff are true professionals!  Their emphasis on regional training, committed service, and state of the art equipment to meet the needs of our residents was remarkable.”


She was particularly interested in HEMSI’s relationships with its partner agencies.  She continued, “I was also impressed by HEMSI’s willingness to collaborate with other first responders. It’s a system unique to our community.”   


Robinson concluded that HEMSI’s strong reputation is well-deserved.  “I would expect nothing less,” she said.


– Community Service Project Gives Children the Joy of Christmas


With lights flashing and children eagerly waiting, HEMSI employees arrived in an ambulance to continue the yearly tradition of delivering toys to the Downtown Preschool the week before Christmas.  Employees donated the toys at the annual Christmas party with more than 300 attendees as part of the HEMSI Cares program.  United Way of Madison County wrapped and personalized a gift for each child. 

In her third year of delivering the gifts, Paramedic Angie Voss described the children’s smiles as contagious.  “We drove up in the ambulance to see the children bouncing up and down like little jumping beans with these beautiful smiles,” she said.  “Their faces lit up like their presents were BEST thing in the world!  I felt blessed to be a part of this. ”  


Human Resources Manager Angie Smith added, “This was my first year to experience the delivery, and I loved it!  The children were lined up outside waiting when our ambulance drove up, and were so excited that they started singing. It was easily one of the best things of 2014.”

            “To be a part of the collection and distribution of the gifts for these truly deserving and genuinely appreciative children is one of the most rewarding and meaningful parts of my job,” said Communications Director Stiles Clark. “To see the happiness in their eyes and hear the excitement in their voices was truly heartwarming!”


HEMSI CEO Jon Howell explained, “Generosity is deep-rooted within the HEMSI culture and this project of giving has been a favorite among employees for years.  It’s so rewarding for our employees to have such positive interaction with the children in the community they serve.”

            This was the fourth year of partnership with the United Way on the community service project, and employees look forward to continuing the tradition in 2015.



Tuesday, 14 January 2014 10:39

HEMSI Mourns Paramedic John Perry

A 14 year veteran Paramedic for HEMSI passed away suddenly this past Friday, January 10, 2014. John J. Perry II had worked as a Paramedic for 23 years, the past 14 with HEMSI. He had also worked for the former American Ambulance company in Cullman county which is now part of Regional Paramedic Services, and had begun his career with the former Metro Shoals Ambulance Service in Florence in the early 1990’s.

He is survived by his children, Nathaniel “Nate” Perry and Kayla Perry and their mother Kim Perry; father and mother, John and Brenda Perry; parent, Sandra Perry; two brothers, Todd Perry and Chad Perry; and companion, Lauren Stanton. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Berryhill Funeral Home. Chapel service will be Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. with burial to follow at Huntsville Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the John Perry II Memorial Fund at Redstone Federal Credit Union.

Visitation will be Tuesday, January 14, 2014 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Berryhill Funeral Home. Chapel service will be Wednesday, January 15,2014 at 10:00 a.m. with burial to follow at Huntsville Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the John Perry II Memorial Fund at Redstone Federal Credit Union.

HEMSI Raises Funds for Annual Heart Walk

Taking the “HEMSI Cares” mantra to heart, HEMSI employees participated in the American Heart Association’s recent Heart Walk which enjoyed record turn-out. With four teams walking for the cause, HEMSI employees combined to raise over $4,700 in donations.


Special Project Raises Funds for Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund

The HEMSI Board of Directors recently received a visit from Liz Hurley who came to offer thanks and acknowledge the efforts and donation by HEMSI employees to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation’s Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund.

Emergency Medical Services Goes Paperless

Huntsville, AL – Today at 7:00 a.m. Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (HEMSI) is launching its Electronic Pre-Hospital Care Report (ePCR) system for dramatic improvement of patient care. HEMSI personnel have been in training for the past weeks to prepare for the shift from paper-based to electronic records.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:10

HEMSI Receives CAAS Reaccreditation

CAAS with dates smallHEMSI recently received re-certification by the Commission on Accredited Ambulance Services. 

  • Only accredited service in Alabama
  • One of only 149 agencies in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean

The certification process involves a comprehensive self-assessment and an independent outside review.

The CAAS* emblem displayed on HEMSI’s vehicles and employee uniforms demonstrates our dedication to our Board of Directors, our City Council, and our medical community while representing our continued achievement and commitment to providing our residents with the highest standard in emergency medical care

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:09

HEMSI Cares Toy Delivery

HEMSI, Huntsville-Madison County’s emergency medical transportation company, gave back to the community on Tuesday morning, December 18th via their “HEMSI Cares” program. HEMSI employees donated toys to the Downtown Preschool where kids were thrilled to welcome flashing ambulance lights and noble employees. Paramedics Toni Holaway and Corey Green had the honor of emptying their ambulance full of wrapped toys to guarantee the children would have something to open and play with this season. HEMSI has made this community focused activity a yearly tradition by partnering with United Way for the fourth year. The children at Downtown Preschool will be sure to have a smile on their face this holiday with thanks to HEMSI and United Way.

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