TOP PHOTO: This is one of the commemorative “Challenge Coins” presented to more than 50 first responders on Wednesday by the LaFollette Medical Center. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)

Jason Fox (right) is the Tennova Healthcare EMS Liason and presents a commemorative “Challenge Coin” to Jay Muncy, Director of the Campbell County Emergency Management Agency.

By Charlotte Underwood 

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – In honor of EMS Week, Tennova LaFollette Medical Center recognized first responders with commemorative “Challenge Coins” on Wednesday afternoon. 

LaFollette Firefighters enjoy lunch.

“These men and women are our local heroes and the hospital wanted to recognize and show appreciation for all they do and for all their outstanding work,” Tennova Healthcare EMS Liason Jason Fox said. He is the EMS Liason for all five Tennova Hospitals.

The coins were handed out to around 50 law enforcement, EMS, and firefighters at a picnic held in honor of first responders at Seargeant Park in LaFollette from noon till 2 pm yesterday in downtown LaFollette. 

LaFollette Medical Center CEO Mark Cain also expressed his appreciation at Wednesday’s picnic, thanking local first responders for their life saving work.

More than 50 first responders enjoyed Wednesday’s appreciation picnic.

This year’s slogan for the EMS League “Where Emergency Care Begins” is on one side of the coin.

According to Fox this is significant as “lives are often saved by first responders and EMS. Even with all the amazing things we can do at the hospital, first responders and EMS are truly where that emergency care does begin. It is a team approach and they make our job that much easier,” Fox said. 

Seargeant’s Park is where Tennova LaFollette Medical Center honored first responders as part of EMS Week.

According to Fox, the event and medallions are to show the hospital’s appreciation of the area’s first responders.

“We want to have the best partnership we can with our local first responders. They are first on scene and start the emergency medical care, EMS arrives and continues that, then hopefully Tennova LaFollette can complete that piece of the puzzle; it’s truly a team approach. It could not be done without first responders doing their jobs and saving lives,” Fox said. 

He gave statistics from the American Heart Association that brain death starts to occur after four to six minutes without oxygen. 

Amanda Rogers, Director of LMC’s Physicians Outreach, presents LaFollette Fire Department Captain Johnny Seal with a flashlight. Seal and the other first responders received a flashlight, a pen, scissors and a commemorative “Challenge Coin.”

“The national average response time for EMS is seven minutes, so without our first responders and EMS, the outcome is less than desirable. These men and women are heroes. If you dedicate your life to helping others, in my opinion, you’re a hero and we wanted to say thank you to all local first responders,” Fox said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 05/25/2023-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)

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