Two NGMC Barrow staff awarded paramedics of the year

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Oftentimes, paramedics are the first on the scene of an accident. They’re the first ones to assess the situation and render aid, working quickly to determine what care is needed on-scene, and what may be needed in the back of the ambulance. With more than two decades of combined experience doing just that, Robert Lee and James Ouellet, two paramedics with Barrow County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), were named Paramedics of the Year at the Northeast Georgia Region 10 EMS Director’s Association Awards Banquet.

“Our EMS providers across the entire region are devoted to providing high quality emergency care for our communities,” said Sonja McLendon, interim president at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Barrow. “We’re honored to have Robert and James as a part of our team. I know they care deeply about this community and work diligently to get patients to the hospital quickly so they can get the advanced care they need.”

Ouellet has worked as a paramedic for 14 years and has been with Barrow County for the past three, with most of that time spent as a supervisor. Before working as a paramedic, he served in the United States Army for eight years.

Lee has been a paramedic for 10 years and has spent the past two with Barrow County. He, too, served in the Armed Forces, but with the United States Marine Corps, before working as a paramedic.

“James and Robert are exceptional medics that everyone loves working with,” said Erick Giraldo, director of emergency medical services at NGMC. “They are both prime examples of people who give their all in everything they do and are completely deserving of this award.”

Shortly after NGMC Barrow joined Northeast Georgia Health System in 2017, the hospital reached an agreement with Barrow County in 2021 to let the hospital handle all ambulance transports in the county. Since then, NGMC Barrow has continued to provide emergency care, surgery, orthopedics, heart care, imaging/radiology, laboratory services, pulmonary rehabilitation, wound healing, stroke care and more to the Barrow community and has been recognized as one of the “Top 5 Small Hospitals” in the state by Georgia Trend magazine.

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