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LFEMS 2009 Governor's EMS Award Winners PDF Print E-mail

Larry A. Oliver

2009 Governor's Emergency Medical Services Award for Excellence in EMS

Larry A. Oliver had been actively involved in EMS for the past thirty years. Larry currently serves at the Deputy Chief of Frederick County Fire & Rescue Department. Larry has been actively involved with the Lord Fairfax EMS Council since 1983 serving in various roles such as President and Secretary and is currently serving as Vice-President. Larry has devoted his entire adult life to caring for the needs of others. Larry has been and remains one of the best ALS providers this region has ever known. Members of the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Department and other EMS providers throughout the region are fortunate to have Larry as an ALS Coordinator and Deputy Chief in charge of training in Frederick County. Providers across the region are able to tap into his great wealth of knowledge and experience.
Larry’s experience and knowledge afford him the opportunity to travel as a skills evaluator for National Registry EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic tests throughout Virginia. Furthermore, Larry is known locally, regionally, and statewide for having a keen attention to detail earning him the respect of EMS leaders throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. His experience and attention to detail has earned him the privilege of being appointed by the Governor to the EMS Advisory Board. Larry has also recently been chosen to lead the Professional Development Committee for the Advisory Board.
Even when Larry’s not working as Deputy Chief at Frederick County Fire & Rescue, he’s an active volunteer at Front Royal Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department as the District Fire Chief. Larry has served there since 1979 and has held numerous positions there to include EMS Lieutenant, EMS Captain, Fire Lieutenant, Fire Captain, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief, Fire Chief, Secretary, Vice President, and President; virtually every administrative and operational position within the Department.
Excellence in EMS is not about what a person has done recently, but about what they’ve done cumulatively to stand out among peers for several years. Larry Oliver is certainly an individual that defines “Excellence in EMS”. A good analogy for Larry and his commitment to EMS is that “he’s a skyscraper among a community of single story buildings”. 


Erin D. Elrod

2009 Governor's Emergency Medical Services Award for Outstanding Telecommunications Officer/Dispatcher

Erin D. Elrod has been employed by the Winchester Emergency Communications Center (WECC) for more than thirteen years and has served in the Director’s position since May 2005. During that period she has proven to be a tremendous asset to both the EMS community and her staff. She is truly a dedicated, selfless public servant.
When promoted to Director of the WECC in 2005, Erin took command of a center that was in crisis mode because of a staffing shortage. In 2005 the center had authorization to employ 12 full-time and 1 part-time emergency communication specialists. However, the actual staffing in 2005 was 5 full-time and 1 part-time emergency communication specialists to operate the WECC 24 hours a day with 2 personnel on duty.

Through her leadership ability the WECC is nearly operating at full authorized strength at the present time with 12 of 13 full-time positions filled and 2 part-time positions filled. Even in crisis mode in 2005 Erin did not lower hiring standards to fill the vacant positions. Instead, she found methods to keep employee morale up while methodically filling positions with personnel that met her high standards. Furthermore, the training process for emergency communications specialists remained the same, taking nearly 12 months to complete.
Erin realizes that the WECC is only as effective as the staff that operates it. To maintain staff effectiveness and morale during this staffing shortage she instituted the following programs for her staff:

  • Dress up cards for outstanding individual or team work
  • Two special themed (red/white/blue day, hat day, funky sock day, etc) “dress up” days a month
  • Decorating the center throughout the year for the seasons and holidays
  • Instituted a secret pals program
  • Get to know me posters with dispatcher biographies

In addition, the personnel of the WECC have 2 days a month that they can “dress up” by paying $5.00. They use the money raised for projects such as the Salvation Army angel tree, buying and taking mother’s and father’s day gifts to residents at local nursing homes, donating money for breast cancer research, and other worthwhile, vital community projects.
Erin’s commitment to her staff and their well being directly impacts the EMS community. Her commitment to them has raised the professionalism and average length of service of each and every emergency communications specialist. The direct benefit to the EMS providers is the knowledge that the dispatchers they’re in communication with during emergency calls are much more knowledgeable and reliable.

We salute both Larry and Erin along with all our other regional heroes that keep us all motivated and excited to be involved in the provision of emergency medical care! Click here to see the list of regional awards that were presented May, 2009.