Health Care

Health Care Heroes: First Responder

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 15, 2021

Honors a first responder whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other health care providers.


Title: Pender County emergency director
Organization: Pender County
What the nominator said: “Tommy Batson … started his public service career more than 24 years ago as a volunteer firefighter. More than 18 years ago, Batson started his first employment opportunity in Pender County as a part-time telecommunicator in the Sheriff’s Office 911 center. Most recently he has served as the county’s fire marshal and assistant emergency management director. During his years of service, Batson earned numerous certifications, including NC Level III Fire Inspector, NC Fire Instructor II, NC Certified Fire Investigator, NCEM Executive Coordinator, NC Type III All-Hazard Incident Management Team-Planning Section Chief and Operations Section Chief and Liaison Officer. In his years of emergency services, Batson has received three Life Saving Awards for saving six people in three different events. Batson is an experienced leader who has served Pender County through difficult storms as well as the recovery process. During Hurricane Florence, Batson served in the Emergency Operations Center for 42 straight days. Throughout his career, Tommy has served in response to every major natural disaster in Pender County – and often in the region – from search and rescue operations, wildfires, tornadoes, flooding and hurricanes.”
- Tammy Proctor, Pender County public information officer/tourism director


Title: EMT-Paramedic
Organization: Novant Health
What the nominator said: “She works tirelessly to help serve her community, especially during a time when help is hard to come by. She is also the reason why I have my paramedic certification and now have a career in EMS. She pushed for me to go all the way to my paramedic when I was going to go for my basic. She educated me on my career options in EMS, and she was one of my biggest supporters going through medic school. I am beyond thankful for all she does, not only for me but for her family, her community and her patients.” - Bianca Doty, EMT-Paramedic, BCEMS “Andrea learned compassion and service at home as she assisted her parents while growing up with over 40 foster children who lived in their home and were embraced by their hearts. This level of service has spilled over into her adult life as she chose to become a paramedic and serve her community in the best way she knows how: immediately, compassionately and daily. As an NHRMC paramedic, Andrea daily faces the excruciating toll of circumstances outside human control with grace and compassion.”
- Jennifer Blunier


Organization: Novant Health
What the nominator said: “Over 300 dedicated health care professionals are committed to the NH NHRMC Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) team … This year, VitaLink celebrates 30 years of serving the community. NHREMS [Emergency Medical Services] joined the NHRMC family 23 years ago, and AirLink has been safely flying patients across Southeastern North Carolina for 20 years! Today, they together all make up the MIH family impacting more than 68,000 annual lives while using 30+ ambulances, three helicopters and five community paramedic units. … MIH team members have provided well over 1,000 service hours to [COVID-19] immunization clinics. At the onset of the pandemic, EMS launched a telemedicine program to enhance the delivery of out-of-hospital health care.”
- Kevin Collopy, Novant Health Mobile Integrated Health clinical outcomes and compliance manager

Read more about all of the 2021 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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