September 26, 2017

2017 EMS Communications Award Presented to Barbara Harshman

September 26, 2017

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce that Barbara Harshman, a Telecommunicator with the Franklin County Department of Emergency Services 9-1-1 Center has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the 2017 EMS Communications Award.

Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council (PEHSC) recognizes individuals, groups and organizations that have made a significant contribution to Pennsylvania's EMS system. Award recipients were recognized at the 40th annual PA State EMS Conference in Lancaster, PA, on September 21, 2017.

The award is to honor an individual(s) or group who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of emergency medical dispatch or Emergency Medical System (EMS) communications system planning/ administration in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Harshman was nominated for having thoroughly embraced the telecommunications side of the emergency services profession after having also served as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the Marion Volunteer Fire Department for many years. During a Computer Aided Dispatch upgrade earlier this year, she demonstrated proficiency as one of Franklin County’s best Telecommunicators. With her background as an EMT, she has now integrated that experience with the Priority Dispatch Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) system, currently used by the South Central EMS region.

Recently, Ms. Harshman was processing a call for assistance from a vehicle operator who was transporting an overdose victim to the hospital. Without hesitation, she immediately gained the necessary caller information, proceeding directly into case entry for the situation. When the caller stated the individual was turning blue, Ms. Harshman instructed the caller to stop the vehicle in a safe location, then moved into pre-arrival instructions while waiting for assistance to arrive, giving this individual the best chance to survive. This is an example of one of many EMD calls she processes on a routine basis.

“We could not be more proud of Barbara for her excellent work in emergency services, both as a telecommunicator for Franklin County and a volunteer for Marion Volunteer Fire Department. She is certainly very worthy of this recognition and award,” said Commissioner and Board Chairman Dave Keller.

Ms. Harshman has been employed at the Franklin County Department of Emergency Services since 2015. An EMT since the age of 16, she has held the office of Deputy EMS Chief, as well as numerous administrative roles within the fire department. She and her husband are heavily involved in farming, as well as supporting 4-H, softball, athletics, and of course volunteering with Marion Volunteer Fire Department.

Photo (from left to right): Robert G. Ziobrowski, Commissioner; Barbara Harshman; David S. Keller, Chairman; and Robert L. Thomas, Commissioner.

Photo (from left to right): Robert G. Ziobrowski, Commissioner; Barbara Harshman; David S. Keller, Chairman; and Robert L. Thomas, Commissioner.

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