Each year, Acadian Ambulance recognizes its exceptional medics for their tireless work ethic and dedication. All finalists are known as outstanding paramedics and EMTs who display exemplary attitudes and provide excellent patient care. 

Meet our 2021 Paramedics and EMTs of the Year, along with all of our regional Paramedics and EMTs of the Year, below!

Paramedic and EMT of the Year


Thomas Sumrall, Hub City

“There aren’t too many jobs where you get the instant satisfaction of being able to help people. This is very rewarding.”

Thomas joined Acadian in 2015. He is a CCT paramedic and Field Training Officer in the Hub City region. He has served on the SWAT team and uniform committee. He is a strong advocate for his patients and coworkers. He has a positive attitude, works honestly, is compassionate and has remarkable work ethic. Thomas has served in the Air Force Reserve as a medic since 2018 and is working toward his bachelor’s degree in healthcare management.

View Thomas’ video.

Jonathan Cody Sides, Memphis

“The most rewarding part of this job is bringing a little bit of light into my patients’ days.”

Cody joined Acadian in 2020 as an A-EMT and recently earned a degree in paramedicine. He exhibits great patient care and a professional bedside manner. He always has a contagiously positive attitude and is never without a smile on his face or a kind word.

He continues to demonstrate remarkable skills as a leader, medic, employee and mentor. Cody never hesitates to pick up extra shifts or responsibilities, stating that he is just happy to help where needed. He is also consistently seeking out opportunities to learn more about medicine and EMS to better benefit his patients.

View Cody’s video.

Regional Paramedics and EMTs of the Year


John Fortner, Acadian Air Med Flight Paramedic

John joined Acadian in 2011 as an EMT and has earned his paramedic, CCT paramedic and flight paramedic certifications over the years. He works on AM6 out of Hammond and recently accepted a role as an Associate Quality Supervisor. He is also enrolled in a Registered Nurse program with a goal of working as a flight RN with Air Med. John is a great patient advocate, an excellent clinician and an outstanding field training officer.

Nathaniel Hardy, Bayou Region Paramedic

Nate maintains his Critical Care Transport (CCT) certification and earned his flight paramedic certification on his own accord. He is on track to graduate in December with his nursing degree. Nate is also a field training officer, serving as a mentor to new employees, and is a member of the Bayou Region SWAT team. He works with the National EMS Academy as an adjunct instructor. In addition to his excellent clinical skills, Nate has outstanding bedside manners.

Romell Steib, Bayou Region EMT

Romell joined Acadian in 2016 after serving in the military. He earned his EMT certification from National EMS Academy. Working in St. James Parish, Romell is a field training officer and serves on our surge teams during hurricane season. Romell can always be found laughing and cutting up with coworkers and patients. He aspires to become a paramedic and flight paramedic.

Tripp Blanchard, Capital Region Paramedic

Tripp earned his EMT and paramedic certifications from National EMS Academy while working in the CENLA region. He obtained his Critical Care Transport certification in 2016 and transferred to the Capital region. Tripp’s uniform is always pressed and his boots are always polished. In addition to being a CCT paramedic, he is a field training officer and Quality Improvement Coordinator. Tripp is also very active in the Acadian Explorer Baton Rouge post.

Ashley Matthews, Capital Region EMT

Ashley’s positive attitude is contagious and she always brings a smile to anyone she encounters. She is very compassionate and empathetic towards her patients. Ashley helps fill open spots and works with new hires. She was also selected from a small group of her peers to be the alternate Our Lady of the Lake Transport Coordinator. Because of her great interpersonal skills, she has excelled in that role and represents the company extremely well. She plans to earn her paramedic certification from National EMS Academy.

Karlo Rivera, Central LA Paramedic

Karlo earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies and worked in special education before switching to EMS. He is a field training officer in our ground operations and adjunct instructor at National EMS Academy. Karlo is dependable, a hard worker and has a good work ethic. He is well-respected among his peers as well as supervisors. He plans to become a CCT paramedic with hopes to join the management team in the future.

Marley O’Neal, Central LA EMT

Marley joined the Acadian team in 2019. In addition to being an EMT, Marley works as a van driver and assists with our Ambus. In 2021, she graduated with her nursing degree. She hopes to obtain her flight nurse certification, which will enable her to work on Air Med doing what she loves. Marley also steps up to speak at local high schools about EMS and help with the Acadian Explorer Alexandria post.

Evan McGlothen, Jackson County Paramedic

Evan, who joined Acadian in 2019, loves teaching and is a field training officer. He is pursuing his CCT paramedic certification and is in college preparing for medical school. He is now an AQIC for Jackson County. Evan has a fantastic bedside manner and is very patient with students and new employees.

Bryan Flaxbeard, Jackson County A-EMT

Bryan joined Acadian in 2019. He is a field training officer and is known for his cheerful attitude, positive outlook and going the extra mile.He takes the initiative to ensure his unit is clean, stocked and has appropriate equipment. Bryan is currently in the National EMS Academy paramedic program. Prior to working at Acadian, Bryan worked as a chef and ran fine dining restaurants across the U.S.

Alex Lopez, Northshore Paramedic

Alex joined Acadian in 2007 and is currently stationed out of Covington. He believes in doing the right thing and is well-respected as a clinician and patient advocate. He is a field training officer and is always available as a “phone-a-friend” to other paramedics who have clinical questions. Alex earned his CCT paramedic certification in 2009. He has two Meritorious Service Awards and has received numerous compliments for professionalism and clinical knowledge.

John Moseley, Northshore EMT

John, who joined Acadian in 2018, is stationed out of Slidell. He is known for being friendly and welcoming. He is known for being caring toward his patients and taking extra steps to make sure they are comfortable. John plans to become a field training officer and is attending National EMS Academy to earn his paramedic certification. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

Alex Alexander, Northeast LA Paramedic

Alex has been in EMS since 2013 and with Acadian since 2018. He is dedicated to helping the next generation of medics, as he is a field training officer, adjunct paramedic program instructor and Explorer post advisor. He recently completed nursing school and aspires to earn his CCT paramedic certification and become a flight RN with Air Med.

Rachel Moody, Northeast LA EMT

Since Rachel started with Acadian in 2019, she has shown incredible leadership and initiative. She places patient care at the forefront and has received numerous commendations. She has also received Acadian’s President’s Performance Award. Rachel aspires to become a field training officer, earn her paramedic certification and become a flight paramedic.

David Ruiz, Orleans Paramedic

David works in St. Bernard Parish, where he has lived all his life, and has served his community to the fullest since joining the Acadian team in 2014. During one of the most challenging years, David stepped up and continued his dedication to patient care and community. He keeps his spirit high even during the most stressful of situations. This contagious positive attitude crosses over into his patient care and peer interactions. 

Patrick McCoy, Safety Management Systems Remote Paramedic

Patrick joined Acadian in 2004 and has been with Safety Management Systems since 2014. He was recognized by an SMS client’s management team for his dedicated work ethic and extensive company policy and procedure knowledge. Being selected for a “new build” assignment is a coveted honor and proves Patrick has exceptional customer service attributes. Patrick’s dedication and attitude to our company and clients he serves have no limits.


Laina Vincent, Southwest LA Paramedic

Laina has worked in ground operations in Southwest LA and as a remote paramedic for SMS. She recently became a flight paramedic for Acadian Air Med. Laina has a remarkable work ethic and exemplary paramedic skills, and is respected by her peers for her positive attitude and leadership. Her meticulous attention to detail is evident in her great patient care. She inspires others around her to want to do better, leads by example and challenges her colleagues to always do the right thing.

Chris Broussard, Southwest LA EMT

Chris has established himself as a courteous, compassionate and professional patient care provider. He has garnered the respect of the management team, his peers and our customers through his strong work ethic and positive attitude. As a field training officer, Chris often receives compliments from new employees on how thorough, patient and professional he treated them during the orientation/ride time process. Chris is a hard worker with a great attitude and is always willing to pitch in and help when asked.

Chelsea Feerick, Southeast TX Paramedic

Chelsea joined Acadian in 2008 and has worked in our Medic Support Center, CDC and dispatch before switching to ground operations. She is currently stationed in Port Arthur, Texas. Chelsea’s passion for emergency services and patient care are easy to spot and she always works to broaden her knowledge to better serve her patients. She recently completed the CCT class. Covington, Louisiana, Mayor Mike Cooper formally proclaimed July 31, 2015, as Chelsea Feerick Day in honor of her heroic service as a dispatcher.

Jennifer Hafford, Southeast TX EMT

Jennifer joined Acadian in 2016 and is an EMT in Port Arthur. She recently earned her paramedic certification through National EMS Academy. Coworkers describe Jennifer as always calm and reassuring to her patients and goes above and beyond for her patients on a regular basis. After a particular call with a patient who lost her pet, Jennifer and her partner remained with the grief-stricken patient for a while to make sure she was truly OK. They also worked with a local animal rescue group to find the patient another pet.

Ryan Killman, Houston Paramedic

Ryan, who joined Acadian in 2016, is motivated by the challenging, complex calls he runs and his love for EMS. He earned his CCT certification in 2018, became a Paramedic Field Supervisor in 2021, and is recognized by his peers and the management team for his clinical excellence and his calm and cool demeanor under pressure. Ryan is one of the most beloved members of the Houston team due to his attitude. He is always willing to go the extra mile for his teammates and the company. 

Perla Sanchez, Houston EMT

Perla moved to the U.S. in 2001. She started as a van operator and earned her EMT certification in 2018 through Acadian’s partnership with Lone Star College. Perla’s interest in working in the field comes from her willingness to help people through difficult times. She has been an integral part of Acadian Houston’s success, working on COVID-19 testing sites through our partnership with Harris County. Perla has taken on the role of team lead, demonstrating her leadership abilities and logistical savviness. She has ambitions of becoming a paramedic and hopes to one day become a respiratory therapist. 

Guy Capparelli, Paramedic

Guy joined Acadian in 2018 and is known as a hard worker. He goes above and beyond to teach, has passion for his work, puts others first before himself, and gives constructive criticism and praise to his partners. Guy has deployed to several areas during the COVID-19 pandemic and is a natural leader among his peers. He has also joined our tactical paramedic team. He sincerely takes a vested interest in all of his patients. He has a true passion for learning and aspires to become a doctor.

Charles Ferguson, Central TX Paramedic

Charles joined Acadian as a van driver providing coverage for our Dell Children’s Medical Center specialty ambulance. While working nights, Charles attended National EMS Academy to earn his paramedic certification. He then earned his CCT certification and currently works on a CCT truck in Austin. Charles brings a goofy and positive attitude to work and can change the mood of the shift to a more positive one. Charles is also the first person to volunteer his time to help cover shifts. He was recently promoted to an Operations Supervisor, and he volunteers as a first responder in Bastrop County.

David Hess, Central TX EMT

David started with Acadian in 2019 as a van operator. He is known for his professionalism and being a team player. Patients have called to compliment the excellent care David provided them, and some have asked to schedule David for their future transports. After graduating high school, David aspired to be a police officer. After completing his first EMS ride along, David was hooked with EMS and knew this is where he wanted to be. He is currently enrolled in paramedic school through National EMS Academy.

Grace Sumner, North TX Paramedic

Grace started her career at Acadian in 2019 and works on our 24-hour unit at the Dallas County Jail. She was quickly recognized by our management team and her peers for her dedication to her craft, customer service and communication skills. Grace is a recipient of the President’s Performance Award. Grace shows enthusiasm and attention to detail in her personal performance in mentoring new employees. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Grace adapted and honed in on a new skill by learning how to sew reusable cloth masks.

Andi Mercado, EMT

Andi has been with Acadian since 2018. After experiencing a medical episode with her father, Andi realized that she wanted to help the public in times of need. Andi was nominated by her peers for her positive attitude, work ethic and the professional manner in which she conducts herself and her patient care. She is always energetic and ready to go. She is currently studying to earn her paramedic certification.

Keith Fronk, Memphis Paramedic

Keith joined Acadian in 2019 and is currently a CCT paramedic and paramedic field supervisor. He has been in EMS for decades and is well-known in the company and the region for being a dependable partner, talented field training officer and astute clinician. His clinical judgment is stellar and he possesses an ability to anticipate a patient’s progression well before overt signals. He has become an asset to bridge communication between the operations team and crews to ensure that the job gets done the right way the first time.


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