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After two years of virtual celebrations, Acadian Ambulance held its annual luncheon in-person at the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA, on Thursday, June 2, 2022. The celebration recognized the company’s paramedics and EMTs who display exemplary attitudes, tireless work ethic and dedication, and provide excellent patient care. From across the company’s four-state service area, 32 paramedic and EMT finalists were nominated by their peers.

Paramedic Victoria Dantin and EMT Maddie Clesi have been selected as the 2022 Paramedic and EMT of the Year. Both represent Acadian Ambulance’s Capital Region service area.

Victoria Dantin is a native of Watson, LA, and has been with Acadian Ambulance for six years, starting as an EMT. She serves as a paramedic in Donaldsonville in Ascension Parish, and additionally services as a field training officer, associate National EMS Academy instructor and Explorer post advisor.

Dantin is known among her colleagues and company management for her professionalism, compassion, clinical knowledge, and mentorship. She is a consistently high performer in employee and clinical metrics and leads others by example. She is passionate about what she does and has a desire to help the company improve at the little things to keep us being a great company.

Dantin’s husband, Joey, is also an Acadian paramedic. She is currently a student at Nicholls State University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health science, with the goal of becoming a physician assistant.

In her acceptance speech, Dantin recognized the many different people who have made an impact during her career, including her ambulance partners, instructors, field training officers, and family. “I could not have been named Paramedic of the Year if it was not for this outstanding team I have,” she said.

Maddie Clesi has been an EMT with Acadian Ambulance for more than two years. She is a native of New Orleans, LA, and currently works in Baton Rouge. She serves as a field training officer and is in school to earn her paramedic certification.

Clesi was nominated as Acadian’s EMT of the Year because of her willingness to help students, new hires, and coworkers. She wants to help make people the best they can be. “Her humanity is what drives her,” said her operations manager, Justin Cox.

Clesi is also a member of the Louisiana National Guard, to which she credits her focus and solid work ethic.

In her remarks, Clesi reflected on what keeps her motivated through challenging shifts. She concluded with, “I will always be here to listen, and to be a shoulder for my fellow employees. I have learned and have grown so much from this opportunity, and I can’t wait to continue to represent this amazing company on my journey in growing both as a medic, and as a person.”

During a ceremony in Washington D.C. in May, Dantin and Clesi were recognized as two of 125 Stars of Life by the American Ambulance Association.

Retired Acadian executive and United States Navy Captain Ray Bias recited the Pledge of Allegiance, Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel led the invocation, and National EMS Academy Education Coordinator Jennifer Melancon sang the national anthem.

CBS Mornings lead national correspondent David Begnaud served as the keynote speaker. He reflected on growing up in Lafayette and Acadian’s contributions to the community over its 50-year history.

“I’m here—as you celebrate 50 years—to say to Richard: whatever the intention was when you and Richard Sturles and Roland Dugas started this company… today, this native son believes that Acadian Ambulance represents the heart of Acadiana,” Begnaud said.

In his closing remarks, Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag reflected on the company’s history. “None of our success would be possible without the hard work, dedication, professionalism, and loyalty of our Acadian employees across all divisions and departments,” he said.

Louisiana regional honorees are: Bayou Region Paramedic Devin Atkins and EMT Bryce Poincon, Central Louisiana Paramedic RaShawn Lewis and EMT Trenton Ewing, Hub City Paramedic Paul Martin and EMT Julie Williams, Northshore Paramedic Jennifer Kustenmacher and EMT Rory Ricks, Orleans Paramedic Courtney Macjina and EMT Tin Nguyen, Southwest LA Paramedic Joseph Sylvester and EMT Martyna Trahan, Acadian Air Med Paramedic Jacob Musumeche, and Safety Management Systems Remote Paramedic Seth Mayeaux.

Mississippi regional honorees are: Jackson County Paramedic Gabe Shields and EMT Barbara Garcia.

Tennessee regional honorees are: Memphis Paramedic Anthony Vosburgh and EMT Herberth Angel- Revelo.

Texas regional honorees are: Central Texas Paramedic Nick Janikowski and EMT Evan Poe, Houston Paramedic Patricia Matt and EMT Mark Foster, North Texas Paramedic Dakota Medders and EMT Leigh Silver, South-Central Texas Paramedic Nick Otte and EMT Robby Noblitt, and Southeast Texas Paramedic Gabrielle Smith and EMT Andrew McCabe.

Acadian Ambulance is one of the largest ambulance services in the nation, offering emergency and non-emergency transportation to areas in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Since 1971, Acadian Companies has been dedicated to providing the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. The company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services designed to offer the very best support and education in health, safety, security, education and transportation.

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Photographs from the Medics of the Year Celebration are expected to be available the week of June 13 and will be posted on Acadian Ambulance’s Facebook page.
View all of Acadian’s regional paramedics and EMTs of the year.
View more Medics of the Year Celebration information and multimedia.