Acadian Ambulance’s Paramedic and EMT of the Year, Victoria Dantin and Maddie Clesi, were selected as two of American Ambulance Association‘s Stars of Life for 2022. An in-person celebration, held in Washington D.C. in May, honored 125 medics from across the United States. 

Through the Stars of Life, AAA honors the contributions of ambulance professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their communities or the EMS profession.

“Stars of Life honors the contributions of our first responder heroes while shining light on the critical role EMS plays in our healthcare infrastructure,” said American Ambulance Association CEO Maria Bianchi.

During the celebration’s events, the Stars of Life were presented with medals and plaques by American Ambulance Association President Shawn Baird. Events also included keynote speakers, a welcome breakfast, banquet and free time to tour Washington D.C.

Dantin said that the recognition as one of the Stars of Life, as well as Acadian’s Paramedic of the Year, is not something that she earned alone. She credited her support system for helping her achieve her goals and further her career, as well as motivate her during tough times. 

In addition to being a paramedic, Dantin is a field training officer and associate instructor for National EMS Academy. “The most rewarding part of my job is helping new hire EMTs go through paramedic school and become great paramedics. I love teaching them,” said Dantin.

Clesi reflected on being selected as one of the Stars of Life and Acadian’s EMT of the Year. “I have learned and have grown so much from this opportunity, and I am honored to represent Acadian on my journey in growing as a medic and a person,” she said. “As a medic, it is not easy to wake up and do what we do. We see people at their worst and most of the time, we don’t even know the outcome of their situation.”

“We have a great relationship with the team at the American Ambulance Association, and each year, we’re honored to be able to take part in their Stars of Life events,” said Acadian Chief Legal Officer Allyson Pharr. “Being able to recognize this whole group of outstanding medics, and to have our own Acadian medics represented on the national stage, is a truly special opportunity.”

Acadian Ambulance is one of the largest ambulance services in the nation, providing transportation and medical service to areas in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. It is employee-owned and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, and its sister division, Acadian Air Med, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems.


All photos by American Ambulance Association.

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