Acadian Ambulance Service of Texas held a banquet on Saturday, April 6, 2019, to honor its paramedics and EMTs who display exemplary attitudes, tireless work ethic and dedication and provide excellent patient care. Ten medics from across the company’s Texas service areas were nominated by their peers, and the top two, Paramedic Emily Wright and EMT Christopher Nix, were chosen by a selection committee.
Both medics represent Acadian’s Houston region, which spans Harris, Walker, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Liberty, Brazoria and Galveston counties.
A native of England, Wright found a career in EMS through an unconventional path that previously saw her performing with a comedy show on cruises. She met who would become her husband on the cruise and relocated to Lafayette, Louisiana, to be with him.
After settling in Lafayette, Wright enrolled in Acadian’s National EMS Academy to pursue her EMT certification. She joined Acadian in July 2016 and was assigned to their Houston service area. It didn’t take long before she enrolled in an accelerated paramedic program in Houston to earn that certification and advance her career. She is currently stationed in Humble.
Wright is one of the Houston area’s top preceptors for new hires. In addition to these roles, she serves as an associate quality improvement coordinator and is president of the area’s safety, health and wellness team. She is a recipient of Acadian’s President’s Performance Award.
Acadian Operations Manager Adam Fitzhenry describes her as being dedicated and determined and possessing a very strong work ethic.
Wright is working to earn her critical care transport (CCT) paramedic certification and aspires to one day join Acadian Air Med as a flight paramedic.
During the banquet, Wright said, “Each day I strive for more, to be the best version of myself and take every call as a learning opportunity. Being in the CCT class, I can take my own knowledge to a new level and hopefully give what I’ve learned to new EMTs developing their skills.”
Nix has been with Acadian Ambulance for almost six years. A native of Phil Campbell, Alabama, he grew up with both of his parents working for a local ambulance service. In high school, Nix began taking college courses and played in the school band, where he was regarded as the best saxophonist in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Shortly after high school graduation, Nix earned his EMT certification. “After working for several different types of EMS (transport, rural, urban, and metro 911) for seven years, I wanted to branch out and see exactly how far my EMS career could take me. I wanted to work in a large EMS environment where I could learn and be exposed to some of the most advanced technologies available. That’s how I wound up in Houston, Texas, nearly five years ago,” Nix said. He is currently stationed in Pasadena.
In addition to his position as an EMT, Nix is a preceptor, adjunct instructor at Acadian’s National EMS Academy and high school Explorer post advisor. He has also participated in strike teams assisting other areas during and after natural disasters. He is considered the voice of reason and a steady hand that guides his paramedic colleagues.
Nix has been recognized as a 2017 EMT of the Year by the City of Pasadena, and was honored by U.S. House of Representatives 36th Congressional District Representative Brian Babin for his achievement. He has won Acadian’s President’s Performance Award for his dedication, commitment and leadership.
In his acceptance speech, Nix honored his colleagues, saying, “I feel so humbled by you all for bestowing this distinct honor to me. So many of you are deserving. I work among some of the most dedicated and brilliant people I’ve ever had the pleasure to call my colleagues.”
Wright and Nix, along with Louisiana Paramedic Mike Richard and EMT Tyler Weaver, will represent Acadian Ambulance at the American Ambulance Association Stars of Life celebration in Washington D.C. this June.
Richard Hight was the banquet’s keynote speaker. Hight is an award-winning international presenter, entrepreneur, fine artist and author of Chasing Light – Seeing the Invisible So You Can Do the Impossible. He has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox and has presented to Fortune 500 companies, military bases, educational conferences and national sporting events. As Hight spoke to the audience of nearly 200, he painted two canvases customized for Acadian.
Acadian Ambulance Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag shared his appreciation for everyone involved in the banquet and in Acadian’s success and growth in Texas. “Our employee-owners continue to help us grow throughout all of our diverse divisions. I want to thank all of the Acadian employees for their hard work, dedication, professionalism and loyalty,” he said.
Regional honorees included Central Texas EMT Sammie Herrera and Paramedic Bob Metheny, North Texas EMT Bailey Ables and Paramedic Precious Duru, South-Central Texas EMT Blaine Leachman and Paramedic Ernest Padilla, and Southeast Texas EMT Cody Fontenot and Paramedic Kayla LaRose.