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Stewart's EMT given Lifetime Achievement award for 25 years of service

EMT Dave Mack was given the Lifetime Achievement award by LRGHealthcare for 25 years of service. Erin Plummer. (click for larger version)
May 26, 2010
MEREDITH — For the past 25 years, countless people in need of emergency care have been treated by Dave Mack. Now Mack is receiving recognition for his efforts as LRGHealthcare had given him a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mack is an EMT Intermediate and a supervisor who has been working for Stewart's Ambulance since August of 1985.

On Wednesday he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the LRGHealthcare EMS Awards.

Mack's interest with emergency response started in high school.

"My dad was an EMT through Plymouth," Mack said. "I just kind of felt the need."

Mack said he took an EMT class his last year of high school before graduating around 1982.

"Wasn't until maybe a year later I got to settle down and passed it," he said. "I was just on the fire department, I kind of worked in a million different things."

He then went into basic training for the Army. After returning home, he found jobs in short supply. At that point he talked to Bob Stewart at the newly formed Stewart's Ambulance and got himself a job.

He previously worked as an EMT with the Campton-Thornton Fire Department, a job he held for 22 years that overlapped with his time at Stewart's. Mack also served for 21 years as a Sergeant 2nd Battalion in the 197th Field Infantry Unit in the Army National Guard, retiring in 2003. Mack served for six years with the Campton and Holderness Police as well.

He still works with the New Hampton Fire Department, as he has done for the past three years. Mack also currently serves with the Metropolitan Medical Response Service and takes part in emergency planning in Meredith.

Mack said emergency response has greatly evolved since he first started working for Stewart's Ambulance

"More treatment (is) being done at the scene, equipment has evolved quite a bit with the technology we're seeing now," Mack said.

The changes mean treatment can start en route to the hospital and EMT's can make transfers to advanced facilities such as the Catholic Medical Center in Concord.

Stewart's receives an average of 4,000 to 5,000 calls a year, which Mack said is increasing for various reasons.

"There are some days it makes it all worthwhile, you have those patients that really appreciate what you're doing for them," Mack said. "That's what it is: caring."

Mack is a supervisor at Stewart's with responsibilities such as making truck assignments, making sure equipment is stocked and repaired, and many other duties.

"I'm pretty much a jack of all trades, trying to … research what technology is for, what you can do to counteract the demand, doing my training too to keep certifications," he said.

Stewart's Ambulance Chairman Justin Van Etten has worked with Mack for the past three years.

"He's obviously an outstanding care provider," Van Etten said. "He's just one of the nicest human beings I've ever met."

Van Etten said Mack's personnel file contains a thick stack of cards and letters of thanks from doctors, patients, and others he has helped. Letter writers include those whose children and parents he has helped and local doctors and emergency workers praising his caring and professionalism.

"Everybody that he works with respects him and likes him," Van Etten said

Mack said the award was a big surprise. He was told by Stewart's Executive Director Stacy Meier to be there with other company executives to make an appearance.

"They snuck it on me," Mack said.

Meier gave a speech recognizing Mack's achievements before giving him the award.

"Very overwhelmed," Mack said of his reaction to getting the award. "I was speechless. It really touched my heart and it was nice someone took the time."

"We were extremely pleased," Van Etten said. "Nobody works harder or is more dedicated than Dave."

After 25 years of service, Mack said he is open to doing the job for many more.

"I might go a little bit longer until healthwise I can't do it," Mack said. "There is a need for EMT's, it's a growing demand and I really like the owners I work for. They care a lot about their employees. It's hard to think of any other career change."

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