The traditional Blessing of the Fleet occurred on May 27 at the Michigan Maritime Museum. The SHAES fireboat was among the vessels offered a prayer of blessing for a season of safe passage and protection from the dangers of wind and waves. Representing SHAES were Firefighter/Paramedics Steve Cavadas and Tim Forker.
Navigating thru the pandemic proved especially challenging for staff at South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES), especially during the fire safety programs last fall.
The effort of one particular staff member in successfully achieving this annual initiative put into focus the department’s commitment to community.
Amanda Quinn (pictured left) has been named the 2022 SHAES Fire Fighter of the Year in a vote of members of the department. She was honored during the department’s annual banquet on April 30.
Amazingly, Quinn had been a fulltime member of the department just over seven months when she assumed responsibility for the fire safety outreach. She led the staff in successfully executing a program that respected Covid protocols at the various schools and coordinated the annual community Fire Safety Fun Night that attracted more than 500 people.
“Amanda is dedicated, compassionate and has a desire for learning,” said SHAES executive director Brandon Hinz. “Her positive attitude has been so important with all the hurdles and obstacles public service had to overcome.
Quinn joined SHAES as a fulltime firefighter/paramedic in March, 2021. She had been a paid-on-call EMT since 2019. She is also a registered nurse specializing in emergency care through Bronson Health System. She holds the bachelor of science in nursing degree from Grand Valley State University. Her husband Phillip is a paid-on-call member with SHAES.
“Amanda was actually an unofficial member of SHAES for quite some time, driving along with Phillip to incidents,” observed Hinz.
The department’s 2022 Leadership Award has been presented to Drexal “Rex” Haner. A fulltime assistant inspector, Haner was a paid-on-call member before entering the military. He is the department’s newest fulltime member. He also is responsible for the recruitment program.
“Good leadership does not require a title” said. Hinz. “Rex’s positive attitude is welcome every day.” The department honored members for years of service – James A. Quinn and Owen Ridley, 30 years; James D. Quinn, 20 years; Roseanna Fox and Brian Horan, Jr., five years.
A special recognition was given to JD Quinn and Dawn Hinz for their lifesaving actions when a patient went into full arrest while in a SHAES ambulance enroute to a Kalamazoo Hospital. The patient, Jeff Herrera, attended the banquet to express their appreciation.
Members Ron Ridley, Cody Sedlak and Amanda Quinn were recognized for the successful delivery of a newborn. “When that ‘run of the mill’ EMS or fire call turns into something more than it was originally dispatched, it is such a comfort to know that help is on the way,” said Hinz.
South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) responded to a record number of calls during 2021 according to the department’s Annual Report. Marking its 25th year, SHAES responses increased nearly 10 percent to 2,592 compared to the previous record of 2,358 in 2020. Read More