William Kelly (front row, second from the left) was named the 2009 Newt Watkins Award winner at the Annual Huntingdon County EMS Alliance Appreciation Banquet. With him are his wife, Josephine Kelly (front row, left), Stat MedEvac flight nurse Mindi Evans, Conemaugh MedStar Outreach Coordinator Jill Stull, Huntingdon County EMA Director Adam Miller. (Back row, left – right) Southern Alleghenies EMS Council Operations Officer Dan Eberhart, J.C. Blair Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. John Roth, State Representative Mike Fleck, J.C. Blair President and CEO Joseph J. Peluso, Saxton Volunteer Fire Company member Tom Stoudnour (who nominated William Kelly for the award) and Huntingdon County Commissioner Bill Hoover.
Saxton EMS Volunteer Honored at Annual Banquet
William Kelly of Saxton was presented the 2009 Newt Watkins Award on Wednesday, August 26 at the 10th Annual Huntingdon County EMS Alliance Appreciation Dinner. The award is given each year to someone who is nominated by his or her peers for best exemplifying the spirit of those who voluntarily give their time and talent in emergency services. Watkins was known as an unsung hero and modest team player who gave of his time to the ambulance service as a driver and chief engineer.
Kelly is the oldest active member of the Saxton Volunteer Fire Company and has been involved with EMS since Saxton’s inception of EMS in 1969. He took an ambulance technicians’ course in 1972 and became in EMT In 1975.
“Although he never liked ‘being in the back’ of the ambulance, when pressed into duty, he would serve,” said Tom Stoudnour, who nominated Kelly for the award. “Bill is most comfortable in the driver position, much the same way as Newt.”
Kelly has served a number of positions with the ambulance over his 40 years service, including committee person, treasurer and, currently, chairperson, a position he has served numerous times. Bill is still active on “on call” crews weekly and has been awarded the Driver of the Year award and Fireman of the Year award by his home department.
J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, State Representative Mike Fleck and State Senator John Eichelberger hosted and sponsored the Annual EMS Appreciation Dinner at Juniata College. Hospital and county officials thanked the EMS personnel for the commitment and sacrifice they and their families make on a daily basis to serve the community.