EMT Leroy Funderburk, Jr. and Paramedic Henrique "Rick" Chipelo
The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners announced the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic of the Year award recipients during the evening portion of the May 16 public hearing. The outstanding EMT and paramedic were honored for their professionalism and dedication as part of Pinellas County's annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week celebration.
EMT of the Year Leroy Funderburk, Jr., of Pinellas County Sunstar, was recognized for his city-wide disaster drill work, exceptional Sunstar representation for Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center and writing contribution of the incident command training section of new employee orientation. His volunteer contributions were also acknowledged as he serves as an elementary school child mentor, middle school track coach and aids the Police Athletic League.
Paramedic of the Year Henrique "Rick" Chipelo, with St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue ,was awarded for his exceptional work in multiple emergency responses, including a lightning strike victim and underwater, vehicle-entrapped victims. Chipelo's community contributions were also recognized as he supports several local businesses and athletic programs and, under the state's My Safe Florida Home Project, inspected homes for hurricane hardening.
Recipients were selected for their contributions to Pinellas County's EMS and commitment to continuing education and community service. The criteria for selection included actions demonstrating excellence above and beyond job requirements.
For more information about Pinellas County EMS & Fire Administration, go to www.pinellascounty.org or call (727) 582-2000.