Tressler Honored for Contributions to EMS Training

A Stellar Service Award was recently presented to Jean Tressler for her outstanding contributions to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education in Garrett and Allegany counties. Garrett College’s Coordinator of EMS Trainings through the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division was honored during the 12th Annual Miltenberger Emergency Services Seminar at Wisp Resort.

A portion of this annual educational forum, Region I Night for Stars, is dedicated to honoring providers who have made a difference in the lives of patients. Dr. William May, Medical Director for the Garrett College EMS program and for Region I, addressed the nearly 200 people present for the event.

“This year, we also have a special presentation to give to someone who has made a difference in not just patients’ lives, but also providers’ lives, and she does it all behind the scenes. The name Jean Tressler has been synonymous with EMS training in Region 1 for decades. Jean will be retiring from her full time job at Garrett College later this year, and tonight we want to recognize her for her time and dedication to the providers of Garrett and Allegany counties,” Dr. May said.

When Tressler started her career at Garrett College in 1977 EMS Training was in its formative stage, Dr. May pointed out. There were fewer hours and less equipment available. “Garrett College became involved in training the first Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers in both Garrett and Allegany counties. Jean was an important part of the birth of that program,” he said.

In the intervening years as emergency medicine evolved at a rapid rate, the paramedic program at Garrett College improved and expanded to keep pace. Dr. May credited Tressler with instituting those improvements. “This small community college in the mountains of western Maryland needed to keep up to date with the latest in EMS education. Just recently, Jean was the key person to help Garrett College obtain national accreditation for the paramedic program. The college had to meet the same standard as larger schools across the nation with full time programs and staff that graduate large numbers in the paramedic field,” he said.

Dr. May praised Tressler not only for her administrative competence and achievements but for her personal dedication to students and staff. “She has always been dedicated to her work, so much so, that she has even been seen on weekends, splattered with fake blood being a simulated patient in EMS classes. She has counseled students on falling behind with their paperwork, not paying their bills, or acting unprofessionally. She is dedicated to giving this community top notch EMS providers,” he said.

A majority of the current instructors came through the Garrett College program and have worked with Tressler for years. They are among over 500 EMTS and over 100 Paramedics trained since it started.

“Jean has had a hand in the success of each student, which in turn means that she also has had a hand in the care given to thousands of patients during her career. Jean has never been a First Responder, an EMT, or a Paramedic. But if the average provider who was a student runs 50 calls a year, she has made a difference in 30,000 lives in a single year,” Dr. May concluded.

Miltenberger Emergency Services Seminar was sponsored by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, the Region I Emergency Services Education Council, Garrett College, and Allegany College of Maryland.

To learn more about the Emergency Medical Training programs at Garrett College one may contact the Continuing Education and Workforce Development office at 301-387-3069
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