Pennsylvania Paramedic Receives National EMS Award

May 12, 2022
Columbia Southern University Names Duane Nieves 2022 Outstanding Emergency Medical Services Professional of the Year.

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Columbia Southern University (CSU) recently recognized Duane Nieves, manager/chief of operations at Penn State Health Life Lion, as the 2022 Outstanding Emergency Medical Services Professional of the Year.

Nieves, a native of Arendtsville, Pennsylvania, became an EMT in 1985 and then a paramedic in 1987.

“I’ve wanted to be a paramedic ever since watching the television series ‘Emergency’ in the 1970s. I grew up in the volunteer fire department in my hometown with a passion for serving my community and becoming a paramedic. I became a Pennsylvania certified EMT at age 16,” Nieves, a CSU student, said.

His desire to serve his community has never faded as he rose up the ranks to his current management position. He has won awards such as the Star of Life Award from the Emergency Health Services Federation (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Regional EMS Council) the Star of Life Award, recognition for 25 continuous years of service, and the Exceptional Service Award from the Cumberland County Chiefs of Police Association for blending tactical EMS paramedics with the Cumberland County Special Response Team. Last year, he was appointed as chair of the Cumberland County Emergency Services Action Panel, comprised of local and county public safety representatives.

The runner-up for the EMS Professional Award is Robert Weisbaum of the Crested Butte, Colorado, Fire Protection District where he serves as fire/EMS chief.

Weisbaum, who became an EMT in 2000 and a paramedic in 2001, was recently recognized by the American Ambulance Association for his accomplishments in their "40 under 40" award and has been influential in designing a state-of-the-art facility for the fire department in Crested Butte.

“I have a great team that I love supporting and providing them with opportunities to grow and develop. I enjoy seeing the positive changes we are making as an organization that benefits our community and team,” added Weisbaum, who is also a CSU student.

A leader in public safety education, CSU established the Outstanding EMS Professional Award to recognize students and graduates serving in the EMS field for their commitment to saving lives, professionalism and their accomplishments in celebration of National EMS Week (May 15-21).

About Columbia Southern University

As an innovator in online education, CSU was established in 1993 to provide an alternative to the traditional university experience for today’s adult learner. CSU offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs such as business administration, criminal justice, fire administration and occupational safety and health. Visit or call (877) 347-6050 to learn more. 

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