Pictured with Brogdon (L-R) are his wife, Margaret, and their children Amy Draper and Jarrod Brogdon. ATLANTA – South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief Tim Brogdon was awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award at the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) annual Hospital Heroes Awards luncheon Dec. 4 in Atlanta. Brogdon, who was one of only 10 individuals statewide to receive the award, was recognized for his work as one of the longest-serving EMS directors in Georgia. Thanks to Brogdon, SGMC’s EMS service consistently ranks as a leader and role model for other services in the nation. He began his career in EMS at SGMC at the age of 19, when he received his Georgia EMT license in 1972. He then obtained his national EMT certification in 1973. Two years later, he was promoted to EMS director for Lowndes County, a position he has held since. His strong desire to develop the best emergency response service in the state began more than 25 years ago, when he saw the need to reduce ambulance response times. He worked with the hospital and the county to establish five EMS stations. Today, the average response time is fewer than eight minutes per call. The service operates a fleet of 13advanced life support ambulances and employs 65 medics, and responded to more than 11,000 calls in 2011 alone.Shorter response times were just one of Brogdon’s goals. Implementing smaller, more precise diagnostic and therapeutic equipment was also a priority. He worked with volunteer organizations to purchase the county’s first Jaws of Life™, a hydraulic rescue tool used to free people from mangled cars. Brogdon was also one of the first EMS directors to fund EKG telemetry, a process of monitoring heart activity, onboard ambulances. Presently, SGMC’s ambulances have advanced pre-hospital care devices coupled with wireless technology, GPS capability, and electronic medical records that seamlessly integrate with hospital data systems.(continued)Last year, the hospital opened a regional EMS continuing education center to train medics from around the region. Additionally, the station serves as the clinical training site for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s EMS program in which Brogdon has facilitated paramedic and emergency medical technician (EMT) students to be able to ride approximately 500 hours a month with the EMS service.Brogdon’s services were recognized in 2008 when he received the State EMS Council’s highest honor, the John B. O’Neal, III Emergency Medical Service Pioneer Award. In 2011, he was also honored with the Governor’s Public Safety Award, which recognizes individuals for overwhelming contributions to public safety professions.“Tim Brogdon’s vision and dedication have revolutionized EMS at South Georgia Medical Center and around the state,” said GHA president Joseph Parker. “Thanks to him, ambulance patients have access to the most technologically advanced care without delay. He is a deserving recipient of this award.”GHA’s Hospital Heroes Awards are presented every year to 10 individuals who display outstanding service to the health care field; in addition, one individual is presented with a Lifetime Achievement award, signifying at least 30 years of service. About GHA Established in 1929, GHA is the state’s largest trade organization of hospitals and health systems providing education, research and risk management services to its 174 hospital and health system members. Additionally, it represents and advocates health policy issues benefiting Georgia’s citizens before the state legislature and U.S. Congress as well as before regulatory bodies.