WARREN - Often paramedics and other safety force members receive the recognition for their actions in helping others.
The wheelchair transport driver is heard of much less, however, Robert Simmons of Action Ambulance in Warren recently was recognized for his service as a wheelchair transport driver in helping a Leavittsburg woman.
Jack Popadak, president of Action Ambulance, said Simmons was presented a certificate of merit for professionalism on the job and patient care. Simmons has been with the company for two years.
Tom Reed, chief paramedic, said the awards is given to an employee who goes above the call of duty.
He said Sue Moxley of Leavittsburg, who was injured in a car accident and has diabetes, is one of the regular wheelchair patients who needs transported to her doctors and other locations each week.
"One particular day she was under the weather, and her diabetes was acting up and Robert was very helpful and patient with her and helped her when she was not herself,'' Popadak said.
Moxley said she is a diabetic, and one day Simmons noticed as he was taking her to the doctor that she was not herself and dropped her sandwich and felt different.
''He saw that I was not feeling well and helped me. He is very personable and patient and always asks about my family and how I am doing . When you are sick like I have been you don't get out much to interact with others. He is so nice and goes out of his way. He notices if I am not feeling well and if my diabetes is acting up like it was that day,'' Moxley said.
Simmons was able to get Moxley to her doctor where they handled her diabetes.
Moxley said since her accident she relies on the transportation being in a wheelchair.
Popadak said the wheelchair driver is a very integral part of the business.
"A lot of times they do not get the recognition they deserve. You often hear of the paramedics who help get people out of a car or doing CPR. The drivers do not warrant the headlines or front page stories,'' he said.
Reed said patient care can be anything from whether you are starting an IV or taking someone to the doctor. He said the wheelchair transport driver is in the back burner or always in the shadow but plays a major part.
Simmons averages 10 patients in wheelchairs a day to transport.
Chuck Herbster, wheelchair supervisor, said the wheelchair transport driver is a vital part of the business and play integral part of the business helping patients who may be in bad physical condition.
Popadak said the patients appreciate getting out of their homes, which is made possible by the driver.