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A York County fire chief has received an award from Gov. Terry McAuliffe recognizing his contributions to emergency medical services in the state.
Stephen Kopczynski, fire chief of the York County Department of Fire and Life Safety, was awarded the 2016 Governor’s EMS Award for Outstanding Contribution to EMS Emergency Preparedness and Response award (James A. Nogle, Jr. trophy) during the 2016 Governor’s EMS Award Ceremony Nov. 12 in Norfolk, according to a Peninsulas Emergency Medical Services Council news release.
The award, named after the first emergency operations manager at the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services, is presented to an individual for their excellence in emergency medical services, the release said.
Kopczynski is the leader of “an award-winning fire department and EMS agency,” the release said. He has been recognized several times throughout his 25 years of service in emergency services, the release said, including another governor’s award in 2004 for excellence in Virginia Fire Services.
The York fire chief helped develop the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Medical Response System, which provides emergency medical care for mass casualties, and has assisted in its oversight for over a decade, the release said.
The medical response system is “widely considered to be one of the premier systems in the country,” the release added.
Kopczynski is also one of the founders of the Virginia-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team, served as one of its directors for over eight years, helped organize the Virginia Fire Service Council and was a major supporter of the Virginia Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement, the release said.
Additionally, he spearheaded the Hampton Roads Fire Chiefs Association and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission’s Regional Emergency Management Technical Advisory Committee, which focuses on ensuring the region remains prepared for emergencies and disaster response situations, the release said.
“As a result of his efforts, York County, the Hampton Roads region and the Commonwealth are better trained and equipped, and have more robust, strategically located, integrated and exercised resources to respond to the medical consequences of a natural or man-made disaster,” the release said.