Lifeguard-Knoxville’s operations manager, Bernie Hayes, was recognized and selected among her peers as the Tennessee Region 2 “2015 Administrator of the Year” for her years of service and dedication to the EMS Industry. Region 2 represents 16 counties, comprised of 34 EMS agencies. A committee selects the winners of each award based on nominations received from their peers. One of the committee members noted that Hayes received three nominations for the award.
From one of Bernie’s nomination letters:
After almost 40 years in EMS, Bernie is just as passionate now for EMS as she was in junior high. Her first goal was to work under her father; Chief Rufus Hayes, and that was met when she became a Junior Fire Fighter with Striggersville Volunteer Fire Dept. at the age of 12. Growing up on a farm and on the heels of her dad, Bernie was willing to learn anything and wanted to become the best at everything she did. This attitude and determination is what led her to where she is today.
Prior to Bernie obtaining her state license from Northeast State in 1995, she was also a member of the Hawkins County Rescue Squad. From then on, Bernie advanced in her careers with Hawkins County EMS, Church Hill EMS, Grainger County EMS, and Hancock County EMS. In 1997, Bernie became the 1st female Road Officer with the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Dept. and served as Medical Support for the Tactical Team. In 2006, she joined the Lifeguard Ambulance Service team as a local leader.
There are several who can testify that Bernie gives her heart and soul into the operation and many have come forward with their gratitude. She is always the first to arrive at work and the last to leave. In an interview, Bernie will tell you, “If you get up in the morning and dread putting on our uniform shirt, then don’t come in. I don’t want you to ever not enjoy coming to work.” As much as it can be, Bernie has made our environment feel like family.
Bernie is a strong advocate for everyone holding themselves accountable and is a positive disciplinarian when needed. Bernie instills in us the need to keep a positive EMS image and will take as long as it takes to assist employees who may need coached along the way.
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