Two earn EMS awards

Published 10:24 pm Monday, June 13, 2011

Two Suffolk emergency responders have been honored by the Tidewater EMS Council for outstanding performance in their fields.

Suffolk Police Department Emergency Communications Operator Lartara Frazier was named Outstanding Public Safety Telecommunicator, and Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad member Shamera C. Boone was recognized as the James M. Wagenbach Outstanding EMS Instructor.


Boone said she was shocked when she found out about the award, because she didn’t realize she had even been nominated.

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“I was completely surprised,” she said. “I truly did not expect it.”

In addition to her volunteer work in Suffolk, Boone, who lives in Virginia Beach, works part-time as an adjunct instructor for the emergency medical technician program at Tidewater Community College.

She also teaches at the Tidewater Center for Life Support, through EVMS, and as a training officer for the Virginia-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team. Recently, Boone also started teaching federal government employees to use a new patient tracking software.

Boone said she got into teaching by accident when she decided to sign up to be an instructional assistant to gain more hands-on experience after taking the class to become an EMT in 1993.

“I noticed the more I started teaching it, the better I was understanding it,” Boone said.

Since then, her passion for teaching has flourished.

Boone said her favorite thing about teaching is the constant interaction with new and different people.

She said she also enjoys the reward of having an impact on other people’s lives.

“It’s just the whole reward that you had a hand in teaching that person,” Boone said.

On top of all of her teaching jobs, Boone also works full time as a firefighter-paramedic in Newport News and volunteers for Operation Smile.

Suffolk ECO Lartara Frazier said she learned about being named Outstanding Public Service Telecommunicator when a friend congratulated her on Facebook.

Frazier was honored for a specific 911 call she handled on New Year’s Day. During the call, she helped a man deliver his wife’s baby over the phone.

Even though she’s honored to receive the award, Frazier said, she was just doing her job.

Frazier has been a Suffolk dispatcher for 10 years, and she said her favorite thing about the job is being able to help people.

“I love just helping people,” she said. “That’s the best thing about this job: knowing that you helped someone in distress.”

Suffolk Police Chief Thomas Bennett said the award is a nod to Frazier’s commitment to her job.

“Her selfless service often is overlooked due to her quiet nature, which always allows her to remain calm in emergency and stressful situations,” he said.

Boone and Frazier were nominated by their peers for the awards and were honored for their accomplishments at a ceremony held May 21 at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.