Utah emergency responders recognized for outstanding efforts

DRAPER, Utah -- Emergency medical responders were recognized for their outstanding performances on Wednesday in Draper at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.

Among those honored was Brian Maynard, a life-flight nurse who survived a deadly car accident in January. His partner and fellow paramedic, 29-year-old Tyson Mason, was killed in the crash.

They had been driving together to Salt Lake after a shift in Roosevelt when another car hit them near Strawberry Reservoir.

“I remember the impact,” Maynard said. “I remember knowing that my partner Tyson is dead; getting taken out of the car; getting flown, the timeline is a little skewed, and just the efforts of everybody.”

Maynard was receiving a special honor along with many of his colleagues. Some of the responders who saved him that dreadful day were there.

“Some today I met for the first time,” Maynard said. “That I hadn’t seen the accident, that was bitter-sweet… I am glad they didn’t hesitate. I’m glad they didn’t balk at it, and I think I am standing here today because of them.”

For Maynard, being on the receiving end of an emergency medical situation was not easy to fathom.

“It was completely different being on the other side, having to be the one needing help--the helpless feeling--I appreciate it more now than I think I did before," he said.

Guy Dansie is the EMS director at the Utah Department of Health, and he also spoke about the crash.

“It was an extremely emotional situation, where many agencies came together and worked flawlessly,” Dansie said.

Dansie said Wednesday's award ceremony is important for everyone in their industry, and for the public to recognize the demanding and critical aspects of their work.

“It’s a tough job, it’s emotionally draining, it’s not paid well, they sacrifice 24/7, 365 days a year: They are out there to protect us," Dansie said.

Mason was killed one week after he became a father. Maynard said he did not want to accept any awards, but he wanted to be there to honor his partner.