By MJ Brickey | Max Impact
SUNDERLAND, Md. — November 18, 2016 — The National Emergency Medical Service Memorial Service Board of Directors
elected Jonathan Godfrey for a three-year term to serve as a board member.
"It was in 1991 that the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads (VAVRS) formed the National Emergency Medical Service
Memorial Service (NEMSMS)," Godfrey said. "The VAVRS realized there was no memorial service or ceremony to honor the sacrifices made by national EMS service providers."
In May, Godfrey served as Project Manager for the NEMSMS. He has also attended the service, and at times served as a volunteer,
since he became the sole survivor of the medical helicopter crash into the Potomac River January 10, 2005, that resulted in the deaths of pilot Joseph Schaffer and paramedic Nicole "Nikki"
He said there are long-standing memorials and services for law enforcement and firefighters, so he was surprised to find out there wasn't
a brick and mortar memorial for EMS after losing his crewmates.
"The first NEMSMS was held in Roanoke, Virginia and remained there until the decision was made to move it to Colorado Springs in 2010,"
Godfrey said. "The service moved to Arlington, Virgina in 2016."
"It's important people know there are currently three separate efforts to memorialize all EMS in the United States and one to memorialize
all air medical EMS internationally," Godfrey said. "And all four I am in full support of."
The NEMSMS, National EMS Foundation, National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR), and the Air Medical Memorial (AMM) are all memorial
efforts Godfrey supports.
The NEMSMS position Godfrey has been recently elected to is on the board of the memorial service held yearly in Arlington, Virginia,
honoring EMS personnel who died throughout the previous year.
The National EMS Memorial Foundation is an organization separate from the NEMSMS, although similar in name, which currently drives
legislation and fundraising efforts to build an adequate brick and mortar memorial to honor fallen EMS.
"The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is organized by a group known as the Muddy Angels," Godfrey said.
He explained the NEMSMBR organizes long-distance bike ride events across the U.S.; Colorado, the South, on the West Coast, in the
Mid-West, and on the East Coast.
"The East Coast ride is planned in conjunction with the annual NEMSMS," he said. "It's an experience all on its own to watch the cyclists
ride into the National EMS Memorial Service."
The Air Medical Memorial is an international effort to honor all air medical transport personnel who have died in the line of duty by
raising funds to build a brick and mortar location in Littleton, Colorado.
"These efforts are among my life's missions to guarantee their success and to see the memorials built," Godfrey said. "I will see a day
that these monuments stand."
Map of EMS memorial locations and bike rides
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