Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient – Les Hutchison

leshutchisonLes Hutcheson is an EMT working for Hall Critical Care Transport. Les started his EMS career in May of 1973. He completed EMT training in 1974 and in 1975 his dedication to Harvey his work earned him a promotion to Supervisor. In 1997 Les enrolled in The Kern County EMS Department Paramedic Training program and received his Paramedic license in 1998. Les was reassigned from Field Operations to training for three years with focus on driver’s training for new employees. In 2004 Les decided the best way to support the mission of Hall Ambulance was to focus on being a good EMT and he made a conscious decision to not renew his Paramedic license. Les was assigned to the Taft station as an EMT until 2009. Along with his regular duties as an EMT Les helped teach two major safety programs. Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator (CEVO) and Emergency Vehicles Operations Course (EVOC). CEVO is a classroom session that teaches emergency driving theory and safety concepts. EVOC is a behind the wheel demonstration performance exercise that helps reinforce the CEVO concepts. In the mid 1970s Les developed a driving theory he called Low Force driving. The theory was simple ease into and out of the accelerator and brakes and the customer will have a more enjoyable and a safer ride. More than 20 years after Les developed his theory Hall Ambulance purchased a “black box” driver monitoring system. The Road Safety system used a theory called Safe Force driving. The Safe Force driving theory that is now the EMS industry standard was the same low force theory identified and taught by Les.   It’s estimated that Les has taught his driving concepts to more than 1,000 EMTs and Paramedics over the 40 years of his career.

In December 2009 Les helped open Hall Mr. Hall open Hall CCT. Les credits Hall CCT with reviving his career and allowing him to get excited about EMS again. The Hall CCT program is a specialty team consisting of a Registered Nurse, a Paramedic and an EMT. Their skills and service capabilities mirror the skills and service capabilities of Hall’s Air Ambulance Medevac 1. 

Les recalls the biggest innovation in EMS during his 40 years on the job as glucometers. The glucometers allowed Paramedics to complete a quantitative test in the field that resulted in direct benefit to the patients he served. 

One of Les’ fondest memories as an EMT came during a visit to Washington DC as part of the American Ambulance Association’s Stars of Life event. He got to meet American Hero John Glenn and California Senator Diane Feinstein. 

In 1973 Les would work as hard as any EMT to make sure his equipment was spotless before being seen by a customer. His standards are the same today as they were 40 years ago. Two weeks ago, while his crew was sleeping at the Hall CCT station, Les worked through the night to polish every square inch of his ambulance in anticipation of his ambulance being used on static display at a public event the following day. Les Hutchison has been and is a credit to EMS professionals at Hall Ambulance, in Kern County and across the nation.

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