ANN ARBOR, Mich. -

At their annual EMS Recognition awards dinner, Huron Valley Ambulance president and CEO, Dale Berry and HVA vice president, Roger Simpson, recognized employees for their professional achievements and safe driving.

Professional achievement awards acknowledge the outstanding performance, quality of work, contributions beyond the job description and the team effort of employees. Safe driving awards acknowledge employees who maintain exceptionally safe driving records.

Also at the event, exemplary citizens were presented with HVA Life Saving Awards. The award recognizes efforts to save a life under extraordinary circumstances or as part of a cardiac arrest response using an Automated External Defibrillator or CPR.

HVA Life Saving Award recipients included: 

Carter Altruda, a fifth-grader at Eberwhite Elementary School in Ann Arbor who saved his friend by using the Heimlich maneuver. Altruda was sitting in the cafeteria having lunch when his best friend began choking on a piece of apple. Without hesitation, Altruda jumped up and performed the Heimlich maneuver, which dislodged the food that was preventing his friend from breathing.

Altruda is thankful his parents took the time to teach him the Heimlich maneuver, which saved his best friend's life.

Robert Babcock, an employee at Hyundai America Technical Center in Superior Township, saved a co-worker with an AED and CPR. When his co-worker went into cardiac arrest, Babcock started CPR and delivered an AED shock that resuscitated his co-worker.

When HVA paramedics arrived, Babcock gave them a clear, concise report about what had happened and accompanied the patient to the hospital where he provided additional information to the ER staff.

Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. was also honored with the HVA Heart Safe Award at the event for creating a heart safe environment for their employees by having an AED on hand in all buildings, as well as CPR/AED trained responders onsite who regularly practice cardiac emergency response. Robert Babcock accepted the award on behalf of the management team at Hyundai America Technical Center.

HVA holds the event during EMS Week, which celebrates Emergency Medical Services, its practitioners and the important work they do responding to medical emergencies.