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25 March 2010 08:19:34 PM

 

Michael J. Latta EMS Scholarship 

Last Call - 26 April 2007

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Michael J. Latta was an EMT student under the StarFire EMS umbrella in a course conducted at Northern Essex Community College in 2006.  Once certified, he joined the StarFire EMS program staff as a skill lab instructor aide.  Mike began working for Patriot Ambulance in Lawrence, MA, at the same time.  His energy, enthusiasm, and excellence made him stand out among his peers.  His leadership drive and focus marked him as a young man with great potential.  He is and will be sorely missed.

While transporting a patient to the hospital who was in cardiac arrest and was being cared for by a paramedic and Mike's partner, Mike, himself, suffered a cardiac arrest.  The ambulance he was driving veered off the road and struck a home/garage.  The paramedic on-board and Mike's partner were both injured.  Their patient, already in cardiac arrest, unfortunately did not survive.  Despite valiant efforts by the paramedics who transported Mike and by the medical staff in the emergency department, Mike succumbed, at the age of 21, to cardiac arrest.

Mike was an energetic, enthusiastic EMT who took great delight in sharing his knowledge with others.  He took even greater delight in helping others learn and especially in seeing students finally understand a concept they had been working on!  (continued after pictures)

 

Mike Latta, EMT

Demonstrating BVM Use

Muddy Angels Logo

Worn by EMS Bike Ride Participants 2007

Tree of Life

Wall of Honorees 2007

 

Mike's Memorial Leaf

 

Salute Recognizing All Honorees 2007

 

 

In the days prior to his death, Mike had been preparing applications for paramedic certification courses.  Without doubt, Mike's energy, enthusiasm, and desire to excel would have stood him in good stead both as a paramedic student and as a working paramedic.  He was mature, kind, compassionate, and fun-loving!  During EMS week in May 2007, the Office of Emergency Medical Services in Massachusetts recognized Mike's energy and commitment to advancing his education.  They presented Mike's family with his honorary posthumous paramedic certification, only the third such presentation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Exchange Club of Lawrence presented a posthumous EMT of the Year Award to Mike's family in 2007.  In 2008, they renamed the award as the Michael J. Latta EMT of the Year Award.

In 2008, an oak leaf bearing Mike's name was added to the National EMS Memorial Tree of Life.  This national Memorial recognizes deaths of EMS personnel that occur in the line of duty.  Oak leaves with the names of that year's honorees are added in a solemn ceremony that occurs during National EMS Week each year.

The Latta family has established a paramedic education scholarship in Mike's memory.  EMTs who are seeking certification as paramedics are eligible to apply.  The scholarship monies can be used to cover expenses associated with a paramedic program.  Currently, scholarship fund awards will likely cover some/all of a program's textbook fees.  In the future, with fund raising activities on-going, the Michael J. Latta EMS Scholarship Foundation hopes to be able to offer scholarships that will cover all of the costs of an EMT-Paramedic education program.  http://emsscholarship.com/.