Dr. Stevan Vuckovic shortly after receiving the state EMS medical director of the year award at the Indiana Emergency Response Conference in Indianapolis.
Hear the Region News Team's interview with Stevan Vuckovic here at our website at News Audio on Demand
CROWN POINT | Emergency medical service is the lifeblood of Stevan Vuckovic, D.O.
Besides serving for 18 years as an Emergency Department physician at Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, Vuckovic has excelled for 15 years as medical director of the hospital’s Emergency Medical Services Training Academy – so much that he recently was honored as the state’s EMS medical director of the year. He received the award during an annual Indiana Fire Chiefs Association-Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Emergency Response Conference in Indianapolis.
Dr. Stevan Vuckovic, right, is shown with his Indiana EMS medical director of the year award and Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point EMS director Rob Dowling, outside their office.
“My name may be on the award, but it is not about me. It is about all the people behind the scenes who made it possible. It is a testament to how robust our EMS program is and about our relationship with the pre-hospital providers who put it on the line every day to make sure our communities are taken care of.”
The academy trains emergency responders from 26 area communities. Since 2012, it has been under the direction of Rob Dowling, hospital director of emergency medical services; who Vuckovic credits with doing “an unbelievable job and taking the department to a new level.”
He also credits Daniel Netluch, M.D., Dowling’s supervisor and the hospital’s chief of emergency medicine, for providing the tools and leadership for the academy to advance.
“He has given us unbelievable leeway to develop pre-hospital protocols – he knows what it takes and realizes it’s also about the people who answer the emergency calls every day.”
Vuckovic, 50, of St. John, who is married and has four children, said he was bitten by the desire to help people in distress while in high school, when he served as a lifeguard and as a volunteer in a hospital emergency department in Illinois.
“The epiphany came when I was in the high school band. We were rehearsing for a musical and the band director decided to fire off a blank as a sound effect. He didn’t know the blank contained paper wadding and so wounded his hand trying to shield the shot. While everyone else was running away, I ran toward him and applied first-aid (learned as a lifeguard), until the paramedics came.”
Vuckovic finds the most satisfaction in seeing people, especially younger ones, survive deadly situations.
“Things like pulling drowning kids out of a lake, or out of a car wrapped around a tree – and then later watching them walk out of the hospital. Those are most rewarding, as has been my entire career. I want to take care of sick people and also have an extraordinary dedication to the responders in the field, because I used to be one.”
Vuckovic said he emulates the leadership style of his mentor, Bernie Heilicser, D.O., emergency medical services director at Ingalls Hospital in Harvey, Ill., who Vuckovic met while a paramedic.
“He taught me to be approachable, and the importance of fostering a good working relationship with the hospital staff and the emergency personnel. He is a terrific human being and I strive to follow his example.”
Dowling said no one deserves the honor more than Vuckovic.
“It’s my privilege to share an office with someone of his caliber. I appreciate the amount of patience and insight he provides to our program.”
Added Netluch, "I can't think of anyone more deserving of this prestigious award. Dr. Vuckovic got his start in medicine as a paramedic and has always had great passion for EMS. He is always trying to advance our nationally accredited EMS Academy and keep us on the forefront of quality and technology. I am extremely proud and thankful that Dr. Vuckovic is part of our emergency medicine program. Our community is a safer place."
About the award
The Indiana Emergency Response Conference awards program was created in conjunction with the former Indiana Emergency Medical Services Conference Awards Program and the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association Awards Program. The IERC program was established to recognize outstanding achievements and to honor those in Indiana’s public safety organizations whose accomplishments rise above the day-to-day in excellence, training, education and safety. – Source: Indiana Emergency Response Conference website
[News Release/Bill Bero, Franciscan Alliance]
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If you think you can run faster than the law find out for sure at the first ever "Outrun the Police 5K Run and Fun Walk" Sunday, Sept. 15th, in Lowell, sponsored by the Lowell Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 186. Lowell Police Cpl. Robert Hornickel, FOP presidents says " basically there is going to be active duty officers out there running the race and anybody who can beat the fastest cop will get a metal." Cpl. Hornickel says, "it's basically a fundraiser to financially get the FOP's holiday toy drive started as well as putting money toward an FOP Scholarship every year for a Lowell High School student or two."
He says participants can preregister online anytime with preregistered runners receiving a T-shirt, while supplies last. The preregistration fee is $25 and $35 day of the race.
Registration is at 7a.m. with the walk begining at 8a.m. at Lowell High School located 2051 E. Commercial Avenue in Lowell.
Participants may register at: http://www.asfrunning.com/#!outrun-the-police/cruk
La Porte, IN – Certified child passenger safety technicians are offering a free clinic to help parents determine if child car and/or booster seats are properly installed in their vehicles. This service will be offered at Al’s Supermarket 1340 SR 2W in La Porte on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. IU Health is conducting this event.
In Indiana, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for kids between the ages of eight and 15. The main goal is to make sure every parent or caregiver has their child’s car seat or booster seat properly installed.
For older children, child passenger seat technicians can check the safety belt fit to ensure it properly protects them in case of a crash. Also, children under 13 should ride in the back seat of a vehicle for enhanced safety.
The evaluation takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. This program is in conjunction with the National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21, 2013).
The Automotive Safety Program has technicians available at more than 120 year-round child safety seat fitting stations across Indiana. Visit childseat.in.gov for a list of locations and a toll-free phone number to speak with experts about the proper installation of child safety seats.
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The Duneland Chamber of Commerce will be holding Chesterton’s European Market this Saturday, September 14 and next Saturday, September 21. The Wizard of Oz Festival, which will not be held this year, has traditionally occupied Chesterton the third weekend in September, though some state-wide publications have listed the event as occurring this coming Saturday, September 14. Chamber staff anticipate more than a few visitors coming to town with the expectation of experiencing the Oz Festival.
“The Duneland Business Initiative Group did an excellent job of getting the word out about the cancellation of the Oz Fest,” says Heather Ennis, the Chamber’s executive director. “DBIG has been an incredible partner to this community over the years, and we fully support their decision to step away from hosting this festival. We elected to host the European Market on Oz Festival weekend, so that Chesterton would still maintain a festive, tourist-attracting atmosphere. We fully anticipate that there will be folks coming to town expecting the Oz Fest, but in hosting the Market, we plan to do everything we can to make their experiences of our town good ones.”
The Duneland Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst organization committed to ensuring that its member communities are vibrant places to live, work and play. Through service to the towns of Beverly Shores, Burns Harbor, Chesterton, Dune Acres and Porter, the Chamber provides a unified voice for robust community-building events, meaningful educational programming and smart economic development in the Duneland area. For more information, please visit www.dunelandchamber.org.
Sgt. Ogden says a rescue diver arrived within a few minutes after being called, who broke the vehicle's window and pull the woman from the vehicle, who was transported to the hospital. At last check, her condition is unknown. Sgt. Ogden says the rescue diver, Hobart Police Corp. Mark Grissom, was injured in the process, suffering a laceration to his hand, and no one else is believed to have been in the vehicle with the woman, whose name and condition have not yet been released.
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Police in Portage are investigating a fatal crash involving a pedestrian. Police report at approximately 10pm Tuesday, officers were dispatched to the 58-hundred block of Central Avenue where they learned a 48 year old man was struck by an eastbound vehicle while crossing the street to retrieve his dog from a neighbors residence. Police say after being struck, the man's body landed in the westbound lane where it was struck again by a westbound vehicle. The man, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was airlifted from the scene to an Illinois hospital were he died from his injuries shortly after arriving. Authorities report both drivers involved tested negative for alcohol and an investigation continues.
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Abraham says once the alarms were reactivated and the “all-clear” was given, students and staff were able to return to the building.
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