By Anne Craig

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A veteran of the War in Iraq and AMR Paramedic Supervisor Mike Turcio has been selected as a 2017 Star of Life by the American Ambulance Association. Turcio is one of 100 recipients nationwide to receive the award which is considered the highest honor an emergency medical service professional can receive. It recognizes the dedication of ambulance services professional across the country.

The highest praise I could receive is recognition from my peers. I am honored they nominated me for Stars of Life,” said Michael Turcio. “It’s a real pleasure to represent American Medical Response, meet my senators and congressional representatives, and get to know some of my colleagues from across the country.”

Turcio is passionate about supporting and recognizing others who’ve served. Mike organized a ceremony last year to honor veterans working in his operation and designed a special challenge coin for veterans in Connecticut’s EMS industry. Mike also regularly leads efforts to create and send care packages to soldiers deployed overseas.

Mental health for first responders is another of Mike’s passions. Mike has been part of several panel discussions related to identification and treatment of first responder stress, and has organized team meetings with Yale’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team. Mike makes a point to check in with colleagues who’ve responded to critical incidents and to connect them the initial and ongoing support they need.

American Ambulance Association President Mark Postma notes, “Across our great nation, EMS professionals provide life-saving health care every day. This year’s Stars of Life recipients represent the very best of our profession, and we are proud of the positive impact they have made.”