June 14, 2024 8:05 pm

☼ Prescott eNews ☼


Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority Engineer/Paramedic Honored as Emergency Medical Care Technician of the Year

Photo: L-R: Doug Niemynski, CAFMA EMS Chief, and Russell Smith, CAFMA Engineer/Paramedic and recipient of the Emergency Medical Care Technician of the Year – Northern Region award

The Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (CAFMA) is proud to announce that Engineer/Paramedic Russell Smith has been awarded the prestigious Emergency Medical Care Technician (EMCT) of the Year award for the Northern Region of Arizona. This esteemed award, presented by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and Northern Arizona Emergency Medical Services Council (NAEMS), is in recognition of Engineer Smith’s commitment and dedication to rendering emergency medical care and service to Arizona’s residents and visitors. The Northern Region consists of four counties: Yavapai, Coconino, Navajo, and Apache.

Engineer Smith has consistently demonstrated a remarkable command of emergency medical services and an unparalleled commitment to his profession and community throughout his career. His leadership on and off duty have been pivotal in advancing CAFMA’s mission to deliver high-quality medical care and emergency response services.

Key factors contributing to Engineer Smith’s selection for EMCT of the Year include:

  • Leadership: As a Training Officer, Engineer Smith is instrumental in training and mentoring new recruits, ensuring the next generation of firefighters are well- prepared to meet the challenges of the job. His expertise makes him a sought-after mentor for those aspiring to a career in the Fire Service. Additionally, as a member of the Central Arizona Honor Guard, he proudly represents CAFMA and its communities at events both locally and statewide
  • Community Service: Deeply committed to community outreach, Engineer Smith is involved in public health education, safety awareness campaigns, and volunteering at local events. Former Granville Elementary School students will remember him as ‘Fire Pal Russ’, a role in which he taught children about fire and life safety. He volunteers with the Firefighter Angel Foundation and he and his family never miss a chance to drive CAFMA’s parade fire trucks in community parades
  • Academic Achievements: Continually seeking to enhance his knowledge and skills, Smith has pursued advanced certifications and training, contributing to his reputation as a highly skilled and knowledgeable paramedic
  • Meritorious Service Awards: Engineer Smith has been recognized multiple times throughout his career for his bravery, quick thinking, and lifesaving actions in critical situations, including a recent incident where he helped save the life of one of his co- workers while off-duty. Exemplifying all that is expected of a CAFMA firefighter, he was recognized as the 2022 Prescott Elks Lodge # 330 CAFMA Firefighter of the Year

CAFMA Fire Chief Scott Freitag praised Engineer Smith, stating, “Russ’ dedication to his profession and his community is truly exemplary. He sets a high standard for all of us at CAFMA, and we are incredibly proud of his accomplishments and the recognition he has received. Thank you to ADHS and NAEMS for honoring Russ with this award and for their ongoing support of our mission.”

CAFMA EMS Chief Doug Niemynski added, “His passion not only saves lives, but also inspires those around him to strive for excellence. I am proud to have Russ out there serving our community, and as an instructor for CAFMA’s Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Life Support (PALS), and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes.”

Engineer Smith’s award is a testament to his hard work, compassion, and the positive impact he has made on countless lives. CAFMA celebrates his achievements and extends heartfelt congratulations to him and his family.



The Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (CAFMA) provides emergency services and all hazards response for 369 square miles of Yavapai County, Arizona, including the towns of Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, areas of Paulden, and outlying areas of Prescott.


One Response

  1. Despite CAFMA being the largest item on my property taxes, I know it’s a good investment. Each top physical – menially skilled recruit meets the intense training and the skills necessary in emergency situations.
    Yea, we see fire trucks at our grocery stores while on duty. The crew is buying their food for lunch an dinner for the day and will drop shopping if a call comes in.
    You may want to do a “ride along” and if possible spend the day with an on duty crew. I did and was proud to see the skills of each engineer, paramedic and fireman and the comradery they shared in their 24 hour day.

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