Firefighter/Paramedic Kevin O'Hara of Stony Brook’s Emergency Management Department has received the prestigious Nassau County and New York State EMS leadership award.

A member of the North Merrick Fire Department (NMFD), Kevin was selected by the New York State EMS awards committee from regional nominees throughout the state. He has been a volunteer firefighter/paramedic in Nassau County over 40 years. At Stony Brook, he serves as Assistant Regional Resource Center Coordinator, utilizing his emergency management skills in ensuring the hospital is well prepared to handle all-hazard emergencies and catastrophic situations.

Kevin has served a leading role in EMS development within the North Merrick Fire Department and in Nassau County. He is a state-certified EMS instructor and regional instructor faculty and has been instrumental in developing/maintaining the department’s EMS programs. As Deputy Chief for the Nassau County EMS Academy, he provides supervision, leadership and guidance to the basic and advanced NYS instructors who train all the county’s fire and EMS agencies.

Since 2006, Kevin has been the lead instructor for the Robbie Levine Foundation. The foundation was created by the parents of Robbie Levine, a nine-year-old Merrick resident, who died from a cardiac arrest while playing little league. Kevin accepted the foundation’s challenge and assumed responsibility for conducting CPR training, enabling Robbie’s parents to establish a nationally recognized foundation aimed at educating the public on cardiac arrest procedures.

Kevin served as the lead training coordinator, selflessly volunteered his time to form a partnership between the foundation and the North Merrick Fire Department. Over the past seven years, he has personally trained more than 2,500 sports coaches and county/community residents in CPR and AED. These trained individuals have documented four saved lives.

Kevin has also trained numerous schoolteachers throughout Nassau County to be certified CPR/AED instructors. These schools now have adopted CPR/AED training as part of their health programs, enabling students to potentially become future lifesavers. Thus, through Kevin's innovation, management skills and commitment, a family's goals were taken from concept to reality.

Kevin's lifelong commitment to the fire and EMS community has exemplified his longevity, innovation and executive leadership and management skills. As a provider, leader and educator he has a very positive impact on our county and communities pre-hospital providers. He has taught thousands of advanced technicians over the past 40 years, enabling Nassau County's ambulances services to provide advanced level of care to its residents.

Throughout his career, Kevin has always maintained EMS leadership roles. He has served as an elected Fire Commissioner for two Nassau County fire districts and has always ensured that his agencies were provided with state-of-the-art EMS equipment and provided the highest level of care to its residents. He serves on numerous EMS professional committees, including the American Medical Association’s National Disaster Life Support Foundation and Nassau County Regional Emergency Medical Services Council.