In May 2016, Lisa Johnshoy was enjoying some time off when she witnessed a small airplane crash on takeoff.
Jumping into action, Johnshoy directed a friend to call 911 while she grabbed a fire extinguisher and jumped the fence to the crash site. Joined by bystanders, Johnshoy pulled a victim from the crash and started CPR while directing other people’s actions.
Despite her actions, none of the five crash victims survived.
This act of heroism and other contributions to the community prompted the American Medical Response, Johnshoy’s employer for 22 years, to nominate her for the Star of Life presented by the American Ambulance Association.
Johnshoy, an Emergency Medical Technician for AMR, is also a member of AMR’s disaster response team and Hawaii’s Kalawao Rescue Team. She volunteers with the Kauai Lifeguard Association and serves on the Kauai Paramedics Association board.
She was selected a 2017 Star of Life awardee, the highest honor an EMS worker can receive from the American Ambulance Association. Johnshoy is one of only 100 recipients nationwide to receive this honor.
“The highest praise one can receive is recognition from your peers,” Johnshoy said. “I am honored they nominated me for Stars of Life. But this is a team effort. I am delighted to represent my company, meet my senators and congessional representatives and get to know some of my collegues from across the country.”
Johnshoy will be joined by Christopher “Tippy” Lee, who in the past four years, helped start the Hawaii AMR Air Ambulance program, in Washington, D.C. June 9 through 12 for a special awards ceremony.
EMS Week is observed May 21 through 27.
An EMS system encompasses many agencies that provide a service to Kauai that most will never see, or notice, said Tito Villanueva, head of the Kauai AMR.
“Those who work in EMS are those who respond to medical emergencies through 9-1-1 activation, witnessed incidents, or other forms of activation,” Villanueva said. “If one does come into contact with these agencies, they know who they are and what they do.”