I can find a zillion references to people being bestowed this honor, but not a single thing on what one has to do in order to be qualified to be awarded one, what the procedure is for submitting someone for this award, or what the process is for Congress to get it approved (if any – it’s pretty strict for the Congressional Medal of Honor, but this seems much less “official,” as it were, so perhaps each Congressperson can just decide to bestow one and that’s all it takes?). There’s nothing about it on Wikipedia. Google has not been my friend in this regard. Even my Congresswoman’s COS says he’s never heard of it.
My boss sits on the Advisory Council for the Foundation Board of Directors of the L.A. Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor UCLA Medical Center (how’s that for a mouthful?). They are holding an event to honor several doctors for their contributions to the practice of medicine, one of whom is Dr. John Criley. . . On July 15, 1970 the first paramedic training program in California was adopted by Governor Ronald Reagan, —and California was the first state to adopt legislation permitting paramedics to provide advanced medical life support.
LA BioMed researcher Dr. John Michael Criley, was the driving force in the development of the concept of using firefighter personnel to provide a wide range of medical care services at the scene of an emergency. Under his leadership, six firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department began the first paramedic training class. On December 8, 1969, the first Mobile Intensive Care Unit, complete with radio telemetry, cardioscope, defribrillator, medications, and other equipment and supplies, and manned by two newly trained paramedics on each shift went into service.
Three weeks after Governor Reagan signed the law, the first curriculum for paramedics was launched. Dr. Criley’s concept became the accepted program with the county and grew to be a model for training paramedics all over the country.
They have enlisted our assistance in the hopes that Dr. Criley can be presented this award, but I am officially stumped.
There seems to be a very broad range of activities for which people have been awarded this thing. In 1946 Enrico Fermi received the U.S. Congressional Medal of Merit for his work in the field of nuclear energy and safety. Congressman Ehlers of Michigan seems to know what it is – he awards them to one outstanding senior from every high school in his district every year. Al Jolson even received one posthumously, for entertaining the troops during both World Wars and the Korean War.
I’d call Congressman Ehlers’ office myself, but I’m not one of his constituents, so I’m reluctant to bother his staff. Besides which, my boss won’t even allow me to press our Congresswoman’s COS because “we shouldn’t make him do our homework for us.” Ok, so how do I get the information I need about this award, then? Gah! Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.