During a heavy rainstorm, Chris DiMarco climbed into a UTV to help a hiker with multiple broken leg bones on the Appalachian Trail, Warwick Fire Chief Michael Contaxis recalled. Before the ambulance arrived, DiMarco had found him, “packaged” him, set up the rope system and put him in a Stokes rescue basket.
But in addition to his skill with the physical process, Contaxis noted, is DiMarco’s capacity to calm people down.
“He’s one of the best at that,” said Contaxis. “The hike was walking from Georgia to Maine, and Chris said, ‘We’ll make sure you get out of the woods and get home.’”
DiMarco, a Warwick firefighter, WFD Safety Officer, Mobile Life Support Services EMT and Warwick Police Department dispatcher, recently received the Orange County Medical Services 2021 Basic Life Support Provider of the Year Award.
“He cares deeply about people and medicine,” said Contaxis. “And he knows what he’s doing.”
Nancy Peifer, who nominated DiMarco for the award, elaborated, noting his warmth and gregariousness and his 20-some years of service, often beyond the call of duty, visiting and staying in touch with patients he encountered on an ambulance.
“Chris made weekly visits to an elderly woman in Monroe to check on her well being and to watch The Price Is Right,” wrote Peifer. “He would also informally assess her and her situation each week as he shared a cup of coffee with her. The woman looked forward to his visits and companionship.”
Peifer also mentioned “a physically impaired gentleman in Monroe,” who trusted DiMarco and called him for reassurance when an ambulance with other volunteers came for him
“Both of these patients have long since passed away, but Chris enriched their lives,” Peifer wrote. “He also cast the Monroe Volunteer Ambulance Corps in a glowing light as he was caring for these people while wearing our uniform.”
Chris made weekly visits to an elderly woman in Monroe to check on her well being and to watch The Price Is Right. He would also informally assess her and her situation each week as he shared a cup of coffee with her. - Nancy Peifer