PEPPERELL -- Paramedic Ben Simmons is definitely someone you want around during a health emergency. He so good at his job that he won the first "EMS Stewards of Community" Award.

Simmons was one of 14 exceptional providers honored by Steward Health Care at a dinner in Quincy during the National Emergency Medical Service Week.

"He'll do anything," said Pepperell Fire Chief Toby Tyler. "He's a great patient advocate."

The paramedic was nominated by nurses at the hospital and selected by a five-member committee.

Simmons began with the Pepperell department in 2006 as an EMT. He was EMT of the year in 2007 and 2013.

He is now a firefighter and paramedic. His work goes beyond providing patient care.

Simmons wrote a grant that landed $13,981 from the Nashoba Valley Community Healthcare Fund for a Lucas2 Chest Compression System for his department. The equipment replaces manual chest compressions used during CPR.

Simmons rise from EMT to paramedic mirrors the increase in services his department provides.

Advanced Lifesaving Services began in 2011. In 2013, the service went full time, from 12 to 24 hours a day.

Simmons was chosen for the honor from a pool of nine other associated with the Nashoba Valley Medical Center, Tyler said.

"We're very, very lucky," Tyler said.

"EMS providers are unsung heroes on the front lines in the battle against illness and injury," said Salvatore Perla in a statement.


"We are immensely proud to unveil the 'EMS Stewards of the Community' to honor their hard work and commitment to quality care," said Perla, the president of Nashoba Valley Medical Center, who presented the award to Simmons.

Follow Anne O'Connor on Twitter @a1oconnor.