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Barbara Vaning Receives Major Community Service Award

Posted December 21, 2023

Skillman resident Barbara Vaning originally became an EMS volunteer because, when she was 12 years old, she lost her mother. “I wanted to do anything I could to help another child from going through what I did,” she says. “It is great to know something you did helped someone during the worst time of their lives.”

Barbara Vaning

Vaning earned a major award at the National Conference on EMS on November 3 in Atlantic City. The EMS Community Service Award is voted on by members of the public to recognize a person or program that has made a commitment to exceptional community outreach in EMS. Vaning has been organizing and teaching courses for Penn Medicine Princeton Health for almost 20 years—benefiting young and old alike.

She says about her work, “I love meeting new people and helping them in any way I can. We trained a group of high school students and one of them ended up saving his father’s life when he went into cardiac arrest. A number of the cadets I helped to train have become physicians. One is in charge of multiple agencies in South Jersey.”

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In addition to her work with Penn Medicine, Vaning has been involved with EMS squads since she was 17. She joined Montgomery EMS in 2000. “I also volunteered for Kendall Park FAS, Squires First Aid, Old Bridge Red & White, East Windsor District 1 Rescue Squad, and Mountainside Rescue.”

She is the training center coordinator for the Mercer County Fire Academy/Mercer County Community College/Penn Medicine EMT program. She is also a mental health first aid instructor for adults, fire and EMS, youth and soon to be teen, AHA CPR instructor, 5 Minutes to Help Instructor for those reversed with Narcan, and Stop the Bleed. “I love teaching,” she surmises.


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