FLORENCE — Florence Fire and American Medical Response ambulance personnel received special recognition at Monday’s Town Council meeting for outstanding patient care service for their assistance to a mother experiencing a difficult delivery.

On June 11, a Florence Fire Department truck and an AMR unit responded to the call and prepared to transport the patient to Banner Ironwood Medical Center. When AMR paramedic Patrick Paskiewicz saw the delivery would be difficult, he requested additional assistance from Florence Fire engineer/paramedic Michael Harrison, who came aboard the ambulance.

The child was delivered in the ambulance but did not show signs of life. Paramedics used the skills, in Harrison’s words, they “hope to never have to use,” Interim Fire Chief Jim Walter told the council. Paramedics worked to save the newborn while still caring for the mother.

Upon arrival at the hospital, they turned over a stable mother and a newborn who had begun breathing on his own, Walter said. The council recognized Paskiewicz, Harrison, Florence firefighter/EMT Kristofer Torres and AMR EMT Dawn Burton.

In other business Monday:

  • Police Chief Bruce Walls announced the Police Department has achieved accreditation through the Arizona Law Enforcement Accreditation Program. The accreditation process consists of 30 standards with 174 subsections. Each standard must be reviewed and the agency must show proof of compliance. The department was granted accreditation on July 13.
  • Councilman Johnie Mendoza urged town staff to bring a downtown commercial rehabilitation grant back to the council for action at the next regular meeting. He said if the town prolongs discussion too long, it will lose the support of the business community.
  • Town Manager Brent Billingsley announced that Florence Community Library has received a grant of $23,637 in American Rescue Funds to establish a “learning hub” at the library; the town’s “Before the Bell” and “After the Bell” recreation programs for school-age children have begun; and 520 people are now members of the Fitness Center.
  • Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Roger Biede and Leslie Nolan from Local First Arizona presented the chamber’s new tourism logo. The chamber will also promote the town with the tagline, “It’s a western state of mind.” The phrase is derived from a quote by silent film star cowboy and frequent Florence visitor Tom Mix, who once described the Old West as “a state of mind.”
  • The council expressed its support for a future business park at State Route 287 and the future north-south freeway. The town will eventually seek a target industry analysis and market study, followed by a utility study and design.
  • Florence Economic Development Director Elan Vallender was recognized for earning his Certified Economic Developer certificate, a national designation that denotes a mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.