Sam Stone wins Dr. John B. O’Neal , III EMS Pioneer Award

March 14, 2019

Sam Stone, Lanier Tech’s first Paramedicine Director, named winner of 2019 Georgia EMS Association Dr. John B. O’Neal, III EMS Pioneer Award

Sam Stone, Lanier Tech’s first Paramedicine Director, was named the winner of the prestigious 2019 Georgia EMS Association Dr. John B. O’Neal, III EMS Pioneer Award. Stone’s award was announced during the 2019 EMS Day at the Capitol. Members of both the House of Representatives and Senate attended, and members of the 2019 EMS Day at the Capitol had an opportunity to observe the legislative process. The Georgia EMS Association is dedicated to helping EMTs and Paramedics who work in the State of Georgia.

The Dr. John B. O’Neal, III EMS Pioneer Award is given to people who meet very specific criteria that helped to create the modern EMS services that have helped many Georgians over the years. To be nominated for the award an individual must have: 1. Participated in EMS in the late 1970s and early 1980s 2. Participated in creating the foundation of the modern EMS service provision for the State of Georgia 3. Participated in education, and creating the curriculum for paramedics to follow to obtain license and certification 4. Worked an entire career of 30 or more years in the field of EMS, ranging from patient care to leadership and education 5. Had an impactful, profound, and remarkable effect on the field of EMS in the State of Georgia.

While teaching high-school during the day, Stone began his career in 1977 as a night and weekend EMT for Walton County EMS. “Sam”, as he called by everyone which attests to his humility, started leading Lanier Tech’s new EMS Program in 1983. Lanier Technical College’s first Paramedicine class in 1984 received their credentials under his leadership and instruction. He is a widely known Paramedicine professional and educator, and he has trained countless EMS professionals in his 40 years of service as an educator. It was estimated at the 2018 STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction) Summit, that Sam through educating thousands of EMS clinicians, has reached over 30 million patients in his career to date. Samuel L. Stone III’s continuing legacy to Georgians is immeasurable.

Lanier Technical College’s President, Dr. Ray Perren, noted “I can think of no one more deserving of this award. Sam Stone developed the EMT/Paramedic training program at Lanier Tech into one of the finest in the nation. This program serves as a model for other technical colleges in our state. Sam’s pioneering work will continue to influence Paramedicine Programs for years to come.”

Brandon Carey, one of Stone’s former students, is an experienced EMS professional and Lead Instructor at Lanier Tech’s Paramedicine Program. Carey summed up Sam’s impact to a new class of EMS working pros in this way:

“None of us would be who, or where we are without the efforts and mentorship of Sam L. Stone, and the doors he opened for our profession by cultivating relationships with the clinical arena. Though it may be packaged in different ways for each person, we have all been improved by Sam. Whether it was motivation, encouragement, aggravation, accountability, or challenge, Sam pushed us. Even if you did attend the EMT or Paramedic program at LTC, one of your supervisors, mentors, ER physicians, or State EMS Directors did. Whether you know it or not, Sam has had an impact on your life.”

Eron Sunshine, Program Director of the Paramedicine Program added, “A simple thank you to Sam Stone is not enough for Sam’s tireless efforts in creating the foundation of EMS education in the state of Georgia. We are part of his legacy, and we will continue to build on that great legacy.”

Stone retired from Lanier Technical College in 2017; well, sort of. Throughout the week, he is still in Lanier Tech’s Paramedicine labs and classrooms serving as a Part-Time EMS Special Assistant and Advisor for the Division of Allied Health Services. Sam is still helping and lecturing to students, instructors, and professionals, and Georgia is better for it.


Lanier Technical College has a 100 percent job placement rate five out six years in a row with 100 percent in-field placement in 2018. The College offers over 50 programs of study in some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including healthcare, energy, business and industry, and public or private service. Lanier Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

“Legends like Sam are once in a lifetime. As you climb the ranks and gain responsibilities, as subordinates and lead people, throughout your career in the coming years, you’ll be able to tell others that you learned from him. You will be able to pass on Sam Stone’s remarkable legacy. Make sure you make it count.”

Photo of Governor Brian Kemp congratulating Stone.

Photo of Sam Stone working with EMS students in Lanier Technical College's new Hall Campus Paramedicine Lab.

Photo of Dr. Gary Kempler and Sam Stone discussing EMS protocols in the Paramedicine Lab.

Photo of Sam Stone accepting the 2019 Georgia EMS Association. Dr. John B. O'Neal, III EMS Pioneer Award during the ceremony.

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