The accident met the criteria of a worse case scenario when a bus full of holiday travelers went off a 40-foot embankment north of Mexican Hat in January. Nearly every one of the 50 passengers on the bus was thrown from the vehicle. Nine passengers were killed.
The accident occurred on a Sunday evening in an area with no cell phone coverage. It was several hours before all of the injured passengers were transported to area hospitals.
It required the coordinated effort of dozens of workers and the creativity of an overwhelmed EMS community.
The EMS Week committee reviewed a number of incident in Utah during the past year, including the response to the Crandall Canyon mining disaster in August, 2007.
The EMS Week Awards Ceremony is presented annually to honor persons who are exceptional examples in the field of emergency medical services. San Juan County EMS were chosen to be honored because of their exceptional performance.
Officials said that the local EMS efforts have made a difference and have been felt by the community.