MOUNT DESERT — Margaret Houghton, a paramedic with the Mount Desert Fire Department since April and, before that, paramedic and crew chief for the Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service, will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Emergency Medical Services Bureau of the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The award will be presented next Wednesday, June 29, in Ellsworth.
Lifetime achievement awards are conferred upon those who have been extensively involved in EMS in Maine for at least 10 years and have “consistently performed above and beyond expectations in system development, patient care, service involvement and/or community involvement.”
Houghton co-founded the Islesford Fire and Rescue Service in 2004 and joined the Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service in 2006.
Basil Mahaney, Bar Harbor firefighter and paramedic and former service chief of the Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service, said of Houghton, “She started as a basic EMT and was able to work her way through to becoming a paramedic. She went through paramedic school, which is a huge undertaking for somebody who is not (working in EMS) full time.
“From the start, Margaret has been one of the top responders as far as call volume. In the last 10 years, she has gone on the most calls by far; she’ll go night, day and holidays. She’s really done a lot for the community.”
The Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service operated for 84 years until last month, when it turned over EMS responsibilities to the Mount Desert Fire Department because it was having difficulty attracting enough volunteers.
“If we hadn’t had somebody like Margaret, we would have had to consolidate or do something different a long time ago,” Mahaney said. “Her going on as many calls is she did helped us to keep going. The town is very lucky to have her.”
Mahaney was one of three recipients of the Maine EMS Excellence Award in 2019.