AMR paramedic’s actions during Mudbug Festival shooting earns national honors

Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 6:41 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Jackson paramedic, who helped save the lives of mass shooting victims, is being honored nationally.

The Mudbug Festival in 2022 will forever be etched in the minds of the shooting victims, and its survivors can thank in part a paramedic with American Medical Response.

“It was a very stressful situation, but we dealt with it accordingly,” said Preston Crotwell.

The AMR paramedic is talking about the chaos and carnage at the 2022 Mudbug Festival. He was at the fairgrounds when the shooting started.

“Initially we were stopping patients from bleeding out that were shot,” said Crotwell. “One person was unfortunately deceased when we got there. Five other people had been shot. We had to perform patient care and life-saving measures for them.”

Those measures earned him the Stars of Life Award, the most prestigious award for frontline Emergency Medical Service (EMS) caregivers in the U.S. He is one of 100 honored by the American Ambulance Association for extraordinary acts of service for their patients.

“I’d like to thank everybody that nominated me, my co-workers, my teachers that trained me, my co-workers at the fire department that trained me,” said the paramedic who shared credit with co-workers.

The 30-year-old works full-time as a firefighter-paramedic at the Ridgeland Fire Department in Madison County and part-time with AMR in Hinds County.

“Getting an award like this shows that his hard work isn’t going unnoticed,” said Ridgeland Fire Department Deputy Chief James Stokes.

A firefighter for five years, he is described as a first-rate first responder.

“He’s always working to make everybody else around him better. I’ve watched him grow in the last five years,” said Stokes. “He’s doing a great job. I think he’s gonna be a leader for us for a long time.”

Crotwell leaves Sunday for Washington D.C. to accept his award, tour the city, and meet our congressional leadership.

“If you like to help people out, if you like a challenge, it’s very challenging. You know, every day is different. It isn’t mundane,” added Crotwell. There’s excitement involved, and it’s very rewarding to help make a change, a positive change in people’s lives.”

The St. Joseph Catholic School graduate was also in the U.S. Marine Corps. Of more than one million certified EMS caregivers nationwide, the association names only about 100 each year as new Stars of Life.

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