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Blackwood chosen to national advisory board

POSTED: May 28, 2014 12:02 a.m.

GAINESVILLE — Harris Blackwood, a Gainesville resident and director of the state Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, has been named to a national safety commission.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has appointed Blackwood, who also is a former Forsyth County News columnist, to the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council.

Blackwood’s appointment became effective April 21. He is the representative for the State of Georgia and currently serves on the Governors Highway Safety Association board of directors.

“I am honored by Secretary Foxx’s appointment, and I look forward to doing all I can to improve the delivery of emergency care in the U.S.,” said Blackwood in an email.

Administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Medical Services Advisory Council provides expert advice and recommendations to the Department of Transportation and its federal partners on key issues, including recruitment and retention of EMS personnel, quality assurance, data collection and EMS education.

Joe Schmider of Texas was named to the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services.

“The leadership and professional expertise of Mr. Blackwood and Mr. Schmider will help the department ensure that the nation’s emergency response services have the most up-to-date information to help save lives,” Foxx said in a statement. “The EMS programs at the Department of Transportation will be enhanced by the input and perspective of these two individuals and their colleagues.”

The appointments were announced last week as part of National Emergency Medical Services Week, May 18-24.

“Millions of motorists each year rely on the expertise, commitment, and compassion of EMS professionals,” said David Friedman, acting administrator of the highway safety administration.

“These well-trained first responders have contributed to our nation’s progress in reducing traffic deaths and injuries. We owe them an incredible amount of gratitude for their selfless work in responding to all medical emergencies.”

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