Hero Award Spotlight: Amy Gnojek
Amy Gnojek was recently Co-CEO/CFO for Eagle County Paramedic Services in Edwards, Colorado.*
- In March 2020 Vail Resorts shut down its North American ski resorts for the season six weeks early, an unprecedented move that effectively emptied Eagle County (EC) (home to both Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains) of tourists. Prepping for the pandemic included securing PPE; revising job descriptions to ensure that all needs were being covered and creating a "surge crew." The “surge crew,” which Gnojek spearheaded as CFO to ensure adequate funding, tapped members of ski patrol to create a pool of part-time employees to be on-call in case of an outbreak of COVID among employees who were on the front lines. However, due to increased PPE and agency-wide health and safety guidelines and measures–developed by Gnojek and the Incident Command team that served for two years during the pandemic–they made it through this surge without a single employee testing positive for COVID.
- In 2020, EC Paramedics deployed to two wildfires and stood by for another for a total of eleven weeks of deployment. These deployments generated more than $175K in revenue for the District, provided invaluable training for staff, and created critical partnerships with fellow responders to keep the communities safe. In 2021, nine of their wildland fire EMS team deployed to three fires–including the Sylvan Fire in Eagle County–for forty-one days, generating more than $96K in revenue. Gnojek was integral not only in championing the formation of this team but also creating, managing, and overseeing the financial aspects of this new team.
- Due to Gnojek’s leadership and fiscal responsibility, EC Paramedics not only made it through the first peak of the pandemic, but also through the second wave that hit in fall. Though they operated at a reduced budget in 2020 due to a loss of revenue, EC Paramedics did not reduce staff nor cut salaries or benefits. In 2021, though they again operated with a reduced budget, benefits were retained and staff received a raise and a bonus.
- With Gnojek serving as co-CEO and CFO, they created new programs to benefit the community. She helped develop and secure funding for the co-responder program in EC which pairs Community Paramedics with mental health professionals from the Hope Center to respond with law enforcement officers to crisis calls.
*As of the date of this award, Amy has since left her role with Eagle County Paramedic Services and continues to work in the industry consulting and providing support for EMS, Healthcare, and Local Governments.