The annual Maine EMS Awards were handed out Monday afternoon in Augusta.
The ceremony honors the men and women who have died in the line of duty, as well as the people who have done exceptional work.
The newest award at the 2019 ceremony was the Distinguished Service Award. The award was given to Evan Sisley, a paramedic from Houston, Texas, who cared for George H.W. Bush for five years prior to the former president’s death.
Sisley said that he will always remember Bush as a great life mentor, saying he spoke highly of the importance of kindness.
“Things like writing letters, telling people thank you, things that are lost in our generation,” Sisley said.
He said that during his time with the elder Bush, he got engaged and married. He said that he hopes to model his marriage after George and Barbara Bush’s.
“The majority of their conversations just happened through unspoken moments, and to be able to see how that can be done, and have that successful of a relationship at that point of life … It’s unbelievable,” Sisley said.
Sisley was there with George Bush when he said goodbye to Barbara Bush, and he was in Washington, D.C., to say goodbye to the former president after he died last fall. He said that Maine’s medical community is very thankful to the Bush family.
“We never would have been able to provide the same level of care if it wasn’t to the Bushes who embraced health care to the level of which they did. They always saw themselves as representing what you can do through actions,” Sisley said.
Sisley will be studying at Georgetown University in the fall to become a doctor. He said that Bush referred to that as a “great resume builder.”
“At first I didn’t know what he meant by that,” Sisley said. “But he was saying that no matter what you do, keep on looking on and moving forward in life.”
The ceremony lasted less than an hour.
Related: The nation pays its last respects at George H.W. Bush’s funeral