At a recent holiday membership meeting held at Catering To You, the Florissant Rotary Club presented its first Paul Harris Fellows “Firefighter of the Year Award” to Capt. Veronica Dolan, a firefighter/paramedic of the Hazelwood Fire Department. Board members approved this award program as a way of recognizing outstanding first responders in the North County area.
“It is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our local first responders for laying their lives on the line for us on a daily basis,” Florissant Rotary Club president Dr. Chandra Kaup said. “We are recognizing all our local firefighters through this one person. First responders are our heroes.”
Capt. Dolan has been with the Hazelwood Fire Department as a full-time firefighter/paramedic since 2004. In Sept. 2016, she was promoted as Captain.
Capt. Dolan has always been a reliable firefighter/paramedic whenever she’s been called into action. She has demonstrated an outstanding work ethic and an unwavering positive attitude toward fellow firefighters and citizens in the community.
In an effort to improve the health and well-being of all community members, Capt. Dolan has made the City of Hazelwood’s fire service agency the first in North County to launch a NOCO Cares Program for patients struggling with substance abuse.
When the Hazelwood Fire Department runs an overdose call, paramedics in the ambulance tell the patient and/or family about the availability of this program and provide them with a folder containing brochures on opioid treatment sites, signs of opioid overdose, tips for prevention and a Narcotics Anonymous meeting directory. If patients sign up for the program, Capt. Dolan is able to expedite the admission process into a treatment facility instead of waiting weeks for an assessment or bed. She provides this service free of charge. Additionally, patients receive a red bag containing a rescue kit with 4-mg doses of NARCAN nasal spray.
Capt. Dolan’s efforts, energy and expertise have increased the department’s overall capabilities, exemplifying selflessness and a caring image that the public associates with members of the fire service profession.