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Barrow emergency responders highlight one of their own on National EMS Week

Barrow County Emergency Services Lt. Mike Barnes, his wife Kristi Barnes and their children, Jackson (at right) and Brooklynn.

Barrow County Emergency Services Lt. Mike Barnes, his wife Kristi Barnes and their children, Jackson (at right) and Brooklynn.

WINDER -- During National EMS Week, which concludes today, Barrow County Emergency Services highlighted an all-star in their ranks who they say exemplifies the selfless spirit of the job.

In the eyes of officials, this year's national theme -- "EMS: More than A Job. A Calling." -- applies to Lt. Michael Barnes, the department's Rookie of the Year in 2004. Barnes was named a Paramedic of the Year finalist this year by the Georgia Association of Emergency Medical Services. He was promoted to lieutenant last year.

"(Barnes) continues to learn and train every day to better serve the citizens of Barrow County," department spokesman Lt. Scott Dakin said in a release. "He has become an instructor in many disciplines and has even developed training classes for other (department) members."

The purpose of EMS week is to both highlight the value of emergency medical services and the dedication of men and women who work in the field. Nationally, more than 36 million patients were transported by EMS in 2011, Dakin said.

"I can proudly say that we as a department have some of the best in the EMS field," said Chief Dennis J. Merrifield. "They train and work hard to be better prepared when a citizen is experiencing a medical emergency."

Since coming aboard the department, Barnes became one of the first two members to join the Barrow County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team, where he's worked to create guidelines and protocols for the team and the position of SWAT Medic, Dakin said.

Barnes also serves as a member of the Barrow County Emergency Services Honor Guard and is the drill instructor for the team. Barnes and his wife, Kristi, have two children Jackson, 5, and Brooklynn, 8 months.

"(Barnes) is just one of the many dedicated personnel that work here at Barrow County Emergency Services," said Merrifield. "As we mark the National EMS Week, he is a true example of this year's theme, and we're very happy to have him working with us."