VanBeveren honored for his service
BY Jason Gabak
Jeff VanBeveren, executive director of SAVES, admits he is a humble person who does not seek attention of the spotlight.
But after a career working in emergency medical services, VanBeveren was recently recognized by the Central New York Regional Emergency Medical Services Council, Inc. for his years of service and commitment.
VanBeveren was presented with the Harriet C. Weber EMS Leadership Award.
The council covers Central New York including Onondaga, Cayuga, Oswego, Tompkins and Cortland counties.
“I was nominated by our medical director,” VanBeveren said. “The EMS council voted and selected me. It is a real honor.”
According to VanBeveren the award is a memorial award in honor of Weber who helped develop EMS systems and it is presented to those in the field who have demonstrated longevity, innovation, dedication and responsibility in executive leadership positions in emergency medical services.
For the past 12 years, VanBeveren has served with SAVES, but his career in EMS service stretches back 24 years.
VanBeveren said he had the same dream many young children have and it was this dream that would prove to help shape VanBeveren’s path in life.
“As a young boys I wanted to be a fireman,” VanBeveren said. “I think that is a dream we all have at one point. When I was 18 I joined the Marcellus Volunteer Fire Department.”
From this experience VanBeveren found his passion for emergency medical services.
“I was involved in the ambulance and EMS and I really enjoyed that,” VanBeveren said.
VanBeveren went on to earn his certification and worked for a number of Central New York services including Rural Metro and NAVAC.
When VanBeveren learned of an opening for a position as director of operations at SAVES he was interested in pursuing the opportunity and being closer to his native Marcellus after working in North Syracuse.
“I knew I wanted to be back in the western end of the county,” VanBeveren said. “When I came here in 2004 it was as director of operations but it has evolved and turned into the executive director position over the past 12 years. It has been a great experience.”
During his tenure SAVES has grown and evolved.
Perhaps the most obvious change is the move to SAVES current facilities in 2007.
But VanBeveren said this also reflects internal changes as SAVES has grown and become a well respected emergency medical service within the larger Central New York community.
“We’ve become a lot more visible in the community,” VanBeveren said. “We are very approachable and very involved in the community. I think this has helped us to become one a well respected organization.”
While in his role as executive director, VanBeveren has been at the forefront of SAVES’ growth and development, he attributes much of the success to other.
According to VanBeveren, a leader is only as good as all those who make that leadership possible.
“We have great people,” VanBeveren said. “We have a very solid board of directors. They are a very dedicated group of people. We also have a great group of experienced people responding to calls and serving our community. They are the best group of people I have worked with and they deserve the credit.”