Maury Regional EMS members honored with Star of Life Award


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Maury Regional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team members were recognized May 4 as part of the Children’s Emergency Care Alliance of Tennessee’s 15th annual Star of Life Awards ceremony.

The group was honored alongside the Columbia Fire & Rescue Department for providing lifesaving care to a newborn during a preterm delivery call. They were given the Star of Life Award for Region 6.

“I’m so proud of our team for the lifesaving work they did on this call and the compassion and care they showed after it,” said Michael Dunavant, director of Maury Regional EMS. “Their commitment to the newborn and her family was inspiring. They’re so deserving of the Star of Life Award.”

Kitana Garrett, of Columbia, called 911 on Oct. 5, 2021, when she suddenly went into labor at home at only 25 weeks pregnant. Her newborn daughter, Za’myla Camilla Miracle Garrett, was barely breathing when first responders arrived, led by paramedics Cody Hill and Jamie Roan.

Thanks to their quick response and valiant efforts, Za’myla survived. After four months in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the happy, healthy baby was discharged.

While Za’myla was in the NICU, Roan and Hill, paramedics with Maury Regional EMS, kept up with her status and collected gas money to donate to Kitana and her partner for the drive to the hospital. Roan and Hill also collected enough donations of baby supplies to fill two ambulances that they donated to the family.

Kitana named Roan and Hill Za’myla’s godparents, and they even helped host a first birthday party for Za’myla in October. Their relationship was featured on “Good Morning America” and local news outlets.

“That morning, it was almost like every single star aligned perfectly. We were calm given the situation, we were prepared for what we were about to encounter, and every one of our treatment efforts made a difference,” Hill said. “After we transport a patient, it is pretty rare that we receive any feedback on the patient’s outcome, but we knew for this case we were going to be right by Kitana’s side.”

Along with Roan and Hill, Maury Regional EMS paramedics Chris Bee, Tim Hobbs and Brian Peters, dispatcher Chaz Taylor and Columbia Fire & Rescue firefighters Andrew Kyser, Mason Potts, Chance Bland and Kris Webber were recognized at the awards ceremony.

The Star of Life Awards honor the accomplishments of EMS personnel across the state of Tennessee who show exemplary lifesaving care to adult and pediatric patients. Recipients are selected from each of the eight EMS regions in Tennessee, along with an overall state winner.

The EMS agencies are presented with a stone star award, and each member of the EMS team involved receives a certificate and a Star of Life lapel pin that is worn on their dress uniform. Each survivor also receives a certificate of new life showing their bravery and resiliency to commemorate their recovery journey.

“The star of life award was a career and personal goal of mine, and to receive due to such a special family to us made it even more memorable and meaningful,” Roan said. “I’m so very proud of Za’myla and her parents.”

Maury Regional Health has a dedicated and highly trained staff of paramedics and emergency medical technicians who respond to ambulance calls across Lewis, Maury and Wayne counties and utilize the latest life-saving technology. Regional helicopter services are also used to transfer patients to local emergency rooms, as well as to regional trauma or specialty centers, when necessary.

For more information on Maury Regional EMS, visit

Pictured, from left: Chance Bland, Mason Potts, Kris Webber, Cody Hill, Jamie Roan, Za'myla Garrett, Chris Bee, Chaz Taylor, Kitana Garrett and Brian Peters.

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