Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Lavonne C. Hall honored with AAA Vanguard Award


AAA President Randy Strozyk presents Vanguard Award to Lavonne C. Hall.

The American Ambulance Association (AAA) has named Lavonne C. Hall, chairman of the board and chief administrative officer of Hall Ambulance, as a recipient of the Vanguard Award. The distinction honors women with at least 35 years of service who have blazed the trail for fellow female emergency medical services (EMS) professionals.

The presentation occurred recently in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center during the President's Reception at the American Ambulance Association's Annual Conference.

"The Vanguard Awards pay tribute to the exceptional women who've torn down walls and laid the groundwork for those who follow," AAA President Randy Strozyk said. "We're honored to recognize and celebrate their contributions."

Hall is one of 16 women from across the U.S. and the only one from California to be bestowed with the award this year. To be considered for nomination, the individual must have contributed to their organization, state ambulance association, AAA, other professional associations and/or the EMS profession in an extraordinary way beyond faithful completion of job duties.

"I am delighted and thankful to be receiving a Vanguard award," Hall said. "To be honored alongside women who have done incredible and inspiring work in EMS is humbling and a bit overwhelming. I have been lucky enough to have a career I love in an industry that still inspires me after 40 years. To be recognized for that career is icing on the cake."

In reflection, Hall explains how she feels fortunate to have started her EMS career at a company that welcomed and valued the contributions of female employees.

"I remember my first day at Hall Ambulance Service as a new EMT. I was assigned to ride along on a double paramedic ambulance, both paramedics were women," said Hall. "I was so inspired by their professionalism and confidence. They made sure I felt welcome and needed as a woman in an industry that most positions had been held by men."

Ever since, Hall has drawn from that feeling of inclusion.

"Looking back, I realize what a luxury it was not to have to force myself into a space but to be welcomed into it. I have carried that feeling with me and tried to make everyone, but especially women, feel that a space was already carved out for them, and they were welcome in it," Hall explained.

Her first exposure to emergency medical services occurred at the age of five when the car she was riding in was struck by a train. After a hectic ride to the hospital in the back of an ambulance, she knew that was what she wanted to do when she grew up.

She got her EMT Certificate from Reedley College in 1983, moved to Bakersfield, California, and started what will be celebrated as a 40-year career this August (and counting) with Hall Ambulance.

In the summer of 1986, she, and Hall Ambulance Founder (and Bakersfield's 25th and longest- serving mayor) Harvey L. Hall discovered they had a shared love of car racing, which would soon turn into romance. They became engaged in 1987 and married in July 1989.

Hall worked as an EMT until 1991 when she progressed in her career by becoming a paramedic. For the next eight years, she staffed an Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance in a bustling 9-1-1 system, priding herself on delivering compassionate patient care.

From 1999 to 2011, she was responsible for paramedic administrative support for the Company, which included providing daily support to the EMTs and paramedics, creating the daily shift schedule, assisting dispatch, and responding to mass casualty incidents.

Her next challenge was taking over as Hall Commercial Vehicle Service's (HCVS) shop owner in 2011. In this capacity, Hall oversaw the daily operations of HCVS, including the procurement of materials, supplies, and other essentials needed to maintain the Hall Ambulance fleet and external fleet accounts. She hired and trained managers, supervisors, and support staff and ensured that the preventative maintenance and repairs were completed at the desired level of expectation.

In 2018, her world turned upside down when suddenly, her husband was diagnosed with the sporadic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). As Mr. Hall's illness progressed, he expressed a desire for her to serve as president and CEO of Hall Ambulance. Just two weeks and seven hours following diagnosis, he lost his battle with CJD on May 19 of that year.

Mrs. Hall suddenly found herself trying to come to grips with her husband's sudden death, be there for her daughter and granddaughter, and take on the enormous task of leading a company with over 450 employees. Despite being enormous shoes to fill, she rose to the occasion, providing exemplary leadership and ensuring continuity in operations based on her husband's ideals of care, compassion, and community. Working with the CFO, COO, and a dedicated leadership team, Hall led the Company through the opening of the Harvey L. Hall EMS Academy, Hall Ambulance's 50th Anniversary, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the acquisition of another service area, increasing Hall Ambulance's coverage area to 94% of the population in Kern County, California.

In the summer of 2023, Hall announced that while remaining the sole owner of Hall Ambulance, she would reduce her daily involvement with the Company. As chairman of the board and chief administrative officer, Hall remains engaged in matters of significance and importance.

Following her husband's passing, she vowed to become an advocate to raise awareness and funds to support medical research on Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. She joined the board of the CJD Foundation, created the Harvey L. Hall Memorial Grant, and co-started Strides for CJD- Bakersfield, which has raised over $451,000 to support medical research and programs for the foundation over the past six years.

About the American Ambulance Association

The American Ambulance Association safeguards the future of mobile healthcare through advocacy, thought leadership, and education. AAA advances sustainable EMS policy, empowering its members to serve their communities with high-quality on-demand healthcare.

For more than 40 years, AAA has proudly represented those who care for people first.

The Vanguard Awards are presented in collaboration with Women in Emergency Services (WiES), an organization dedicated to supporting and advancing women's careers in the emergency services industry through empowerment, networking, mentorship, and education.

About Hall Ambulance

Founded in 1971 by Harvey L. Hall, Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. is the 9-1-1 paramedic provider for 94% of Kern County, California's population, including Bakersfield, Arvin, Lamont, Frazier Park, Tehachapi, California City, Mojave, Rosamond, Boron, Taft, Shafter, Wasco, Delano and surrounding communities.