Janis B. Bernard, 70, of Acton, MA passed away peacefully on Monday, March 25, 2013 at Emerson Hospital in Concord, MA. She is survived by her husband of 32 years, Robert "Smokey" Bernard, Captain (ret.) Maynard Fire Department; daughters Amy Potts (Derek Riemer) of Westford, MA and Amanda Potts Wallis (Johnathan) of Virginia; beloved grandchildren Gwen and Caroline Riemer and Margaret and Lydia Wallis; sister Diane Hill (Richard) of California. Janis was born in East Orange New Jersey on November 28, 1942, the eldest daughter of Allen and Carmel Beers. She was raised in West Caldwell, NJ and attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware, Ohio. In the early 1970s Janis worked for the Office of Emergency Medical Services, assisting area towns in transferring into medical-based transport with Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)-based training. In 1973 Janis co-taught the first EMT course at Emerson Hospital. In 1976 she assisted the towns of Acton and Maynard in securing funding to acquire their first ambulances. Janis was later hired by Emerson Hospital to serve as EMS coordinator for 14 area towns. In the early 1980s Janis developed the first regional paramedic system in the area, which serviced the 14 towns in conjunction with assistance from local area EMTs and served as the first model of its kind in Massachusetts. Janis took great joy in this work and continued running the paramedic program at Emerson Hospital until her retirement in 1999. We wish to acknowledge and greatly appreciate the outpouring of support from her colleagues and peers in the healthcare community. Janis had a love of reading, gardening, birdwatching and decorative painting. She was a lung cancer survivor who courageously battled multiple medical conditions over the last eight years. A private service was held on Friday, March 29. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make memorial contributions to the On-Site Academy, a residential treatment center for critical incident stress management, serving emergency workers who themselves are in distress. PO Box 1031, Gardner, MA 01440. www.onsiteacademy.org Guestbook for online condolences at www.actonfuneralhome.com
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Published in The Beacon-Villager from Mar. 30 to Apr. 6, 2013