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Annual EMS night provided education, honors

Joyelle Hill, Battle Lake Fire and Rescue department, practices her CPR skills as part of the training at the 27th annual EMS night at M-State, Wadena on Tuesday, March 11.

Seventy-one EMS personnel from local fire, rescue and police departments attended Tri-County Health Care's 27th annual Emergency Medical Service (EMS) program. The event was held on Tuesday, March 11 at M-State, Wadena campus.

"This program is designed to provide an educational update for Emergency Services personnel in the Tri-County Health Care service area," explained Allen Smith, Tri-County Health Care EMS Manager. "It's also an opportunity to recognize our area fire, rescue and police departments for their tireless efforts and dedication to emergency services in their communities."

Speakers included John Pate, M.D., Tri-County Health Care EMS Medical Director; Allen Smith, BS, NREMT-P, Tri-County Health Care EMS; and Stephanie Larson, R.N., Tri-County Health Care same-day surgical nurse, abstractor and heart transplant recipient.

Several EMS awards were also presented to area personnel:

• Distinguished Service (This distinguished service award is given to employees with outstanding vision, dedication and commitment to excellence.) Full-time: Jeremy Wolfenbarger, EMT; part-time: Dominique Kuechle, EMT.

• First Responder of the Year (This award is given in appreciation of the many volunteer hours and quality emergency care provided to the communities they serve) Wayne Perkins, Deer Creek Fire and Rescue and Gary Kleen, Bertha Ambulance

· Star of Life — (The Star of Life award is given to emergency personnel for making an extremely noteworthy contribution to efforts which resulted in saving a life.) Jason Jacobson, Paramedic; David Cuppy, Paramedic

(3rd Occurrence); Jenny Hoppe, EMT (2nd Occurrence); Nick Grabe, EMT and Wadena Police Officer (2nd Occurrence); Terry Frost, Wadena Police Officer; Matt Smith, Paramedic; Kurt Manselle, EMT (2nd Occurrence); Sharon Heinen (3rd Occurrence); Paramedic and Jeremy Wolfenbarger, EMT(3rd Occurrence). A special thank you to the New York Mills and Bluffton Fire and Rescue departments.

Years of Service Star (In appreciation of five years of loyal and dedicated service)

• 5 Years: Dominique Kuechle, EMT; Gary Stelzer, EMT, Kurt Manselle, EMT;

• 20 years: Randy Athmann, Paramedic.

• Retirement — Eric Loose, Paramedic.

EMS night is a free event held every March sponsored by Tri-County Health Care Emergency Medical Services and Central Minnesota EMS Region. For more information, or to inquire about the 2014 event, contact Jenny Hoppe, Tri-County Health Care Administrative Services, at (218) 631-5234.