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Rosemary Adam
Rosemary Adam has been a nurse since 1975, and a paramedic in Iowa since 1980. With over 30 years of experience in both rural and urban-sized hospitals’ primarily in Emergency Departments, and ambulance companies (ground and rotor wing), Rosie has become a coordinator and an instructor or faculty member for many emergency medicine courses for physicians, nurses and EMS personnel.

Rosemary retired from the University of Iowa’s Hospitals and Clinics on October 7, 2016 after over 20 years of services where she had the primary responsibilities throughout her tenure as the paramedic course instructor, EMT Course Coordinator, Advanced Trauma Care Nursing, Trauma Nursing Core Course and Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course director and instructor for Emergency Department nurses, Advanced Medical Life Support and Geriatric Emergency Medical Services course director and instructor, and lead instructor for the critical care paramedic courses.

Rosie has served on numerous local, regional, state, and national associations in the Emergency Medical and Emergency Nursing associations.

Anita Bailey
It is my distinct pleasure to nominate Anita Bailey for the Iowa EMS Association Hall of Fame Award. Anita’s career spanned over 30 years of helping people, developing EMS services and systems. She believed that helping people was her life’s mission.

She began her career as a first responder with the Peterson Community Response Unit in Peterson, Iowa. Over the years she worked as an EMT, EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic for the Spencer Municipal Hospital Ambulance Service and as an EMS Coordinator with the Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of EMS.

Always a believer that EMS was a “lifetime of learning”. She became a BLS Instructor with the American Heart Association and certified as an Iowa EMS Instructor. Countless Iowans completed her CPR, EMT and EMS continuing education classes. She was instrumental in the development of Public Access Defibrillation in Iowa and served many years on the Emergency Cardiac Care Committee for the American Heart Association.

In 1984 she helped form the Clay County EMS Association in NW Iowa. This association helped develop the successful EMS response system that is present in Clay County today. This system became a model for others to develop from. Anita was also instrumental in developing the popular Two Wheel Trauma program with lifelong friends Dick “Slider” Gilmore and Frank Prowant. She continues to teach in this program today.

As an EMS Coordinator with the Bureau Anita was a proponent of EMS service development throughout her region. EMS Service Directors throughout her region never thought of her as a regulator, but as a friend to their service who helped improve the quality of care they provided.

Anita has recently retired from EMS after a 30 plus year career in emergency medical services. After many nights and weekends spent away from home for various EMS activities, she now is enjoying her time with her family as a wife, mother and grandmother. Anita Bailey truly is Iowa EMS and is deserving of the Hall of Fame Award.

Susan Gibbs
I think my wife, Susie, should be named to the Iowa EMS Hall of Fame for her many years of service as an RN & EMT as an original member and President since 2002, and her service on the Lucas County Ambulance and Lucas County Hospital ER from 1982-2015. She currently is still active with the Humeston First Responders. She puts in many hours on her own with all the paperwork and red tape the state requires and in mentoring young EMS members. She was nominated as one of 10 CPR instructors in 2009 as a finalist for National CPR Instructor Hall of Fame. Susie has received two life-saving awards for the same CPR "save." She started CPR on me in 2004 and began the chain of survival on my life. She has taught numerous CPR, both certified and Hands-Only classes since then and we have been Volunteers for the American Heart Association in CPR/AED/SCA activities. Most of the time she puts in is unnoticed by anyone because she does not like recognition, but can attest to the time she puts in.

Paula Merfeld
I am honored to nominate Paula Merfeld for the Iowa EMS Association Hall of Fame. I had the opportunity to work with Paula during my time at the Urbandale Fire Department (UFD) where she worked as a paramedic for over 25 years. She was one of the first paramedics to join the department in 1988 as a volunteer. During her tenure on the department, she received the Part-time Provider of the Year Award in 2010, The Mike Mecurio “Character” Award in 2011, and despite not being a firefighter, she received the department’s highest honor of Firefighter of the Year in 2012. These accolades speak to Paula’s commitment to the department and each award is fitting of the most loyal career employee so it is worthy to note, she won these awards as a part time employee. These honors are certainly noble and provide for a very worthy nominee; however, I think the true reason Paula should be introduced into the Hall of Fame is her advocacy for her patients and crew.

Paula truly understands the concerns and needs of her patients. She was dedicated to her role as paramedic on the ambulance, and no matter how many reports she had to write or little sleep she got the night before, she was always willing and ready to take the next patient with a smile. The department receives many thank you cards from grateful patients and appreciative citizens and many times they do not remember the EMT or paramedic that cared for them, but if Paula provided them care, they seemed to always remember her calm demeanor and gentle smile. No matter the patient’s criticality, she would provide a reassuring voice and outstanding attention to detail. What I will remember the most about working with Paula is her equal concern and attention provided to each patient. Spending this much time in the City of Urbandale, Paula got to know many patients, some because of their severe illness or injury and others because of their perceived severe illnesses. If it was the patient’s first time in an ambulance or the patient’s thirtieth, they would be greeted with a helpful attitude and a paramedic devoted to providing the care she would like her loved ones to receive.

Besides providing quality care, Paula was dedicated to making the department a family. She was instrumental in the annual appreciation dinner and always wanted to be involved in the shift’s dinner. As I mentioned, Paula was a part time employee but worked more hours per month than most of the full time staff, and it was generally known, if Paula was on, it would be a good shift. The UFD allows crew members to watch TV during their lunch hour and everyday Paula was working, unless interrupted by calls, the crew would join Paula in watching her favorite soap opera. Walking into a fire station and watching five guys laughing during a soap opera is not a likely occurrence in most cities but when Paula was working that was what was going to happen. It was not because she demanded it or got to the remote first; it was because the crews respected her years of experience and knew that is what she enjoyed doing over the lunch hour.

I am humbled to have worked with Paula and to have learned what true patient care and patient advocacy look like. Positively representing Iowa EMS and caring for thousands of citizens for over 25 years is a worthy honor of any person but doing so in the manner Paula did is worthy of recognition.

Roger Thomas
I am submitting this nomination to you that Roger Thomas of Elkader be nominated to the Iowa EMS Hall Fame because of his longtime service to EMS in Iowa.

Roger became a volunteer firefighter and EMT after returning home from the Untied States Air Force in 1975. He volunteered with the Wadena Fire Service where he eventually becoming fire chief. When we moved to his parents farm near Elkader in 1980 he joined the Central Ambulance Service. While there he eventuality attained his paramedic certification. He was very involved in serving the community and other organization. He was a member of the Northeast Iowa Regional EMS Council, helped start the National AG Safety Center in Peosta, taught many EMT classes and helped certified EMT students for Northeast Iowa Community College. Roger helped establish the Clayton County EMS Council, manned the ambulance for many years at various functions all over Clayton County, taught CPR clases and much, much more. Roger served in the Iowa Legislature for 16 years. He passed legislation to create the EMS license plate and to allow EMTs to serve in the emergency rooms. He also help advocate for the current standard of care enacted by the Department of Public Health. Roger also responded to emergences at the capitol during session. Roger is now retired from EMS after serving 35 years helping the citizens of his community, county, region and the state of Iowa. I feel Roger is deserving of this recognition for all his dedicated years of service.

Kevin Frost
After 37 years of dedicated service to Decatur County Hospital Ambulance, Paramedic Kevin Frost retired in March of 2015. In his 37 years, Kevin Frost became a name synonymous with Emergency Medical Services in Decatur County. Kevin’s well-known throughout Decatur County and the surrounding areas by patients he rendered care to and their families.

Kevin began his career with DCH Ambulance in the late 1970’s as an Emergency Medical Technician, working his way to the level of Paramedic and Ambulance Director, a role in which he served from 1989-2015. Notable achievements of Kevin’s career include implementation of 24/7 in-house staffing of EMS providers at Decatur County Hospital as well as creation of the Decatur County E-911 Addressing System.

Kevin’s dedication to his community extends beyond his faithful service with DCH Ambulance including serving as a past member of Leon Fire & Rescue, Decatur County Emergency Management Agency Commission, Decatur County E-911 Council, Decatur County EMS Council, and Decatur County Emergency Preparedness Council.

EMS in Decatur County is forever impacted, in a positive way, by Kevin Frost.


I would like to nominate Kevin Frost PM for the 2015 Hall of Fame award. Kevin served Decatur County for 37 yrs. He retired this year. Kevin served as director of the Decatur County Hospital Ambulance Department. Kevin gave me my first full time EMS job. I remember when I first started going on calls with Kevin. Everywhere we went everyone knew him. When we went to any of the local nursing homes the residents would smile and wave and say "Hey Kevin!" He always took time to speak to them. Kevin never expected his employees to do anything he wouldn't do. He never lost his cool even in at the worst of calls he remained calm and gave high quality care to all of his patient's. Everyone at DCH loved Kevin. He teased the cooks every day, and they loved it. Kevin responded to calls even when he wasn't on duty on a regular basis. Everyone always felt a little relief when he walked through the door. Kevin was always a perfectionist. Every time we renewed CPR, ACLC, PHTLS, or whatever he wasn't happy unless he got 100%. People always said "If I'm ever injured or sick I hope Kevin is on the ambulance." Kevin wasn't just a great boss. He was/is a great friend. If anyone ever needed to talk about anything he was always a good listener. Last year during a snow storm my partner and I were responding to a MVC and another car slid into our lane. We hit her and ended up in the ditch. It was Kevin's day off. I called him and he was there within a few minutes. Once again he saved the day. DCH is just not the same without him. I think Kevin deserves this award for the many years of dedicated service to the people of Decatur County.

Mark Farren (posthumous)
Hero- someone who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character. Selfless- putting other people's needs, interests, or wishes before your own. Volunteer-someone who works without being paid. Mentor - an experienced person who advises and guides others.

Our beloved and late Chief Mark Farren, during his lifetime, met each of these definitions and much, much, much more. He made a life time of giving every ounce of himself to others. He never, ever once asked for anything in return. He truly had a servant's heart. Let us share with you why Chief Mark Farren, should be IEMSA Hall of Fame 2015 recipient.

We could submit with our application many emails, texts, twitter feeds, telephone calls or letters of recommendation to support our application. However, the Board Members of IEMSA do not have enough time left this year to read all of them. It is only fitting that the department he built honor him publicly one last time.

Chief Farren grew up and graduated from his treasured town of Colo. Chief Farren joined Colo Fire Rescue in 1976 and served as Chief for 32 years, he along with his wife Julie, raised 5 daughters and 6 grandchildren. He was a full time farmer and previously had worked at the Iowa Donor Network as a recovery technician. He custom built fire apparatus for his department. And yes, still managed to devote hours and hours to our department. He was always the first to arrive on a call, training, community events, meetings, and frequently the very last one to leave. Chief Farren led by example, not only with his family, but with the community and the fire department.

Chief Farren grew up and graduated from his treasured town of Colo. Chief Farren joined Colo Fire Rescue in 1976 and served as Chief for 32 years, he along with his wife Julie, raised 5 daughters and 6 grandchildren. He was a full time farmer and previously had worked at the Iowa Donor Network as a recovery technician. He custom built fire apparatus for his department. And yes, still managed to devote hours and hours to our department. He was always the first to arrive on a call, training, community events, meetings, and frequently the very last one to leave. Chief Farren led by example, not only with his family, but with the community and the fire department.

Three years ago Chief Farren was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He went through major surgery and chemotherapy to defeat this ugly disease that was growing within him. In the fall of 2014, he received the news that the cancer had returned. Again, Chief Farren battled the ugly beast that lived within him. March 2015 a benefit was planned to give people a chance to give back to this man that had given so much to so many. More meals than the population of Colo were served that night.

On July 5, 2015 Chief Farren lost his heroic battle with cancer. Over 700 people attended his funeral, with over 40 EMS/Fire Apparatus in his processional line to show honor to him.

Chief Farren story and impact did not end with his death. His impact was a pebble thrown into a calm lake. His actions are like the ripples, never ending.

As members of the department he built, we have not only lost our Chief, but our mentor, advisor, supporter, friend and family member. If love, respect, dedication, admiration, appreciation, and gratitude were enough, we would not have had to say goodbye to our Chief.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you were someone who was lucky enough to have met him, consider yourself fortunate. I know we did.

Ruth Ann Hamlin
“Friend of EMS”—those words can encompass a wide variety of people and their many duties and commitments to an EMS organization. In the rural areas of Louisa County, the ambulance services, first responder units, and fire departments are all staffed by volunteers, as in most areas of Iowa. Many ambulance services function with a certified EMS provider and a certified driver—no ambulance leaves the station without these dedicated people.

In Morning Sun, Iowa, the ambulance service is staffed by 7 certified individuals and 7 drivers. Ruth Ann Hamlin has been a driver for this ambulance service most of the 27 years that the ambulance service has served the community. Ruth Ann has a full time job—she is the dietary supervisor at the Morning Sun Care Center. Ruth Ann has a husband and two teenage children who are involved in the many activities that are available at school. Ruth Ann also is involved in the many community organizations that small towns are famous for. And Ruth Ann is the primary driver for the Morning Sun Community Ambulance service. It does not matter whether it is a weekday, a week night, a weekend day or night, or a holiday—we can find Ruth Ann behind the wheel of Morning Sun’s ambulance and her voice is the one that we hear on the radio. She and her husband, an EMT, staff the ambulance 4 days each week since her husband has a weekend job. (Her employer is gracious enough to allow her to leave during the work day to respond to calls, since a large percentage of Morning Sun’s call volume is generated by the Care Center residents). But even while her husband is at work, or nights and weekends, she is available to the Morning Sun community and the ambulance service. All of this call time, as we all know, means that Ruth Ann always carries her pager; she is always within response range of the station; she is always willing to respond in the middle of the night. This is a commitment that small town residents are famous for, and that Ruth Ann generously and graciously honors.

In addition to the willingness to be on call and to respond to calls, Ruth Ann is a significant asset to the patients. She knows a very large percentage of the patients that are transported by Morning Sun’s ambulance. She is a life-long resident of Morning Sun, and many of the residents of this community are like extended family to her. In addition, she knows all of the Care Center residents, knows their family history, and also many of their personality traits, and is a definite comfort to these elderly patients when they are ill or injured. Her knowledge of these patients is a great help to the EMT attending the patient as well. Ruth Ann exemplifies the “Friend of EMS”—she is dedicated to the EMS service, the EMS provider, and the EMS community.

In additional to interaction with the patients, Ruth Ann’s knowledge of the local area assures that Morning Sun’s ambulance is going to get to the correct address in a timely manner. She is very familiar with the local addresses, response area, and resident’s names. In the course of these many years, she has become familiar with the most efficient and comfortable route to the hospital of the patient’s choosing.

Ruth Ann responds to the vast majority of calls that Morning Sun Ambulance makes in the course of a week, month, or year. Should something happen to her, the service would have a significant challenge filling the void. It is for these many reasons that I feel Ruth Ann Hamlin should be considered for the IEMSA award to a Friend of EMS.

Kenneth Rasing
I'm not certain which award most represents Ken Rasing the best, as he is a part time instructor, EMS is not his fulltime career and he volunteers many nights and weekends to EMS, but his work and years of service are also Hall of Fame worthy.

Ken Rasing is retiring within the next year, after serving 38 years in Chickasaw County. Ken has spent almost every day of those 38 years on-call as the County Sanitarian, E-911 Service Plan Director, Medical Examiner Investigator, Emergency Management Services Director and EMT with Chickasaw County Rescue Squad. He has worn many hats during his service but he is most proud of the role that he has played in building the foundation and development of the Chickasaw County Rescue Squad, the countywide first responder and rescue group that handles 170 calls annually.

Chickasaw County Rescue Squad is the countywide First Responder and Rescue group serving 9 communities and 12 townships. Ken came on as the County’s Emergency Management Services and Rescue Director in 1990. His efforts have expanded the capabilities of the group by adding equipment and specialized training. Ken recognizes the challenges that rural communities have with timely EMS care, manpower and specialized extrication. Ken’s dedication has helped to lead this group to be trained and be better prepared responders for agricultural emergencies, farm equipment and jaws extrication, and rehab support for small fire departments.

Ken’s dedication to EMS is obvious through the credentials he maintains. He is an EMT, EMS Instructor, Evaluator and Emergency Rescue Technician. Ken goes above and beyond what is expected of his “day job” by volunteering his evenings and weekends to train volunteers, responding to calls and facilitating Rescue Squad activities. He has been the primary instructor in the county for all first responders and Rescue Squad members for almost 25 years. Rasing shares his enthusiasm for EMS with his community by volunteering countless hours instructing CPR. He has taught CPR not only for medical personnel, law enforcement and EMS responders but for a variety of civic groups, Scout Clubs and churches. He has shared his passion for EMS by involving his wife, Shari, and their 3 sons Travis, Blake and Jacob with Rescue Squad activities, exercises, and fundraisers over the years. It is unknown how many students Ken has had through the past 2 decades but it is obvious that his work has impacted the quality of EMS delivered to not only his community but an entire rural county.

Dr. Richard Vermeer
Dr. Richard Vermeer has been the medical director for MEDIC EMS since the date of its inception in 1982.

He is the first, as well as the current medical director at MEDIC EMS and still carries the original MEDIC employee number of "100", which was the first number issued 33 years ago. Dr. Vermeer also serves as the medical director for Eastern Iowa Community Colleges EMS programs, the Scott County Emergency Medical Services Association, and many of the Fire and EMS services within Scott County.

Dr. Vermeer has been a leader in the EMS community in Eastern Iowa for many years and has been a leader in patient care innovation procedures such as pre-hospital hypothermia induction post cardiac arrest, Dispatcher activation of Stroke Alerts from call intake information prior to ambulance arrival on scene, aggressive care of excited delirium patients with MOCT (Multiple Officer Control Tactics) including pre-hospital administration of Ketamine as well as many other medical innovations to many to list.

He is always on the leading, but not the bleeding edge of pre-hospital care by being an early adopter of clinically proven care. He spends time researching new equipment and care by attending local and National conferences with his service personnel to learn of new information for possible implementation. He is innovative and progressive enough to be willing to implement new practice, while at the same time being reserved enough to not jump into something too soon. He is always on the leading, but not the bleeding edge of pre-hospital care by being an early adopter of clinically proven care. He spends time researching new equipment and care by attending local and National conferences with his service personnel to learn of new information for possible implementation. He is innovative and progressive enough to be willing to implement new practice, while at the same time being reserved enough to not jump into something too soon.

He Is or has in the past been involved or chaired many committees on the local and National level which have all been rooted to make a difference in the EMS communities of Eastern Iowa.

Dr. Vermeer is an anchor to the high performance system of EMS in Scott County and makes sure that all services are using the same protocols and have the same direction of patient care in mind whether they are the First Response Agency or the Transport agency, Paid or Volunteer.

Fay Boyd (posthumous)
Award accepted by her Clay Township Fire Department co-workers and family.
Fay became a member of the Clay Township Fire Department in 1994, when the department was formed. She remained a member until her death on February 1, 2014. During her 20 year membership
she held the Treasurer’s position. On September 11, 1995, Fay, her husband Dean and sons Dennis and Trevor, took EMT classes and all became EMT-As. Fay and her family all served in Marion County on departments as medical providers. Later they all transitioned to EMT-B. Fay then went on to become and Instructor in February 1997 and Evaluator in May 1997. Her first EMT-B class was made up of students who would later serve as providers for Clay Township Fire and Rescue. Two of those students remain as active EMTs for Clay Township today. Fay taught many continuing education classes in and around Marion County. From 2000 to 2007 she provided continuing education for the Knoxville Raceway rescue crew, making sure they were ready for the race season each year, as well as the 3M Company medical squad.
Fay served as an EMT-B for Clay Township from 1995 until the time of her death. She was a very dedicated and valuable member who also went above and beyond for her patients, the patients’ families, her department members and the community. Fay unselfishly gave of her time to provide education to many EMTs in the Marion County area and to ensure coverage for Clay Township Fire and Rescue.

It is my honor to present the 2014 IEMSA Hall of Fame award to Fay Boyd.

Jeff Howard
Jeff Howard made a career in the EMS field before becoming disabled earlier this year. Jeff's career started in 1979 when he became an EMT-A, which is the same year he joined the Menlo Fire Department. That same year, he started working as an orderly in the Emergency Department of Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. During this time, Jeff started to understand the EMS system as Mercy quickly became a teaching hospital with a program under the direction of Bill Cochran, Sr. and his sidekick, Mike Smith.

In 1984 Jeff left Mercy and started working for LifeLine Ambulance service in Des Moines. During his time at LifeLine, Jeff became a CPR Instructor and an EMT-Intermediate.

In 1989 Jeff left LifeLine and started working for Adair County Memorial Hospital in the Ambulance Division.
While there, Jeff became an Iowa certified EMS Instructor through DMACC's very first Instructor program. While at Adair County, Jeff became a Paramedic, and following that achievement, a Paramedic Specialist.

In 2004, Jeff left Adair County and started working for the Guthrie County Sheriff's Office as a 911 Dispatcher and Jailer. During that time Jeff had joined the Stuart Rescue as a volunteer Paramedic Specialist under the direction of Kenny Vanlandingham. In 2006 Jeff left the Sheriff's Office and became a full-time Paramedic Specialist for Stuart Rescue and later became the Director of Operations after the death of Kenny Vanlandingham.

Earlier this year Jeff retired because of a service-related disability.

During his career, Jeff was responsible for starting the first "Voluntary Inspection Program" (VIP) through the Bureau of EMS for Menlo Fire Department. The VIP program was successful for Menlo as they became an authorized service. Jeff assisted in the initial authorization for a Paramedic Service in Adair County through the Adair County Hospital. Jeff has taught hundreds of CPR and fir Aid classes with well over a thousand people trained. He has taught dozens of First Responder and EMT classes and assisted with teaching Advanced and paramedic classes over the years. Over his 35 year career Jeff has worked in the private sector, municipal, and hospital-based EMS services.
Jeff was active in assisting other Fire and Rescue Departments throughout Adair and Guthrie counties with their EMS CQI Policies and Procedures.
Jeff served on EMS Councils for Adair and Guthrie County; he was also the President for the Guthrie County EMS Council for five years before stepping down earlier this year. In closing, Jeff has been involved in the EMS field for 35 years and has made a significant impact on those around him. He has sacrificed his time, effort and health to help those in their time of need.

Ernest Johnston (posthumous)
Award accepted by his son Jerry Johnston.
Ernest Allen “Ernie” Johnston, 75, of Burlington, Iowa, died at his home on Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Born on July 15, 1939 in Keota, Iowa, he was the son of Richard and Genevieve Vogel Johnston. He married Janet Leyes on May 25, 1958 at St. Paul Catholic Church, Burlington, Iowa.

Ernie attended school in North English, Iowa and graduated from St. Mary Catholic High School, West Point, Iowa. He worked at I.R.C., material control at J.I. Case, Burlington Community School District in food service delivery and as a bus driver. He owned and operated Yellow Cab Co. and Superior Ambulance Service for 11 years.

He was an avid race fan of Sprint cars and NASCAR. He especially enjoyed watching his favorite driver, Jeff Gordon leading when the checkered flag fell. He loved to read, listen to country music and spend time with his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed walking, running errands, car rides and playing with his puppy “Wolfie”. He was a member of SS. John & Paul Catholic Church.
He is survived by his wife, Janet; three sons, Jerry (Kelly) Johnston, of Pleasanton, California, Randy (Linda) Johnston of Ft. Madison, Iowa and Jay (Lisa) Johnston of Iowa City, Iowa; one daughter, Lynne Johnston Lipper of South Elgin, Illinois; seven grandchildren, Emily (Justin) Dorothy, Jade Johnston, Daniel Johnston, Jessica (Jacob) Rohde, Kayla (Corey) Lipper, Nile Johnston and Karley (Ben) Lipper; five great-grandchildren, Tate, Carsen, & Aubree Dorothy and Calvin Mayo, Leah Rohde; two brothers, Raymond (Liz) Johnston of Burlington, Iowa and Carl Johnston of West Point, Iowa; two sisters, Regina Johnston of Ft. Madison, Iowa and Marilyn (Maurice) Neuweg of Springfield, Illinois; many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Francis “Red”, Robert, Joseph and one sister, Roberta.

Doug Polking
Doug is retiring this year after 30 years of service to the Pella Community Ambulance. Words cannot express what he has meant to our service and our community. He is without a doubt one of the most caring people I have ever met and this shows through on every call he has ever been on. He provides the best possible care to every patient and also treats his staff like family. He is always willing to stop whatever he is doing and explain things and has been a mentor and teacher to many EMTs over the years. He has always held us to a higher standard and that shows in how we run our service. We are a non-profit and Doug has always kept this in mind with his spending over the years.

In addition to directing PCA he has provided guidance to many smaller services in the area, develop billing for their service.

Doug has been stuck to his pager for 30 years, day and night and if no one else is available you can count on him to be there. His wife probably deserves an award too!

Doug York
Award Accepted on his behalf by Rosemary Adam and Dr. Joshua Stilley both UNI EMLRC co-workers.

An excerpt from the nomination submitted Michael Hartley: As most know, Doug was one of the original “Greeley gods”, working in the pioneering system that established advanced EMS care in Iowa. He worked the streets for decades, preserving/saving countless Iowa lives during his career. He served as the University of Iowa’s EMS Director, and then signed on to oversee their paramedic training program. For the majority of his 30 year career at UI, he has served as Director the EMS Learning Resources Center, overseeing the training of thousands of paramedics, advanced EMTs, EMTs, First Responders, nurses, physicians and allied healthcare professionals.

By extension of those who he has trained in EMS, the number of lives that have been indirectly touched by this man cannot be accurately estimated.
During his tenure, he was instrumental in making the early defibrillation efforts that Iowa is so famous for a resounding success and established EMS milestone for our state. The “alphabet soup” courses, such as PHTLS, ATLS, PALS, and NRP thrived during his watch. He oversaw the adoption/creation of Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) training for Iowa’s 911 dispatchers, Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) training for Iowa’s paramedics, and championed the accreditation of Iowa’s EMS training programs through his involvement at the national level.

These are only a few of the noteworthy accomplishments that have marked Doug’s stellar EMS career in Iowa. He has established a career measuring stick that few EMS professionals will ever fully
measure up to. It is for these reasons, along with his laid back, comedic (albeit bad joke) nature, that IEMSA should induct Doug into its Hall of Fame.

An excerpt from the nomination submitted by Paul Hudson: Doug was part of the original "Greeley Gods" cohort that had preceded us, young men and women tutored and prepared by McFarland Clinic physicians with an interest in bringing advanced level prehospital care to the area. In the operative paradigm of the era (and in an ironic twist on his future career as an educator), Doug and his peers then used the learn one - do one - teach one method (and a new textbook authored by Dr. Caroline) to impart their (somewhat new found) wisdom to us. It was here that it became apparent that, in addition to being a superb, skilled and confident field medic, Doug was also a gifted teacher.
I believe that the facets of the style and substance of his trademark educational methodology were first tested on myself and the students (we call them participants these days) he taught. His self-deprecating humor made him approachable, his Socratic reflection of the question back to the students made them think, and his insistence on wearing a suit while teaching showed that he took the job - the responsibility - seriously. I copied him when I started to teach, and continue this homage to this day.
“Doug York touched lives and altered destinies directly through education and mentoring of his students (and the educators who went on to emulate him), and indirectly but significantly through preparing a generation of caregivers who used the practical and pertinent wisdom he imparted as they cared for patients and their families.”

Marlene Bowers
Marlene Bowers has been an EMT for 31 years. She is 71 years old and is still practicing as an EMT with Lyon County Ambulance. In fact, she is the EMT on our squad of 14 that takes the most call out of all of us. She usually has around 300 hours or more of call every single month! She may not be mighty with muscle but she is a great EMT. She always has the patient’s best interest in mind. She has served as President of the squad for several terms over her 31 years. Back in the day (much before my time), she was only one of two EMT’s that we had staffed on the ambulance squad for day call. They were responsible for taking every single call every single day. Marlene has been to countless meetings in her time as an EMT. She never sits still and is always very willing to help any of us out when needed. She practically bends over backwards for a fellow EMT to help cover their call. Not only is she a very busy EMT she is also a mother to 4 adult children, has 21 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. She has been happily married for 35 years. Marlene has been a member of the Rock Rapids City Council for 15 years and has played a vital role in many decisions that have improved the city of Rock Rapids. She takes time out of her own schedule to keep the downtown flowers all watered and looking nice. The list could go on and on ....... l’m not sure when she plans to retire from EMS but this lady definitely deserves this award for her years of dedication.

Judith Frisch
Judith Frisch, Durant Volunteer Ambulance Service, Inc.
I am nominating Judith (Judy) Frisch for the Hall of Fame award because of her 38 years of dedicated
service as a volunteer to the Durant Volunteer Ambulance Service (DVAS), her contributions to the community, and her effort to improve the emergency medical service (EMS) in Scott, Muscatine, and Cedar counties. Judy, a registered nurse, joined the DVAS in the fall of 1975 taking the EMT-A class to become certified as an EMT-A. She became a certified CPR instructor, then a CPR instructor-trainer, then a
regional faculty member for the Eastern Iowa Community College District (EICC D), and currently is an active member of the Emergency Cardiovascular Committee (ECC) which promotes the American Heart Association’s mission in Iowa.

Judy became an EMS instructor and evaluator after receiving her EMT-A certification then taught fall and spring EMT classes for EICC D, first responder classes, and continuing education classes for the DVAS and services in the surrounding communities. In the early 1980s Judy was instrumental in advancing the DVAS to the EMT-I Ievel as she challenged and passed the EMT-I exams becoming the first DVAS member to be certified at that level. Judy along with the DVAS medical director organized and taught an EMT-I class to get the DVAS to an advanced level. Judy was also instrumental in getting the DVAS involved as a pilot service with the defibrillator study conducted by the University of Iowa which eventually allowed ambulances to carry and use defibrillators in the field.

When the county EMS associations were organized Judy volunteered to represent the DVAS in the Scott and Muscatine county associations. Since our community has parts of its locale in Scott, Muscatine, and Cedar counties we have 3 association meetings to attend whenever they meet. Judy has been very active in the Scott and Muscatine EMS associations rarely missing a meeting. She currently holds the office of treasurer in the Scott county EMS association.

Judy retired as an EMT-I in March of this year. She had both knees replaced in 2012 and found it more difficult to perform her skills with her new knees. Always having the best interests of her patients in mind she decided to retire since she felt she could no longer provide patients with her best care. Judy continues to assist the DVAS even though she does not work in the back of the ambulance as she continues to volunteer to drive whenever it is necessary. She also continues to teach CPR and first aid classes to people in Durant, the surrounding communities, and the Durant and Wilton schools to help them fulfill the “Healthy Kids Act” CPR graduation mandate.

After 38 years of volunteer service, missing numerous family gatherings, holidays, special events, and raising 3 fantastic children, it is with great pride that I nominate Judith Frisch for the Hall of Fame award.

Russ Piehl (posthumous)
Russell “Russ” Piehl has devoted his life to helping others. On January 2nd, 2013 at the age of 48 he died in the line of duty in an Air Medical Helicopter accident near Ventura, Iowa, doing what he loved, helping others. Russ had been involved in EMS in the state for the last 30 years. Russ began his career with the D
enver Ambulance as a senior in high school. He worked at various ambulance services across the state of Iowa, also as the Director of EMS services for Algona. He later became the EMS Manager for training and education at North Iowa Area Community College. He was a current member of the Forest City Ambulance Service and Flight Paramedic for Mercy Air Med in Mason City. Russ had a passion for EMS and his role
as a Paramedic in serving anyone that needed it. He also served on numerous boards and committees throughout his career, most recently serving as a board member for the Iowa EMS Association. He had a passion for the work the Iowa EMS Association was doing and their mission and thoroughly enjoyed his time in that capacity. Anyone who knew Russ knew he was an avid Packer fan and those that visited knew of his
“Packer Room.” They also knew of the quote he loved by Vince Lombardi, “The three most important things in life are God, family and the Green Bay Packers in that order.” He had a contagious laugh that once you first heard it you would never forget who it came from. He had a great smile that was part of his ability to be able to easily connect with others and create various bonds, whether it was his family, friends or his patients. In his spare time Russ enjoyed spending time riding his Harley, boating and golfing and especially enjoyed spending time with his wife and children, as well as spoiling his grandchildren and being the best “Bumpa” there is. Russ is survived by his wife Melody Piehl; and children Courtney, Cassie, Brandon, Tricia, Kayla and Jesse; grandchildren Kaiden, Adrianna, and Zoe; brothers Gregg and his wife Vicki Piehl, Doug and his wife Colleen Piehl, and Bruce and his wife Betty Piehl; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.

George Vannatta, III
George Vannatta, III – who doesn’t recognize the last name? The career of this man has spanned 39 years and in that time he has touched the lives of thousands of people, either as an EMT, a paramedic, a military medic and NCO, a Prehospital instructor of all levels, or as a friend and neighbor. He is the epitome of the words “pioneer” and “legend” with regard to EMS in Iowa... read more

George was drafted for the Vietnam War in 1968 as a medic in the Army. He served primarily with the 101st Airborne as a primary squad medic. Upon his discharge from the military in 1970, George returned to complete his college studies and returned to his hometown. George started his journey in civilian EMS in Greene County, Iowa in the town of Grand Junction in 1971. Fourteen members of the Grand Junction Fire Department decided that they were going to take an EMT course, as Greene County had no EMTs at that time, let alone an ambulance service. For the next 12 weeks they not only went through the training, but they spent time converting a panel van into an ambulance, the first in Greene County. George was active throughout the county, visiting many of the local clubs, teaching those groups CPR and the importance of it.

In 1977, George attended the next level of EMT training, EMT-1. Upon completion of this course, George was the only advanced level provider for the service and for the entire county. That same year, George met Marty Hutt, who was the owner of Capital City Ambulance in Des Moines. George was hired on as a full time EMT-1 and was partnered with another EMT-1, Robb “Rollie” McAdam. This was the start of a life time friendship, along with a lifetime of “big fun” as the two of them would say. Both Rollie and George attended paramedic class at Mercy Hospital from 1980 to 1982. They were the first paramedics in the city of Des Moines. George would play a pivotal role as an instructor for the next class.

In 1983, George returned to military life and was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. His primary duty was taking charge of a troop medical clinic. During this time, George was active in the education of the troops that were taking EMT class as a part of their military career, overseeing their education. He served tours in Korea, Egypt, and the Gulf War. He retired in 1994 as an E8 (First Sergeant, 1SG) and returned to Iowa.

George settled in Knoxville and fulfilled a dream of starting a private ambulance service, Medic One Ambulance. Robb came to work for George. George met his future wife, Karen and moved to Guthrie Center, upon the sale of Medic One in 1996. George started with Midwest Ambulance in Des Moines and returned to Mercy as a PRN Instructor, becoming a full time instructor in 1999.

George was involved in all aspects of the training center, teaching outreach EMT courses, ACLS, BCLS, and PHTLS. George had a vested interest in each and every one of his students. He also had a major role in the inception of Mercy Ambulance. He played a pivotal role in starting this service and making sure that it was staffed in the beginning.

In 2006, George started the first and only Paramedic Bridge class to be offered by Mercy. This was a class that he put together and received permission from the Bureau of EMS to provide for current Iowa paramedics to bridge up to the paramedic specialist level. Due to unforeseen medical issues, George was unable to complete this class, but his colleagues made sure that it was completed for him. His mantra “failure is not an option” held true for each and every one of his classes. In 2006, George received the Full Time Instructor of the Year Award from IEMSA.

George retired his certification in 2007 with the Bureau of EMS. Although retired, George would return to Mercy to instruct future paramedic classes on the importance of proper handling of patients with neurological conditions, namely Parkinson’s disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2005. In April of 2011, George was diagnosed with stage seven liver cancer. After a long fought battle, George passed away on July 13, 2012, just 10 days before his 62nd birthday. His love for EMS was only surpassed by his love for his family. His legacy continues on through the countless number of patients that he treated as a street medic, and the thousands of people that he provided instruction to, both in the civilian and military life. His oldest son continues in his father’s footsteps as a paramedic himself. George Vannatta III, truly a pioneer and legend in Iowa EMS.

Charles (Jack) Atkinson
Charles (Jack) Atkinson became a volunteer with the Preston Fire Department in 1968 and remained an active member until his death last November. He served as Assistant Chief for 40 years. During this time he was instrumental in setting up the rescue unit section of the Fire Department, teaching other members the use of rescue equipment including the jaws of life. He designed and help build several rescue trucks.

After encouragement from the funeral home director in Preston who had foreseen the need for trained personnel to support his ambulance, Jack participated in the first EMT class in Jackson County in 1971. This made him a chartered member of the Community Ambulance Service in 1976. Jack advanced his training to the EMT I Level. He not only served as an EMT I, but also maintained the vehicles for the service. In response to a fire or EMS call, Jack would close his business and respond to the emergency during the day, as well as being on call during the night and weekends. He was an active member until his health limited his activity in the fall of 2011.

Jack was born in Dixon, Illinois on December 17, 1935. He graduated from DeWitt High School and served in the U.S. Army for two years, stationed in Germany. After his service, he served four years in the Army Reserves. Jack was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church where he served as trustee, usher, member of finance committee, and a member of the building committee in construction of the church in 1983. He was a charter member of AMVETS Post 140, Preston and a member of the American Legion Post 602. Jack was a member of the Iowa Firefighter’s Association, Clinton County EMS Association and the Knights of Columbus. He chaired the AMVETS Easter Egg Hunt for many years and was an active blood donor, reaching the 16 gallon total.

Jack is survived by his wife, Carol, six sons, two daughters, and 13 grandchildren. His wife is also a volunteer with the Ambulance Service. Three of his sons are professional firefighters and paramedics. Two other sons and a son-in-law are members of a volunteer fire department. His two daughters and two daughters-in-law are also involved in the medical field. Jack has not only been a role model for his children, but also a role model and mentor for other young people entering the fire and EMS fields.

In the fall of 2011, the mayor of Preston honored Jack with a Proclamation as Volunteer of the Year Award, with subsequent yearly awards to be known as the “Charles Jack Atkinson, Volunteer of the Year Award.”
Jack died November 9, 2011 a victim of prostrate and bladder cancer.

Jack dedicated the majority of his life by serving as a volunteer. He has created a legacy of what a true reflection of humanitarian and volunteer spirit is in his community. He gave generously of his talent, spirit, energy, and most importantly his time to assist individuals, families and organizations in his community.

Dennis Bachman
Dennis Bachman has worked hard to start up and improve EMS departments all over central Iowa. He continues to be the instructor for Marshall County, going out to all the departments on a monthly basis, teaching EMS subjects. He has dedicated his entire life to EMS.

Dennis was born in Eldora, Iowa on August 14, 1944. He lived in the Hubbard, Iowa area all of his early life and attended Hubbard Community School and High School. He attended Buena Vista College in Storm Lake for three years.

He was hired as Deputy Sheriff in Hardin County in 1964. He worked for Northwestern Bell from 1966-1968. In 1968, he was hired as a deputy sheriff in Marshall County and attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. In 1970, he took a position with the Eldora Police Department and became Chief of Police in 1971. During that time he took the EMT A training through the newly formed EMS Bureau in the Department of Public Health. He then began operating the Eldora Ambulance Service within the Police Department.

In 1972 he moved to Hubbard to begin working for his father’s business. During this time he was asked by the city council to start an ambulance service in Hubbard as the funeral director was getting out of the ambulance business. An EMT class was started and a fund raising program was started to purchase an ambulance for the city.

In 1977, he took a position with Marshalltown Ambulance Service as a 24-hour supervisor. This is a full-time hospital-based service covering all of Marshall County. Dennis was also the training officer during these first five years. In 1980-81 he became an EMT-I and then continued on to take the paramedic training at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.

Dennis was appointed service director in 1983 and held that position until 1987. He continued to work full-time at Marshalltown and moved up to a Paramedic Specialist. In 2008 he moved on to other duties at the hospital and maintained his part-time status with the ambulance service.

In 1978, Dennis began teaching the EMT A classes at Iowa Valley Community College and also became a CPR instructor for the American Heart Association. He has continued to teach as an ACLS instructor. He continues to work part-time at Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center, serving on several committees within the hospital.

Dennis is active with the Marshall County EMS Association and the Marshall County Emergency Management Office. He has been a member of the Iowa EMS Association and served as representative to the Iowa 911 Council for five years. Dennis also serves on the Iowa Air Medical Advisory Board. In 1980 he started several first responder groups in Marshall County and presently is the training supervisor for 12 squads in Marshall County.

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IEMSA Memorial
If you were unable to attend the EMS Memorial Dedication in person or would like to relive this memorable event, you can now view this moving 23-minute presentation from the comfort of your computer. To begin, please select the speed of your Internet connection:
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IEMSA Categories
  • Full Time Instructor of the Year
  • Part Time Instructor of the Year
  • Dispatcher of the Year
  • Friend of EMS
  • Volunteer Individual
    EMS Provider
  • Career Individual EMS Provider
  • Volunteer EMS Service
  • Career Service
  • Hall of Fame

Know of someone who has made outstanding contributions to EMS in Iowa? Nominate them for an IEMSA Annual Award here! Or, download the printable PDF form here.



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