Enthusiastic instructor with 18 years of classroom
instruction experience and recently as an EMS continuing
education instructor. Served as a volunteer and career provider
from the emergency medical technician through paramedic levels.
Strong background in both the knowledge base and practical
skills needed to prepare quality EMS providers.
Traer Ambulance Service, Traer IA 2004-2017
Staff paramedic and office manager
- Provided emergency care in a prehospital setting
- Managed day to day operations of the agency
- Kept up to date with Federal, State, and local
regulations, procedures, and changes
- Prepared statistical studies to help with compliance of
changing federal, state and local regulations
- Experienced in EMS billing
- Provided initial and continuing education for other staff
- Served as an invited speaker for local, state, and
regional medical conferences
Traer Electronic Consulting, Traer, IA 1998-2004
- Independent consultant providing design, installation, and
support of computer networks.
- Provided technical support from desktop level up to
- Networks designed and installed for small business, health
care, and industry
North Tama County Community Schools, Traer, IA 1979-1997
Science instructor and Athletic Trainer
- Supervised and instructed students in a 9-12 high school.
Courses included physical science,
chemistry, and physics.
- Provided medical care as an athletic trainer for the 7-12
- Integrated technology into science instruction
- Emphasis on cross discipline experience to enhance student
- Bachelors of Arts - Chemistry Education / Athletic
Training University of Northern Iowa, 1978
- Graduate courses in science instruction and technology
University of Northern Iowa, 1980-88
- Graduate course in technology Drake University, 1990
- Graduate course in technology Iowa State University, 1995
- Emergency medical technician – paramedic Hawkeye Community
- Certified instructor (7-12) in chemistry, physics,
biology, anatomy, and health (currently inactive)
- Iowa certified Paramedic (EMT-PM)
- Nationally certified athletic trainer
- AHA CPR instructor
Aiko Kamies. Yup, there are other people out there
with interesting names just like mine. That is the first thing I
remember about him 20 years ago when I first met Aiko. He had
come to my EMT-B class and was showing us how to “spike” a fluid
bag. He explained very clearly how helpful this was when someone
else was starting an IV. I also remember thinking, “ah that’s
not something I will end up having to do very often” as my own
volunteer service at the time was made up of EMT-B’s. Wow has
time changed! There is seldom a day that I work that I do not
end up “spiking” a bag! For the next several years there were
conferences or other EMT classes where I would have the chance
to listen or speak with Aiko. I was always impressed with his
knowledge and straight forward sincerity.
When I was considering applying for Paramedic school Aiko was
one of those people I contacted as Orange City was the closest
paid Paramedic service around. When asked if there would be an
opportunity to work in Orange City, Aiko answered “absolutely”
and that as a casual employee this would provide great
opportunity to keep up my newly acquired Paramedic skills.
Shortly before my National Registry Exam (2 days to be precise)
I received word there might be a chance for a full-time position
in Orange City. I excitedly checked with Aiko who matter a
factly told me “go pass your exam, get your card, and let me
know”. Little did I know these communications would lead to a
full-time career where I would have a chance to learn directly
with and from Aiko. But it did.
On my first day in Orange City, I remember Aiko coming into
the room to watch me do my first IV start at my new job. When I
was all done, he looked straight at me and said, “You do that
well, I have no worries, so you are on your own”. For the next 4
years I would see him again and again take this tone and
calmness when dealing with new people/students as he gave
direction. You never walked away feeling like you were an idiot.
To this day I still strive to be as good at IV starts as Aiko is
in IV starts! He truly was the king at tough “sticks”. No matter
if it was as an EMT, EMT instructor, Firefighter or Paramedic,
he always sought get the best out of people.
Aiko has never shied away from being the supervisor who
helped you rearrange your schedule to fit family events. He has
always believed that family comes first. Once, my wife who is
also an EMT had one of those horrific calls and was struggling
to deal with the outcome. I was supposed to go in that night,
but she wasn’t doing well and was looking for emotional support.
After explaining the situation and despite having worked the
previous 48 hours Aiko was willing to stay that night to cover
my call shift.
As a leader, Aiko has always understood each person; be it an
ambulance driver or housekeeper and all the way up to our
surgeons, has a role to play in saving a person’s life. It has
been with the simple “hellos” or “thanks” that have led to many
well-deserved smiles on people’s faces from this simple
recognition. Thought his quiet actions, Aiko always showed what
he honestly believes.
These are the values that Aiko showed day in and day out
making him a true EMS leader. I had the privilege of for almost
5 years to work beside Aiko in many a unique situation and to
this day miss his calming presence. He has helped establish
Orange City Area Health System Ambulance and the sister services
from Alton, Granville, Hospers, and Paullina into the
affiliation they have today. Under his leadership and our
Medical Director Protocols, Policies and various agreements were
formed. The importance of his work was truly highlighted during
my first years when we were under inspection from the Bureaus of
EMS when one of the newly minted Regional Coordinator stated
“you truly have a great thing going up here!”
In the years since his retirement Aiko has continued to be a
mentor and friend. There is few people that will truly every
understand those feeling of despair from a bad call or extreme
joy when things all go right, to working with hospital politics
or supporting the strong willed determination of small town EMS
volunteers, yet trying to show them the regional picture to
working alongside career Paramedics who want to advance their
skills to the Critical Care Paramedic level. Today, it can be
with a simple phone call or sitting down for coffee which ends
up lasting for hours that Aiko provides mentorship and continues
his support of EMS.
With these values and commitments Aiko has truly shown himself
to be a leader in EMS. It is now time for us to say thanks. He
has never sought recognition for himself and has often stepped
away from the spotlight. Therefore, it is my honor to nominate
him for the Career Individual EMS Provider Award.
With an Iowa Paramedic number of 12, Steve has truly
been here from the beginning. Steve started his Paramedic career
at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa (the first
paramedic service in the state of Iowa).
As one of Steve’s responsibilities, he taught the ECG portion
of the Paramedic Program at Mary Greeley Medical Center. He
required all of his students to learn 12-lead ECG
interpretation. This back in the early 1980’s when few
paramedics were proficient in interpreting basic ECG rhythm
strips, let alone 12-lead ECGs. Without question Steve is the
Godfather of prehospital 12-lead ECGs in Iowa.
Back in those early days when emergency department physicians
and cardiologists were few and far between, most staff
physicians were not comfortable reading and interpreting 12-lead
ECGs. It was common for a physician to stop Steve in the hallway
at Mary Greeley for a curbside consult on an ECG.
He was pretty hard core in his expectations in those early
days. As an ACLS instructor, participants (paramedics, nurses,
physicians, and students alike) knew they had better know their
stuff going into his station.
Despite this hard core exterior, the dignity and compassion he
showed for every patient and family member was an example and
inspiration to all around him. He knows the importance of
calling patients by the name.
He continued his career coordinating and teaching the
Paramedic Program at Mercy Medical Center, where countless
students benefited from his knowledge and experience.
Steve was a member of the PHTLS Affiliate Faculty and has
trained instructors and provides alike around the world.
He was a member of the Team at the Johnston Space Center in
Houston Texas that worked in designing the emergency medical
plans and procedures for the International Space Station.
Steve has provided education, training, and the benefits of
his experience to countless numbers around the state of Iowa,
the United States, and around the world.
Steve’s path took him to the Bureau of EMS where he has spent
many of the last years working to improve and support EMS in
Iowa. Steve now serves as the Executive Officer of the Bureau of
EMS of Emergency and Trauma Services, where he continues to
provide insight and leadership for EMS in Iowa.
Steve is veteran of the Vietnam War, serving as the gunner on
a Cobra Attack Helicopter. His aircraft was shot down and he
spent several month in a Saigon hospital while having his back
Steve is also a member of the Patriot Guard Rider
Organization. An organization committed to showing sincere
respect for fallen heroes, their families, and their
communities. This group provides a shield for the mourning
family and friends from interruption created by a protester or
group of protesters in legal nonviolent manor.
An old Yiddish Proverb goes something like this: A life lost
is a world lost, a life saved is a world saved.
Thank you for your dedication and perseverance through all
these years for which I am certain, many a world had been saved
because of you.
Dennis Frisch has volunteered for Durant Ambulance
since 1973. In 1974 Denny began teaching CPR and has continued
to this day, along with becoming a EMS Instructor in 1975,
Dennis has taught many classes. He holds a Master’s Degree in
Science and has taught school in the Durant area for 33 years
until recently retiring.
Over the years Dennis has sat on many Boards relating to EMS
including American Heart Assn Regional Faculty. He has
tirelessly wrote many grants for the Durant Ambulance Service.
Mr. Frisch turned 75 this year, and he has yet to slow down!
Every day (except yesterday and today!) at around 5 am you can
find him at the Durant Ambulance building checking out the rigs,
making sure they are stocked and ready to go. He continues to
attend monthly meetings related to the current grant funding
from the State and to keep informed on EMS happenings. On the
first of every month you will find him at the ambulance barn
practicing every one of his skills. Denny is a sponge for
knowledge and information. He is one of the most hard working,
ethical, compassionate, and humble men I know. I am proud to
have him as a mentor and a friend.
I wish we all could have just half the devotion this man has
to EMS. Our service runs close to a 1,000 calls a year, and
Dennis is in the top 3 for being on call and going on calls. EMS
for him is more than just about volunteering…it’s a lifestyle of
caring for his fellow man.
The staff of Life Line Emergency Vehicles would like to nominate
Connie Leicher for the 2018 Hall of Fame Award.
From her early days as EMS Coordinator for Hawkeye Institute
of Technology, to her retirement as CEO of Life Line Emergency
Vehicles, Connie has devoted her career to the betterment of the
EMS community. As a founding member of IEMSA and an EMS
educator, she recognized the need for continued education for
the EMS providers of our state and surrounding areas.
Having worked with Connie as both a student and a co-educator at
Hawkeye Institute and Hawkeye Community College, I have
witnessed her passion for a high quality of education for the
EMS students. There are probably many EMS personnel attending
this year’s conference that have benefited from Connie’s passion
for EMS education. EMS has evolved to the state-of-the-art
pre-hospital care we know today due to the commitment of
pioneers like Connie Leicher. This EMS evolution would not have
been possible without the spirit and determination of our past
leaders and educators.
When Connie’s husband Terry passed away suddenly in July of
2010, Connie did not hesitate to step in and become CEO of Life
Line Emergency Vehicles. Coming out of her retirement from
Hawkeye Community College, she again showed her passion for the
EMS community. The passion for building a quality ambulance was
no different to her than building a quality EMS student. Both
served the EMS community needs from different perspectives.
Connie joked in August of 2010 that she’d give five years to
Life Line, she retired eight years later at the end of June
2018. Just as she left her mark on EMS education, she gave all
of us at Life Line Emergency Vehicles the spirit to become the
company we are today. Her commitment to Life Line and the
community of Sumner, allowed Life Line to become 100% employee
owned in August of 2017.
The Hall of Fame Award is about the true spirit of the EMS
community. For almost 40 years Connie Leicher has shown all of
us in the EMS community what that spirit should look like. We
all owe much to Connie and people like her who have given of
themselves to make pre-hospital care the standard it is today.
From EMS educator to EMS manufacturer, Connie is the true
picture of IEMSA Hall of Fame. I can think of no better
recipient of this award.
We have chosen to nominate Mike Sexe for the EMS Service
Provider of the Year award do to his ongoing involvement in our
community with our local county fair. He organizes EMT services
for our fairgrounds for the annual county fair as well as other
off fair events on the grounds.
Mike volunteers his own time and efforts to make sure we are
covered by at least one ambulance crew for each event. Many
times he will have at least two crews on site so we may continue
with our events in the event someone needs medical attention.
Mike has personally tended to needs of injured fair goers as
well as participants in the events. He and his staff have also
transported the injured to our local hospital as needed.
We would like to thank him for his continued support of the
Humboldt County Fair as many events could not happen without his
I am honored to nominate my father, Troy Armstrong,
for the Hall of Fame. He began his career in November 1988 when
the Buffalo Center Ambulance was in desperate need of
volunteers. His uncle was a charter member of the ambulance and
so my father decided to help out his community and begin to help
Troy took the First Responder class and then in 1991 became a
EMTA. In 1993 he took the EMTI class. He is currently a EMT.
Troy has had various positions on the Buffalo Center
Ambulance including President, Vice President, Training Officer,
and currently the secretary. He has helped teach various CPR and
EMT classes and also served on the Winnebago County EMS Board of
Troy is currently the Mayor of Buffalo Center and is
currently serving on the Winnebago and Kossuth County 911
Boards. Buffalo Center responds to approximately 130 calls a
year. They cover about 200 square miles. He is on call for the
service about 300 hours a month.
He has been a volunteer EMT in our small town of about 900
since 1991. He has dedicated many hours to this profession. His
true act of kindness and caring shows daily.....
One call that stands out was his first cardiac arrest save
with the defib was on a 80 y/o female. Every time this pts
husband would see my father to thanked him for giving him 3 more
years with his wife.
I have looked up to my father ever since I could remember
because he is an EMT. He truly loves what he does, he shows a
lot of compassion to his patients and many times follows up with
them and talks to them after they return from the hospital.
Dad is one of the most caring EMTs you will ever meet. He
also became an EMT-I provider to further himself in the EMS
industry. Dad says this is one of the most rewarding things he
has ever done in his life. He has dedicated 27 years of
volunteering and giving back to his community. I couldn't be
more proud as a son, to watch my dad touch so many people's
lives. I am currently following in his footsteps and taking the
EMT course myself.
When I think of the qualities an EMS professional must hold, I
think of responsibility, intelligence, the willingness to
sacrifice to help others and compassion, to name a few. If I had
to think of one individual who embodies the spirit of EMS, it
would be my dad.
We moved to Clarinda in 1993 when he became the Director of
Emergency Medical Services , a position he still holds today. He
was the first Paramedic to provide service and for quite some
time, the only paramedic. This meant that he was constantly on
call. I can recall several occasions when he had to leave
suddenly such as a play, a game or Christmas morning... He
understood and was willing to sacrifice his own happiness to
help others. Having received a wonderful education at Creighton
University he understood the importance of education in EMS and
became an instructor which led to the creation of hundreds of
EMTs over the years, many of which went on to become paramedics
and all of which have saved even more lives. Having been one of
his students, I can tell you he was tough and he taught us that
not only was it important to be technically perfect, but to be
able to hold the hand of a dying patient and comfort a scared
family. His love of EMS and drive to continue to improve our
system brought him to run for the IEMSA board and he continues
to enjoy being able to have a voice in EMS and encourage others
to as well. For all his ability to assert himself when a member
of his crew is in need of recognition, he is very quiet in
relating his personal accomplishments. He sees all he has
accomplished as “part of the job,” which it is...but when I look
back at the last 30+ years he has been in EMS, I see a hero.
There are a few discussions about EMS in Iowa that in some way
have not been influenced by Chief Frank Prowant. From teaching
EMS to leading EMS, and influencing the next generation of EMS
Leaders, he has been a fixture in EMS in the state of Iowa for
many years. Through his vision and guidance, the many EMS
Services that he has touched have grown and evolved as a result
of his input. He has the uncanny ability to see EMS from all
points of view. He is an advocate for progress while at the same
time not losing sight of the time tested EMS practices that
provide for the best patient outcomes. His voice can be heard as
an advocate for all patients through his advocating for EMS. One
could be hard pressed to find a better ally for EMS in all of
public safety. As one who has had their approach to EMS shaped
by Chief Prowant, I can say that I have never encountered a
Through him and his actions it is clear that EMS in Iowa has
improved. The leaders that he has taught will continue to
oversee the evolution of EMS in the state.
It would be safe to say that there are few discussions about
EMS in Iowa that would be complete without discussion of the
role that Chief Prowant has played. It is rare to work with a
living legend, and I am honored to nominate Chief Frank Prowant
for induction in to the IEMSA EMS Hall of Fame.
In 1994, Ray Stone began serving as a volunteer fire fighter and
EMT with Clay Township Fire and Rescue and continuing until
2014. He was a founding member and driving force behind the
successful growth of a brand new department to be known as Clay
Township Fire Department. Once an idea or suggestion was made to
upgrade the department, the building or equipment, Ray would
take that idea, research it and was the biggest driving force to
make it happen.
In 1995 Ray with 5 other department members took an EMT class
and all became EMTS for the department. At that time the
department name was changed to Clay Township Fire and Rescue.
In 1997 Ray and one other medic became EMS instructors and
In 1998 Ray Stone and Fay Boyd started their first EMT B
class in January. As a result of that class 3 more EMTS were
added to the department.
While on the Department he served in many officer roles, he
served as Chief, Assistant Chief, Training officer and EMS
Coordinator. He wrote many grants for the department to help
improve the equipment.
Ray went on to become Marion County’s Interim EMA and took on
the full time position in November 1998 and retired in December
2007. Ray was at the EMA during a particularly interesting
period of time following 9/11/01 where federal grant dollars
flowed from FEMA through the states to local governments in
large quantities. He was instrumental in helping to identify
applicable projects for those grant dollars, and was successful
in securing those grants for many projects in Marion County.
Some of these projects included communications equipment and
preparedness for hazardous hazardous materials . Ray also
planned and executed many exercises that ranged from table top
to full scale, impacting several hundred first responders during
He started the Marion County Red Cross Redi program to assist
residents with Red Cross help after experiencing a fire. He
recruited many to help with the endeavor and assisted with the
mountain of paperwork to complete. He formed the Marion county
Critical Incident Stress Management team and went to many
debriefing and defusing. He recruited not only the peer support
but also the mental health providers to keep the team full and
active. After 9/11 Ray went to Ground Zero as a CISM volunteer
and worked at Ground Zero in this capacity for 2 weeks. He
returned with many humbling stories and shared the devastation
from a “Bird’s eye view” to his Department.
Ray went on to become trustee for Clay Township from 2007 to
Ray always encouraged everyone, not only on his own
department but everyone in Marion County and sometimes the
surrounding counties too. He was there to lend an ear, a
shoulder to lean or cry on. When you had a bad call or one that
just bothered you, he would listen, support and encourage you.
He would also check on you every few days for a while to make
sure you were doing ok.
Ray was not only supportive, encouraging and caring of his
peers, but also of the victims he cared for. Whether it was a
rescue or EMS call, fire call or another tragic event for
someone in the community, Ray was there with a hug and an
encouraging word for the victim and/or the victim’s family.
Ray passed away this February, and will be missed by his
family, his Clay Township Fire and Rescue family and his peers
in all emergency services not only in Marion County, but in the
State of Iowa. Ray was one of the few people who in 18 years of
his service to emergency services strived to make a difference
in care and response to incidents.
The following quote sums up Ray’s life and service to
Emergency Services, ‘What you call a hero. I call, just doing my
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
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
Rosie has served on numerous local, regional, state, and
national associations in the Emergency Medical and Emergency
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Award accepted by her Clay Township Fire Department co-workers
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
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 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
Earlier this year Jeff retired because of a service-related
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
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.
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 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
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!
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
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
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
“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 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, 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.
(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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.