Letter to the Editor

EMS Week is May 17-23

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Emergency Medical Services week is May 17-23. This year's slogan is "A proud partner in your community." This slogan recognizes the commitment that emergency medical personnel make on behalf of the communities they serve. Each year volunteers from throughout Dickinson County respond in their communities to neighbors in need. It doesn't matter if it is three in the morning in the middle of a blizzard; dedicated volunteers answer the call for help whenever it comes in. The majority of the responders in the county respond as volunteers. Some of the professional providers based out of Lakes Regional Healthcare receive wages for their response, but this group of dedicated individuals also provides care at an advanced level -- bringing paramedic-level care to all citizens in Dickinson County. Dickinson County currently boasts 76 active EMS providers and 10 new providers waiting to complete testing to become EMS providers.

During Emergency Medical Services week I would encourage you to reach out to those who volunteer in your communities and say thanks you to those individuals. I would personally also like to mention and say thank you to the folks that are the volunteer professionals that make up the Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue, this group provides the emergency services for the cities of Arnolds Park and Okoboji as well as the emergency services on the lower chain of lakes. The following individuals comprise the Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue: Thad Thomas (EMT-B), Misty Dulin (EMT-B), Ericka Fritz (EMT-B), Mike Revland (Paramedic), Tim Kinnetz (RN Paramedic), Jason Kirschbaum (EMT-B), Dave Nelson (EMT-B), Amy Badgley (EMT-B), Jesse Welch (EMT-B), Dave Badgley (RN EMT-B), Chris Yungbluth (Paramedic), Patricia Zalabowski (EMT-B), Michele Rausch (EMT-B). Also assisting with rescues are firefighters Todd Krukow, Craig Gray, Neal Houge, Ron Boettcher, Tarica Yungbluth, Ryan Putnam, Bob Kirschbaum, Chad Zimmerman, Jim Hentges, Eric Hinshaw, Pete Rose, Dallas Lowry, Duane Zahradnik, Richard Zalabowski, Mark Peterson and Andy VanSchepen.

Thank you to all EMS providers for your service to your communities. You truly do make a difference to the residents and visitors of our communities.


Chris Yungbluth

Fire Chief

Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue