Gundersen Tri-State Ambualnce
2020 Wisconsin Star of Life
Rick Conway currently works as a full-time dispatcher and call taker for Gundersen Health System’s Medical Communications – MedComm, where he provides lifesaving EMD pre-arrival orders to 911 callers in a five-county region and dispatches ambulances and helicopters to an even broader area. When he is not in MedComm, Rick can be found working on an ambulance or for the Onalaska Fire Department as a Firefighter and EMS Training Officer.
Rick began his career in public safety in 1977 as Firefighter in a small rural Wisconsin community. In 1984 he successfully completed EMT training and began his EMS career volunteering for multiple rural Wisconsin communities. In 1988 he moved to La Crosse and began working for Tri-State Ambulance as both an EMT and a Dispatcher. Back then, Tri-State only operated two ambulances full-time, one at the paramedic level and the other at the EMT level, with crews rotating between dispatch and ambulance duty.
One of Rick’s favorite ambulance assignments is working special events. Rick’s friendly and accommodating attitude has made him a go-to person at most of our routine special events. Just last year, our local stock car racetrack honored Rick by featuring him on their social media pages and through crowd announcements. Everyone knows Rick by name, and he represents both EMS and our organization very well.
When asked what his favorite part of working in EMS is, Rick’s responses were not at all surprising. His favorite part is caring for people in need and his second favorite part is having the opportunity to meet and interact with so many people on a daily basis, particularly at special events.
Rick currently lives in Onalaska, Wisconsin with his wife Kari and has two sons and three grandchildren who live nearby. Rick’s primary joy in life is his family and the time he spends with them whether that be at family gatherings or just a quiet night at home. We are so thankful to have Rick as a part of our team and are happy to award him as a 2020 Star of Life!