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  • Thursday, March 05, 2020 12:43 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Larry Haas
    Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Larry Haas is employed by Osseo Automotive in Osseo, Wisconsin and has been servicing Mayo Clinic’s fleet of ambulances since 2003.
    While we greatly value the work of our patient care providers, we also realize that someone must keep the wheels turning, literally, on our fleet in order for us to deliver quality patient care. Larry shares in the Mayo Clinic primary value that the needs of the patient come first, and he plays an essential role in delivering positive patient outcomes.

    Larry was born in the Town of Allen in Eau Claire County and started working in automotive repair at the age of 14, following in his father's footsteps. Larry began working at Osseo Automotive in 1992 and is certified by both Ford Motor Company and General Motors. He is known for his positive attitude, attention to detail and for demonstrating deep passion for the work he performs. Larry goes above and beyond to help whenever needed. Larry is known to his colleagues as the "ultimate team player" and is viewed as someone who makes the people he is working with better.

    Larry and his wife, Sandy, have six children and 11 grandchildren, and reside in Augusta, WI, where Larry is also a member of the Augusta Lions Club. When Larry is not helping family and friends he enjoys four-wheeling, hunting, camping, and fishing. Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service and Osseo Automotive are proud to have Larry represent us as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Thursday, February 20, 2020 11:17 AM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Mel Jorgenson
    HealthPartners Medical Transportation
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Community has always been something near and dear to Mel Jorgenson’s heart. At her rural EMS department, she has helped develop numerous outreach programs and events that have made a tremendous positive impact on her community and the county as a whole. These programs include First Aid Instruction, Car Seat Safety, Geriatric Falls Prevention, and a free Community Safety Day that educates over 300 children and families on safety and awareness.

    When the time comes and the tones drop, Mel always drops everything to help those in need. She brings with her a sense of calmness, and when she arrives on the scene everyone feels a sense of relief. On one call Mel responded to for a pulseless non-breather (PNB) adult male, there was a large amount of family present when the ambulance arrived. The responding staff were new to the service, making this the first resuscitation they had ever worked. Mel arrived on scene and immediately took charge of the incident. When you hear "take charge" people typically think of someone running the show and telling people what to do, but that's not how Mel takes charge. She is an educator at heart and that's exactly what she does in the field. She was able to coach the staff through the situation, answer their questions, and explain the importance of what they were doing. She then educated the family on what was happening and what to expect next. Ultimately, Mel was calm amid the chaos of a very serious emergency, which resulted in a save. Mel's not your average medical provider, she is someone that goes above and beyond each and every day, making those around her better. We are honored to nominate Mel as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:34 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Steve Woodstock
    Baraboo District Ambulance Service
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Steve Woodstock has worked for Baraboo Ambulance for three years. In his time with the service, he has worked to implement an inventory management system, taught at our training center, and ran many 911 and critical care transfers. Steve is an excellent Paramedic and patients have commented on the compassionate care they received while in his care.

    Steve is an Acting Lieutenant on his shift.  He is the kind of person that every service would love to have working for them.  If he sees something that needs to be done, he always steps up and takes on the responsibility of getting it done.    

    Our training center is capable of teaching EMR, EMT, and AEMT courses, and Steve has been involved in instructing at all these levels.  He is an excellent instructor that students respect and like. He looks forward to the future of our service, which is rapidly excelling and growing to reach its fullest potential. Steve has also received the Employee of the Year Award from Baraboo District Ambulance Service for his exemplary performance of duties. We are proud to nominate Steve as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:22 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Rachel Willer
    Baraboo District Ambulance Service
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Rachel Willer has worked part-time for Baraboo District Ambulance as a billing coder for the past three years. She truly enjoys working for the district and takes pride in being part of such a dedicated service. She has a Communication Degree with an emphasis in Public Relations, and she loves to write. Her writing skills have proved invaluable and have helped Baraboo EMS secure the Assistance to Firefighter Grant, providing a fully funded bariatric ambulance to the service. Rachel received the Chief’s Award for her ability to rewrite our grant application so that it was finally accepted. Her writing and creative skills are also being utilized to update the ambulance service’s new social media page. When she is not at work, Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark, and her three children, Tilly, Max and Gus. We are so grateful to have Rachel as a part of our team and are happy to nominate her as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:18 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Wendall Bare
    Ryan Brothers Ambulance
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Wendall Bare has been an Advanced EMT with Ryan Brothers Ambulance since June of 2009 and he will be retiring from EMS this summer to be able to spend more time with his family and grandchildren. His family moved to Portage, WI in 1993, where he joined the local EMS service, Paske Ambulance Service, which overtime became Divine Savior Hospital EMS. After passing his EMT-I class 11 years ago, he began working for Ryan Brothers Ambulance. Wendall says that working in EMS has been very challenging, but also very rewarding. He has enjoyed watching the industry grow and change in so many ways over the last 34 years. Wendall has given a lifetime of service to his community and he has been an instrumental part of the Ryan Brothers Fleet Maintenance and Fleet team.  He has initiated a Cot Maintenance Program and has created important training videos for employee training.  To help keep his fellow employees healthy, Wendall implemented the use of ultra violet light units for ambulances and crew quarters.

    The first encounter that sparked Wendall’s interest in EMS was while he was a member of the Mt. Pleasant, Iowa Volunteer Fire Dept.  He was called to a major accident with multiple people injured.  Being strictly on the fire side, he felt helpless on scene and wanted to be able to do more. Soon after, his volunteer department offered an EMS Basic class, and he signed up right away. At the time, Wendall was married with 3 boys and figured at a minimum, the knowledge he would obtain would help with all the bumps, scrapes, and injuries his boys were seeming to acquire daily. He also had experience in being in stressful and dangerous situations because he served as a Combat Life Saver during the first Desert Storm. He always has a smile on his face and is ready to help with any task that is needed to make Ryan Brothers a better place. He will truly be missed upon his retirement. Congratulations Wendall, a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 1:39 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Cody Letson
    Ryan Brothers Ambulance
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Cody Letson was born and raised in Milton, WI and now lives there with his wife and two kids. He attended school at UW Madison and shortly after graduating with a degree in Biology, attended Paramedic school at Madison Area Technical College. Cody spends much of his free time with his wife Kristina and his kids, Cade and Elly. Together, they enjoy doing things outside, playing sports, and fishing. Cody is also very close with his extended family and spends a lot of time hunting and fishing with his brothers. He also enjoys working with his hands doing woodworking and home renovation projects for my family and friends.

    Cody initially became interested in EMS through his brother Chase, who works full time as a Firefighter and Medic for a local department. Cody then started at Ryan Brothers Ambulance as and EMT-Basic while he was college, and through a sponsorship within the company, he was able to become a Paramedic. He now works as the Quality Assurance Coordinator at Ryan Brothers Ambulance and enjoys the challenges that come with this position. He is a valuable leader and is responsible for the Formal QA process and call reviews. In addition to being a full-time Paramedic, he has also held lead roles in several areas of Ryan Brothers Ambulance operations in his eight years of service, including Safety, 911 Training, and Onboarding Evaluation. Cody enjoys that being a Paramedic has given him an opportunity to meet, help, and work with some amazing people, and gives him the ability to make a difference in his community. He is highly respected by his peers and consistently shows compassion for all people he comes into contact with; patients, customers, and co-workers. EMS is a fast-paced career that is continually evolving, and Cody is looking forward to what EMS has in store for him. We are proud of Cody and excited to nominate him as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 11:14 AM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Jessica Seefeld
    Baraboo District Ambulance Service
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Jessica Seefeld joined Baraboo District Ambulance Service in 2014 and has also served Colby Ambulance Service, the Spencer Area Ambulance Service & Fire Department, and Spirit Medical Transport. She also worked as an adjunct instructor for MSTC after her graduation.

     Jessica enjoys the various tasks you must perform as a Critical Care Paramedic. She says that no two days are the same and serving the citizens that live in the response area of Baraboo District Ambulance Service is exciting and humbling. Being a Paramedic exposes you to diverse and unexpected situations that challenge your problem solving skills. Her actions consistently make a positive impact during calls that are often a very trying time in a patient’s life. For example, Jessica was recently involved in a call for assistance by a homeless veteran who was living in his truck. After taking care of the patient, she took additional time getting him in touch with the Veteran’s Crisis Center who then helped him with his medical care and finding a place to live. This is one of the many instances that Jessica has gone above and beyond to help a person in need.

    Jessica has a special connection with veterans and she currently serves in the Wisconsin Nation Guard as a Sergeant. Jessica returned last year from a deployment in the Middle East as part of operations Enduring Freedom, Spartan Shield, and Inherent Resolve.   

    Jessica is an Acting Lieutenant with Baraboo Ambulance and is in charge of the Billing Department. In the past she has received the Chief’s Award for Outstanding Service and the Employee of the Year Award.

    Jessica is currently enrolled in college, working on her Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Management, where she is sustaining a GPA of 4.0. She was also selected to the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Jessica is married to Command Sergeant Major Micheal Seefeld.

    We are proud to honor Jessica as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:51 AM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Brian Pekarske
    Paratech Ambulance
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Brian Perkarske began his career in EMS back in 2008 as an EMT. Since then he has served as a Paramedic, Critical Care Paramedic, and Operations Supervisor. Additionally, Brain is a graduate of the UW Milwaukee Community Paramedic Program.

    Recently while responding to a Motor Vehicle Crash (MVC), Brian’s squad was involved in a significant MVC of its own. Footage of the incident shows another vehicle run a red light and striking Brain’s squad. Without hesitation or evaluation of his own well-being, Brian rushed to the vehicle that had struck his squad to provide aid. Brian’s selfless, heroic actions in this response is just one exemplary example of why he is a Star of life.

    Brian is a US Army Veteran; he served two tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division. Outside of EMS Brian is a simple guy who enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter who loves pineapple on his pizza. He does not have any dogs or cats, instead he has several pet rodents!

    Paratech Ambulance is proud have Brian as a part of our team and are honored to nominate him as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:39 AM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Kim Reimer
    Meda Care Ambulance
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Kim Reimer joined Meda Care Ambulance as an EMT in 2018 and received a promotion to Divisional Supervisor in March of 2019. Her attitude, compassion and commitment to providing the very best patient care is unmatched. Kim quickly earned the respect of her colleagues, leading by example and always putting an emphasis on teamwork and making a difference on every call.

    Kim grew up in Milwaukee and is passionate about her family, faith, and any outdoor activity. She has two biological children and one adopted son. When she is not with her family or on a hike, she is probably running a call with her local volunteer fire department.

    Meda Care Ambulance is proud to have Kim on our team and call her a 2020 Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:29 AM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Noelle Gross
    Bell Ambulance, Inc
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Noelle Gross has been serving Bell Ambulance for four years. While this is not necessarily a lot of time, her impact on the company has been extraordinary. She started as a shy EMT-Basic, however by 2017 she had received her Paramedic certification, and dove head-first into her new role. She quickly became a knowledgeable and aggressive Paramedic. It didn’t take long for her to venture into Critical Care, and in 2018, she attended the UMBC Critical Care Program.

    Noelle shows a true passion for EMS and now, as a field training officer, she is sharing everything she has learned. Noelle breathes a breath of fresh air into the company every day, bringing an energetic attitude and a fun disposition.

    Just this past December, Noelle responded to a healthcare facility for a patient complaining of weakness and increased edema. When she arrived, she found the male patient very lethargic and unable to speak. During the assessment of the patient, she discovered that he was suffering from hypotension and a heartrate of only 34 bpm. Noelle and her partner swiftly placed pacer pads on the patient and set the heartrate at 70. With that, the patient became more alert, and his blood pressure stabilized. Noelle and her partner administered analgesics to help the patient tolerate the pacer, and they successfully delivered him to the ER. This is just one of many examples of her excellent care in the field.

    Noelle lives with her boyfriend Josh in West Allis. Noelle is also a Paramedic with the Thiensville Fire Department and spends most of her days off playing doggy-mom to her Blue Tick Coonhound and her German Shepard. We are grateful to have Noelle as part of our team and are happy to nominate her as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

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