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  • 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!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:12 AM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Ashleigh Sagat
    Bell Ambulance, Inc
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Ashleigh Sagat has worked for Bell Ambulance since August of 2015. Ashleigh has spent the majority of her career with Bell Ambulance as an EMT Field Training Officer. Ashleigh shows a true passion for Emergency Medical Services daily through the compassion and empathy she has for her patients.  In 2019 Ashleigh was promoted to EMT Supervisor.  Aside from patient care, you will be hard pressed to find someone who cares more for employee morale and the overall wellness of their coworkers than Ashleigh. She does what she can to make sure they have the knowledge and training needed to succeed.  With Ashleigh, whether people new or veteran, everyone is welcome and an important part of the team.

    Ashleigh is a lover of dogs, and currently has two little Yorkie pups at home.  She was a big softball Player throughout college and she is even in the Alverno College Hall of Fame for her performance.

    There is no doubt EMS is more than a job to Ashleigh, it is a calling. Ashleigh makes us proud every day and we are lucky to have her as part of the Bell Ambulance team and nominate her as a 2020 Star of Life.

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:00 AM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Dawn Swanson
    Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Dawn Swanson began her career in EMS seven and a half years ago when she decided to go from owning her own beauty salon to a working full time as an EMT at Tri-State Ambulance. Looking for something more challenging and a way to help a wider variety of people, she spent two years as an EMT before going back to school to become a Paramedic in 2014. After proving herself as an effective medic, she moved on to become a Preceptor and Field Training Officer, training EMT and Paramedic students and new employees. After four years of exemplary performance in these endeavors, Dawn is now a leader in the field as a Corporal, leading the coordination of retention and recruitment efforts, scheduling employees, and working directly with management to provide top quality patient care and service to the community.

    Dawn truly enjoys teaching and leading the EMTs and Paramedics at Tri-State and has received much praise from former students and trainees and her current coworkers for her patience, caring attitude, and dedication to everyone she works with. She is always willing to answer questions, sit down to review something, and take time to check in on her co-workers. She truly cares for each individual at the company and is an excellent provider. She is an outstanding example of leadership at Tri-State and has goals to continue advancing further within the organization.

    When not on an ambulance, Dawn enjoys spending time with her family. Her daughter is a freshman in college and her son is a sophomore in high school and their various athletic events keep her busy. She also loves new experiences, especially traveling. We are proud to nominate Dawn as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020 4:13 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Rick Conway
    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!

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