By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax EMS Association has made a donation of $100 to update maps covering the Colfax Rescue Squad’s service area in memory of Glen (Pete) Johnson.
Members of the EMS Association honored Johnson’s memory at their November 28 meeting.
Sally Johnson, Pete Johnson’s wife, said she appreciated the tribute to her husband.
Johnson served as an EMT on the Colfax Rescue Squad from 1984 until 1996 and also served as president of the rescue squad for several years.
At that time, there were no pagers and no scanners, so the Johnsons had a “fire phone” at their residence for rescue calls.
“There were lots of nights he didn’t get much sleep. (Serving on the rescue squad) was not a job — it was a calling,” Sally Johnson said.
Pete Johnson was killed in a traffic accident in Minneapolis in August of 2011.
Pete had two brothers and a sister-in-law who also served on the rescue squad. His calling to serve originated during the time he served in Vietnam, Sally Johnson said.
“He was very moved by what he saw there,” she said.
Pete Johnson earned his first Bronze Star as the result of an incident that occurred June 6, 1969, when his bunker was under a mortar attack.
One of Johnson’s fellow servicemen went outside the bunker but did not return.
“Pete found him outside by the door but could not revive him. He never forgot that,” Sally Johnson said.
Being an EMT or a firefighter does not come with a great deal of thanks, and all EMTs have one run that really stands out in their memory, she said.
Pete Johnson served on the Colfax Fire Department as well.
Many times EMTs never know — they never find out — what happens to the people they have helped or how they go on to live their lives, Sally Johnson said.
On those occasions when the EMTs cannot save someone’s life, they never forget that person, and they often are the people who are with someone at the very end, she said.
Family members can take comfort that their loved one was with people who cared deeply and that their family member “was not alone,” she said.
Following Pete Johnson’s accident in Minneapolis, EMTs responded to the scene, and “they were someone like every one of you,” Sally Johnson said, addressing the assembled members of the Colfax EMS Association.
Nothing could be done to help Pete, “but he wasn’t alone,” she said.
Sally Johnson, along with her children Michelle Peeso, Tracey Wolfe, Melissa Hanson, and Eric Johnson, expressed their appreciation for the work and the dedication of the Colfax EMTs.
Scott Johnson, Pete and Sally’s son, currently serves on the Colfax Rescue Squad.