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EMS week May 15 to 21: say ‘hello’ to the Colfax EMTs

Compiled by Don Knutson, Colfax Rescue Squad director

COLFAX  —  May 15 to May 21 is Emergency Medical Services week.

The EMTs who serve with the Colfax Rescue Squad provide service 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days a year.

What follows is a list of Colfax EMTs and a brief biography about each of them.

EMT-A means Emergency Medical Technician Advanced, and EMT-B means Emergency Medical Technician Basic.

The biographies were written by Don Knutson, director of the Colfax Rescue Squad.

The next time you see any of the EMTs, tell them how much you appreciate their service.

Travis Borreson, EMT-A: Travis is a plumber from Anson with a wife and two children.

Michelle Briggs, EMT-B: Michelle is an RN from Menomonie and moving to the Colfax area soon.

Tyler Clark, EMT-B: Tyler is a graduate from UWEC and will soon be pursuing a career as a Physician’s Assistant. He lives in Eau Claire and works for Gold Cross Ambulance when not here.

Carrie Demuth, EMT-B: Carrie is an ER Tech at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and commutes from the Bloomer area.

Samantha Engler, EMT-B: Samantha is a fire medic student at CVTC and works part-time at Lake View Medical Center and lives in Eau Claire.

Jessica Erickson, EMT-A: Jessica holds a doctorate in Physical Therapy and works for St. Joe’s and Sacred Heart Hospital. She is a single mother of a son.

Gerald Favero, EMT-B: Gerald has twice retired as a Marine lieutenant colonel and a deputy from Washington State. You only see him during the summer months as he disappears to warmer climates during the winter. Gerald and his wife live in the Sand Creek area and volunteer for the American Red Cross as CPR instructors and disaster aid workers deploying on short notice.

Erin Geraghty, EMT-B: Erin is a fire medic student at CVTC and is from the Eau Claire area.

Richard Henrichs, EMT-A: Rick works as an ER Tech at Mayo Clinic Health System – Eau Claire, as well as working part-time for the Bloomer ambulance. He is the father of two pre-teens and lives in the Chippewa area.

Peter Jain, EMT-B: Peter works at the ethanol plant between Boyceville and Wheeler as a maintenance worker. He lives in the Elk Mound area raising his two daughters after the sudden death of his wife last fall.

Scott Johnson, EMT-A: Scott has progressed through the ranks of explorer to advanced EMT. He is probably the most dedicated individual to the Rescue Squad. He lives in the Village of Colfax.

Roger Knutson, EMT-A: Roger has been with the service for 23 years. In his spare time, he drives for DART Trucking (40 to 80 hours a week). He lives in the Colfax area with his wife and step-children.

Jake Kreiner, EMT-B: Jake is a fire medic student at CVTC and lives in the Eau Claire area.

Daniel Lamentry, EMT-B: Dan is a fire medic student at CVTC and lives in the Eau Claire area unless he is staying at his family cabin in Colfax.

Chris Larson, firefighter: Chris drives occasionally for us. He trains our staff because he is certified in “train the trainer” for driving. His main job is a driver of all trucks, dump, semi, etc. Chris also has assumed the duties of post commander for the American Legion in Colfax.

Jerry Lofthus, EMT-B: Jerry is a very busy man. He works for Jennie-O in Barron, hauling turkey feed. He is the Sand Creek constable and assistant chief of the Sand Creek Fire Department. He works part-time for a lawn mowing company. When he has time, his son and he enjoy building and pulling garden tractors.

Lance Lofthus, EMT-B: Lance is a firefighter with the Sand Creek Fire Department and works fire protection at Rock Falls Race Way. Lance can also be seen at Viking Bowl working as well. He hopes to pursue a career as a fire medic in the future.

Nick Mann, EMT-A: Nick works full time at Big Timber Sawmill. He lives in the Elk Mound area with his wife and children.

Jared Miller, EMT-B: Jared will be starting the paramedic program in the fall. He works for Colfax Rescue as well as Adams-Friendship ambulance.

Blake Miller, EMT-B: Blake is thinking about the fire medic program. While he does this, he volunteers with the New Auburn Fire Department. He also works weekends at TTM in Chippewa.

Jim Osterman, EMT-A: Jim is a maintenance worker at Wal-Mart Distribution on Saturday through Monday shift. Jim stays with us on Sunday morning and Monday morning and takes on-call time with us, saving himself a drive back to Fairchild. In his free time, he likes to sky dive, volunteer at the Highground Veterans Memorial Park and spend time with his wife and kids. Jim is taking May and June off and traveling by motorcycle across the U.S. to visit with veterans and to sky dive in as many states as he can.

Gary Reither, EMT-B: Gary was an EMT and let his license lapse. He decided he missed healthcare and became re-certified as an EMT. EMT work runs in Gary’s family. Gary’s mother is an EMT in Neillsville, and both his daughters have been EMTs. Gary is currently taking nursing classes at CVTC. In his other life, Gary owns Reither Fence, which installs all types of fences. Gary and his family live between Colfax and Elk Mound.

Dawn Roberts, EMT-A: Dawn works at Mayo Clinic Health System-Eau Claire following her education in medical coding. She is active in pony club and Sweet Adelines in Colfax. She lives with her family just outside of Colfax.

David Shipman, firefighter: Dave has driven for us for many years when we need two EMTs in the back or when we are training new people. Dave lives with his family just outside of Colfax.

Joel Smith, EMT-A: You may not see Joel much in Colfax, but if there is a call in Sand Creek, you will probably see him. Joel is a paramedic/firefighter at the Minneapolis airport. He is also the fire chief in Sand Creek and on the town council. He lives in Sand Creek with his family.

Leah Suzan, EMT-A: Leah is a fire medic student at CVTC, an ER tech at Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake, and an EMT on the Bloomer ambulance. She is from the Bloomer area.

Tim Swenson, EMT-A: Tim is a bus driver for Kobussen bus lines taking him all across the country. His favorite trips are New Orleans and Washington D.C. Tim is also active with the Elk Mound Fire Department. When you find Tim home in rural Elk Mound, you will probably see him with his granddaughter.

Shania Thompson, EMT-B: Shania is a fire medic student at CVTC and a weekend caretaker at a group home. Shania is originally from Stanley but now lives in the Eau Claire-Chippewa area.

Dustin Toellner: Dustin came over to the Menomonie area following through on a long distance relationship. He was an EMT with Shawano before coming here. Dustin is a dispatcher for Marten Transport in Mondovi.

Don Knutson, EMT-A: “I became interested in EMT after taking some athletic training classes at UWEC while I was thinking about being a history teacher. Once I took the EMT class, I was hooked. That was 26 years ago, and it still has me hooked. In my life away from Colfax Rescue, I teach CPR/First Aid classes for the American Red Cross. I am a teacher assistant at CVTC, and I try to be a husband and father to the very understanding wife and daughter.”