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Firefighters, sheriff recognized by Emergency Medical Service group

Two individuals and an entire department have received Carlton County's highest awards for their contributions to Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Nominated by their peers, the honorees were presented their awards at Monday's meeting of the Carl...

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Members of Carlton and Fire were recognized by Carlton County EMS as “Unit of the Year.” Shown here are department members (from left) Will Schmidt, Austin Brandon, Chief Dane Johnson, Erik Bergstedt, Brent Bodie and Brittany Boughner. Photos courtesy of Wes Vork

Two individuals and an entire department have received Carlton County’s highest awards for their contributions to Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Nominated by their peers, the honorees were presented their awards at Monday’s meeting of the Carlton County Board.

Steve Bridge, recently retired from Cromwell Fire and Rescue, was recognized with the EMS “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

“Steve has been a fixture in the county for over 30 years,” wrote Steve Frenhaile, who nominated Bridge for the award. “He has served diligently as both a firefighter and emergency medical technician and has also been active in the Carlton County Emergency Medical Services organization for most of those years. I am certain Steve will continue to be active in volunteering, even in retirement.”

Named EMS “Person of the Year” was Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake.

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“Kelly has been in law enforcement for 25 years,” wrote Joanne Lattu, secretary of the Carlton County EMS Association in her nomination of Lake. “She has been sheriff since 2005, successfully winning election in 2006 over her opponent and has been retained for two more terms since then, running without opposition.”

Lattu also pointed out that Lake is president of the Minnesota TRIAD group, and in December 2014 she was elected president of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, becoming the first female president in the organization’s 129 years. Prior to that Lake served on the organization’s executive board for five years.

“She has done a quality job in every respect,” said Lattu. “She has maintained her dedication to Carlton County and the organizations she presides over, while at the same time being a wife and the mother of four children.”

Carlton Fire and Ambulance was honored as EMS “Unit of the Year,” nominated by their peers at the Esko Fire Department.

“Carlton Fire and Rescue has done a wonderful job, not only in Carlton but in the surrounding communities,” said Tony Campo in the department’s nomination.

Campo lauded the Carlton department for their quick response and professional fire and rescue assistance, pointing out that Carlton helped cover for Mercy Ambulance in Moose Lake for several months when that department ran short on personnel.

Following receipt of the award, Carlton Chief Dane Anderson remarked, “When I think of the Carlton County's EMS Association Unit of the Year award I think of EMS being a system of various entities working together to provide emergency care. EMS is so much more than two healthcare providers transporting a patient to the hospital. EMS as a unit is comprised of emergency medical responders, EMTs, paramedics, dispatchers, emergency room staff, doctors, medical directors, training officers, EMS associations, policy makers, elected officials, clerical staff, mechanics, and most importantly our families who serve as the support system for the previously  mentioned individuals. We are blessed as a county to have such an excellent EMS system.”

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Related Topics: CARLTON COUNTY
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