News & Updates
Fall 2021 | Issue 4
Star Valley EMS is newly licensed in Idaho
Star Valley EMS gained an Idaho EMS license to operate within the State of Idaho on September 24th, 2021. They began the process of acquiring licensure as their area of operation borders Idaho along the 70-mile western boundary. Star Valley EMS receives regular requests to respond to calls within the boundaries of Idaho and recognized the liability and risk associated with responding in a state where they were not licensed. The primary concern comes down to what happens if something goes wrong.
Star Valley EMS approached Andy Gienapp, then manager of the Wyoming Office of EMS, and Wayne Denny, Chief of the Idaho Bureau of EMS. All agreed that for Star Valley EMS to operate legally in Idaho they should obtain an Idaho EMS license.
The process began with Aaron Brown, M.D. obtaining a license in Idaho, which allowed him to provide online and offline medical direction in that state. Next, Star Valley EMS contacted Bear Lake County Ambulance Service, Caribou County Ambulance Service, and Idaho Falls Fire Department, as they are the agencies that border the western boundary of Star Valley EMS operations area. After meetings with each agency, it was determined that Star Valley EMS would provide upon-request Paramedic level services to both Bear Lake County Ambulance Service and Idaho Falls Fire Department; Star Valley EMS would be given a portion of Caribou County as their 911 initial response area. This is a tactical move as Webster Mountain range separates them from the other two services. During the winter months the pass in Caribou County between Soda Springs and Star Valley is at times not passable, and the eastern side of the Webster Mountain range is closer to the Star Valley EMS station than it is to the Soda Springs Station.
After defining areas of responsibility, determining operating procedures, executing Memoranda of Understanding with the Idaho Bureau of EMS, and inspections of all response vehicles and equipment, licensure to Star Valley EMS was granted. Due to the National Registry Replica Agreement, in which both Idaho and Wyoming participate, licensure to the agency was granted without the need for individual clinicians to obtain a second license in the State of Idaho.
HHS PRF Tranche 4
Important Funding Opportunity for EMS Providers
🚨🚑 Don't miss out! September 29, 2021, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) opemed the Provider Relief Fund & Attestation Application Portal which provides an important funding opportunity for EMS providers. 🚑🚨

Speaker: Scott Moore, Esq.
This funding opportunity will distribute $25.5 billion in additional Phase 4 General Distribution for EMS agencies and American Rescue Plan (ARP) payments for qualified rural providers who furnish services to Medicaid/CHIP and Medicare beneficiaries. It is critical for all #EMS providers to apply for this funding opportunity regardless of previous funding allocations. We have learned that many EMS providers did not apply for the Tranche 3 funding opportunity because they did not believe that they would be eligible to receive funds under the announced funding formula. Due to the limited number of applicants in Tranche 3, HRSA modified the formula and many who failed to apply would have received funds. We are recommending that all EMS agencies apply to receive the funding that they desperately need. The deadline for applying is 11:59 p.m. on October 26, 2021. There is no penalty for applying. Apply Now
Wyoming EMS providers share 911 memories
The Wyoming Office of Emergency Services, along with the Wyoming Flex Program, asked EMS providers in our state for their memories and stories from 9/ll. Thank you all who shared, and those that have memories that are too personal to share.

Preaching to the choir: You are America's heros. Thank you.
What stands out the most in your mind from the events of 9/11?
The thing that stands out the most in my mind is the image of FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge's body being carried out of the debris and the people that jumped from the tower.
The overwhelming loss of life and how easily the terrorists were able to attack our country. For the first time in my life, I felt vulnerable, and how unsettling that was.
I was in NYC on 9/11. The disbelief, confusion, fear, sadness, terror, wondering if the military planes flying overhead were more terrorist planes and unable to sleep, how surreal NYC felt—feeling trapped. No phone service. My father had passed away that morning, and I was unable to find any mode of transportation out of the city other than walking, and no long-distance transportation was available. Even all the U-Hauls had been rented.
What were you doing when you first learned of the events on 9/11?
I was on duty at Station 19 in Cherokee County Fire Department in Woodstock, Georgia. While washing our fire engine, and the announcement came over the radio in the bay. "We are just receiving reports that one of the buildings of the World Trade Center in New York City has been struck by a plane.”
I was watching sports center after a graveyard shift.
Getting ready to take my daughter to her cancer treatment and Memorial Sloan Kettering.
What changed for you after that day?
I felt less safe, like people out there wanted to kill me, and they didn’t even know who I was.
I began to feel like we were all in danger from people that wanted nothing more than our deaths.
My sense of being able to feel secure and safe again changed. But also a sense of pride in being a citizen of the US. When we arrived at the hospital, it had only been maybe an hour since the planes had hit the towers, and Sloan Kettering was already setting up their waiting areas for medical patients from other trauma centers to be cared for so the trauma centers could focus on victims from the towers. Security was at each door checking to make sure only patients/families were allowed in the hospital. I found it amazing how quickly, and with such great compassion, everyone came together to help!
If you were working as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or in another EMS capacity on 9/11, how do you think that day felt differently for you than it may have felt for others?
It felt very personal. I was proud of my profession that day. I knew that had that happened where I was, my team and I would have been those who were lost. I would have been running up the stairs while everyone else was running out, and I may have been able to save some lives, even if it cost me my own. Overwhelming pride followed some of the most intense anger I have ever felt when I saw the second plane hit on the television. That was soon followed by a firehouse full of brave, strong men hugging each other and crying when we saw that first tower fall. Just so much that day. And I was 1200 miles away.
I had an understanding of why the first responders went to such an unsafe place. I understood the challenges that they were facing. I knew many of them would perish while doing their job, the job they loved.
I am an RN, and I offered to work in one of the hospitals. Still, at that time, they were questioning if there were any biological agents on the planes. Since we were staying at the Ronald McDonald House with other immunosuppressed children, I was told that if I went to help, I would not be allowed back in the Ronald McDonald House due to the uncertainty of what I might have been exposed to. My daughter was only 12 years old at the time, and while I would have done almost anything to help that day, I also had an obligation to care for my daughter and keep her and the other kids safe. So, unfortunately, I was not able to help. But not being able to do something to help that day still haunts me.
What did you gain from that experience of working as an EMT on 9/11?
Our world changed. We were more careful, nervous. I saw many of my friends look at Muslim people differently. I was deployed to backfill agencies that sent crews to help New York, but we were turned around before we reached Virginia. I gained interest after that in learning Disaster management skills and was able to apply them several times in my career.
It made it clear that any one of us could be faced with a situation like that at any time.
I'm not sure I gained anything other than tremendous gratitude for ALL the First Responders. We were sitting in the hospital while my daughter got her treatment, watching it on TV, like pretty much everyone else in the country, but we could also see some of the nurses caring for our children desperately trying to contact their firefighter firemen and First Responders. The air was thick with anxiety, fear, sadness, and tears. Several of those nurses lost their husbands that day! As a nurse, I so admired their courage to stay on the job, caring for children, rather than run out into the streets and frantically try to find their spouses.
How do you think EMS changed as a result of 9/11?
All of it. Suddenly we had to learn about white powder, bombs aimed at hurting us, operating while looking over our shoulders. On the positive side, a whole new generation of people entered the workforce who wanted to help when this happened.
Across the board, first responders knew what we should prepare for in the future. I do believe we are better equipped to respond to all types of emergencies. We have a greater understanding of how to plan for those situations. We have trained harder to execute those plans properly.
I think that EMS has always run towards disaster and caring for those injured. I think 9/11 has shown us sometimes evil creates such chaos and devastation that sometimes, rather than just bandaging the external wounds, or like 9/11, there were only a few wounded to treat. Sometimes we just need to be there to cry with those caught in the destruction and support them the best we can. Unless you can embrace empathy in these situations, I don't believe you can fully embrace EMS.
What did you lose?

I lost my innocence, naivety, insulation from the world at large.
My faith in humanity. I didn't ever imagine that people could be so heartless.
I lost my father. I was not able to get home for his funeral. There was just no way to get out of NYC. While that has been difficult, I cannot imagine what all those people involved in 9/11, victims, 1st Responders, and families have lost!
What else would you like us to know about your experience of the event of 9/11?

I almost wish that there was a way we (America) could feel those emotions again without the loss of life and atrocity part. That sounds bad but hear me out. For a brief moment, all of us were united. We cried together, we hurt together, we got royally pissed off together, and we were truly the United States. I do not think I have felt like I was connected to my fellow American since about two weeks following those horrific events. We have a crisis now in COVID that is taking the lives of so many more of our fellow Americans, but I don't think we could be more fractured or the polar opposite of how we were on 9/12/2001.
I love our country. I would do whatever it takes to stop those people that would do what they can to destroy it.
When we left the hospital that afternoon after my daughter’s treatment, a man was covered in white soot just walking in the gutter with his head down, watching the ground. He had walked up from somewhere near the towers. He didn't look anywhere but the ground. He just silently put one foot in front of the other. There were other people on the sidewalk with us, and we all looked at each other as if we were asking if we should try to help him. He was obviously in tremendous shock, but not knowing if he would come out of his trance and be violent, no one said anything to him. He just continued to walk in the gutter up 1st Avenue. I have often thought of him with tremendous regret that I didn't try to help him. I've wondered did he make it to his home? Did he ever get help for the horrors he witnessed that day? I will never know.

Employment Opportunities!

The Wyoming Department of Health, Office of EMS, has openings for Emergency Medical Services Manager and EMS Supervisor

EMS Medical Services Manager - Cheyenne
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