HELENA - An event held at the Capitol in Helena on Wednesday honored EMS personnel as part of National Emergency Services Week.
“I think most people would argue or say that this is not something they do for recognition, and I think most people feel confident that what they're doing is the right thing to do. And so, to be recognized is just an additional part of that. And so yeah, it feels kinda funny. I think most of us like to be behind the scenes,” said flight paramedic Stephanie Rickbeil.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel from Superior, Billings, Red Lodge, Hamilton, and Great Falls were honored at the event. Among the speakers were Gov. Greg Gianforte and Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Director Adam Meier.
The event aimed to honor those who make multiple sacrifices in order to help those in dire situations. Meier noted Montana EMS workers responded to more than 96,000 911 calls last year alone.
Rickbeil — who received an award at the event — says that the daily sacrifices her family makes allow her to continue in this line of work. Rickbeil went on to emphasize that EMS personnel working as a team make their lifesaving work possible.
“Not any one of us do this on our own. We all work in a team and that team is absolutely integral to it working successfully and so not one of us is doing something all on our own here. We are not saving the day we are. We are as a team and a group collectively, hopefully making someone's day better,” Rickbeil said.
DPHHS EMS and Trauma System Section Supervisor Terry Mullins says people can help support EMS workers by learning lifesaving skills like CPR and respecting accident and emergency routes and scenes.
“When you see an ambulance approaching or a fire truck with their lights and sirens, move over to the right so that they can have safe passage and they can make it to there [to] the person who needs their care without having an accident,” said Mullins.