DPHHS Honors Emergency Medical Service Providers



Date: May 18, 2022

Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information OfficerDPHHS, (406) 444-0936, (406) 461-3757, [email protected]
Consulting Chuck, Communications SpecialistDPHHS, (406) 444-4391, (406) 461-8367, [email protected]

Superior, Billings, Red Lodge, Hamilton and Great Falls Emergency Medical Care Staff Receive Awards

HELENA – The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) honored Montana’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel from Superior, Billings, Red Lodge, Hamilton and Great Falls at an award ceremony awards at Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, May 18.

The event included remarks from Governor Greg Gianforte to representatives from the Upper Region Ambulance, St. Vincent Aid Flight, Red Lodge Fire and Rescue EMS Division, the Sheriff’s Office of Ten-year-old Ravalli County, Jeffery Gorton of Great Falls and family members of the late Jim DeTienne.

Governor Gianforte proclaimed May 15-21 Emergency Medical Services Week and Wednesday, May 18, 2022 EMS for Children’s Day.

DPHHS Director Adam Meier said Montana EMS workers rise to the challenge every day. He notes that workers answered more than 96,000 9-1-1 calls and transported more than 27,000 patients between healthcare facilities last year. “They are there to respond to emerging medical needs in their community day and night,” Meyer said. “EMS is the centerpiece of Montana’s emergency care access system. These life-saving heroes deserve enormous recognition for the service they provide.

Nominated by their peers, the prizes were awarded to:

  • EMS Volunteer Provider of the Year Award, Anita Parkin, Upper Region Ambulance, Superior. This award honors a volunteer EMS provider who is exemplary in the quality of their patient care and dedication to their community.

Anita was nominated by Karyn Thornton, PAC/Medical Director for Superior Area Ambulance.

About Anita: Anita has been an EMT for over 40 years. She is recognized as a leader and mentor in the community. She has served as an EMT, and also as a Search and Rescue Leader and Member, EMS Training Officer, Dispatcher, Sheriff, EMT Senior Instructor, and Coroner. She continues to teach an EMT course and responds to EMS calls regularly. She continues to work in the fire services/EMS and is a medical unit leader and part of a fire command team.

“Anita is a woman full of compassion and energy” said Thornton. “She is anchored in this small community. We all know what a paramedic does in a small town, but she does that and more. At 73, his energy may now be equal to that of the rest of us mere mortals.

  • Career EMS Provider of the Year Award, Stephanie Rickbeil, Paramedic, St. Vincent Help Flight, Billings. This award is given to a career EMS provider who exemplifies quality of care and dedication to the community.

Stephanie was nominated by Lundy Gurchiek, NRP, Service Manager of Laurel Ambulance.

About Stephanie: Stephanie has worked as a paramedic in Montana since 1998, when she completed her paramedic training at MSU Billings. She began working in EMS in 1993 after completing her EMT training at Red Lodge Fire EMS. After completing her paramedic studies, she immediately began working for American Medical Response in Billings and soon after began working as a flight paramedic for HELP Flight in St. Vincent’s Healthcare where she continues to work.

His duties at Help Flight extend beyond patient care to include overseeing patient schedules, updating protocols, outreach training for EMS providers and law enforcement both in Yellowstone County and surrounding areas. According to her colleagues, “she is the glue that holds the team together”.

“Stephanie has dedicated her entire adult life to providing exceptional patient care in our community and her neighbors,” said Gurchiek. “EMS is a very difficult career. It’s hard on your body, long shifts, working nights, weekends and holidays. It’s a career that few people can do for as many years as Stephanie, and she always does it with love and compassion. She has worked hard to convey this compassion through her ongoing commitment to teaching others. She is a mentor and an inspiration to many.

  • EMS Agency of the Year Award, Red Lodge Fire Rescue EMS Division, Red Lodge. An EMS agency of the year shows dedication to improving patient care through education, injury prevention, community outreach, medical director involvement, and collaboration with surrounding EMS services.

Red Lodge Fire Rescue EMS was nominated by Gurchiek.

About Red Lodge Fire Rescue EMS: Red Lodge Fire Rescue is a combination of career and volunteer services that provides both fire response and EMS to the Red Lodge community as well as the surrounding area. They are prepared to respond to significant distances outside of their service area for mutual aid to surrounding services that are unable to meet staffing and response requests.

“They have staff who have helped create ideas and pave the way for community paramedicine in our state,” said Gurchiek. “They provide incredible resources and show the rest of us what this kind of non-emergency care can do for our communities.”

  • 911 Dispatcher of the Year, Amy Cianflone, Hamilton.

This award recognizes a 911 dispatcher who has demonstrated exemplary performance as a “first, first responder” in the event of a medical emergency.

Amy was nominated by Lt. Zae Hudson of the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office.

About Amy: Amy worked for the Ravalli County 911 Center for 21 years. In addition to her dispatch duties, she is also a Senior Emergency Medical Dispatch Instructor/Assessor, Team Leader, CJIN TAC, and CTO Trainer and Training Coordinator. She was instrumental in the development of our emergency medical dispatch criteria, our training program and our evaluation program, as well as our EMD policy and procedures.

“One of Amy’s major contributions has been to convince our department of the importance of giving 911 dispatchers the opportunity to make a difference in life-threatening or life-threatening medical emergencies before first responders are deployed to the field. ground “, Hudson said. “Over the past three years, our 911 team has made a difference in thousands of medical emergencies under Amy’s watchful eye and excellent mentorship.”

  • EMS Supporter of the Year Award, the late Jim DeTienne. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding support for EMS, EMS agencies, and the EMS system at large.

Jim was appointed by Terry Mullins, Supervisor of Trauma and EMS Systems Section for DPHHS.

About Jim: Jim , who passed away last December, had a 40-year career in EMS. He served as EMS Service Manager in Sheridan and Lewis and Clark Counties, State EMT Training Coordinator, State EMS Licensing Coordinator, and State EMS and Trauma System Supervisor. He has held numerous regional and national positions and served as president of the National Association of State EMS Directors. DeTienne helped bring high-fidelity simulation training to Montana through a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and support legislative efforts to support community paramedicine in Montana.

“All of us in the Emergency and Trauma Systems Section remember his sense of humor, the twinkle in his eyes and his dedication to rural EMS,” Mullins said. “Jim certainly left an incredible legacy through his unwavering service to the state of Montana.”

  • The EMS Heroes Award, Jeffry Gorton, Great Falls. This award recognizes an individual whose actions helped save a life and who remained calm in the face of a crisis.

Jeffery was nominated by Robin Suzor, coordinator of the DPHHS Children’s Emergency Medical Services Program.

About Jeffery Gorton: Jeffery learned to call 911 during the first year at Longfellow Elementary School in Great Falls. Earlier this year, he used that knowledge to call 911 when his mother, Tara, suffered an allergic reaction and had difficulty breathing. Following this event, Jeffery helped teach other children the importance of knowing how to call 911 and knowing their home address.

“Faced with a life-threatening situation, Jeffery remained calm and did what was necessary in an emergency,” Suzor said. “We should all hope to respond in the same way. He is truly an inspiration and an example to other young people in Montana.

At left is Hamilton’s 911 Dispatcher of the Year Amy Cianflone. The award for EMS Agency of the Year went to Red Lodge Fire Rescue EMS (pictured below).

Red Lodge Fire Rescue


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