Credit: Connie Weeks
Grangeville EMTs honored at the March 3-4 Spring Fling were (L-R) Bill Spencer, Bob Helena and Jerry Haaland.
As of Tuesday, March 6, 2018
GRANGEVILLE Three Grangeville EMTs were honored for 115 years of combined service at the annual GEMTA Spring Fling conference, held March 3-4.
Recognized were Bill Spencer, Jerry Haaland and Bob Helena. The trio was recognized at the Saturday evening, March 3, banquet.
- Spencer was awarded for 40 years of service as a volunteer EMT. He began in 1978 and was one of the original founders of GEMTA (Grangeville EMT Association), along with Bruce Meyer and Pat Wilson. Spencer continues to serve as an EMT, and an EMT instructor. He is currently the director of ambulance services for Syringa Hospital and Clinics.
- Haaland has also served for 40 years as an EMT. He worked on the ambulance in Cottonwood for two years before moving to Grangeville, where he joined GEMTA and has been a part of the organization ever since. Haaland also volunteers on the civil air patrol and for Grangeville Mountain Rescue Unit.
- Helena was awarded for 35 years of service, all of those in Grangeville. He has been a mainstay of the program and was an EMT instructor for many years. Helena continues to serve on the ambulance in Grangeville.
This is the 33rd year for GEMTA’s Spring Fling, which was started in 1985. The purpose of the conference is to provide continuing education for EMTs from all over Idaho, as well as neighboring states. This year’s conference was attended by more than 220 people, with some coming as far away as Buhl and Featherville.
The conference is co-sponsored by Idaho Bureau of EMS, and Life Flight Network. Contributions from St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Syringa Hospital and Clinics, and the Idaho Bureau of Rural Health help offset the cost of providing the conference.
Physicians, paramedics, and educators travel to Grangeville from all over the country, most of them donating their time, to help instruct EMTs in the latest trends in emergency medicine.
This year’s conference was highlighted by presentations from Mike Helbock, a clinical educator in prehospital emergency medicine from Seattle/King County EMS. Life Flight Network and Ada County Paramedics have also provided instruction and emergency medical expertise to the conference.