AUTHOR: Kirk Gunderson, WEMSA Board President

A season of Gratitude, a Season of challenges and maybe even a Season of change.  As I sit here and think about my years in EMS (yes I started in 1986) I keep coming up with one word and that word is Gratitude.  Is it the gratitude shown towards me that I think about, no. Sure I can remember the hugs and the sincere thank you that what given by a family member and do not get me wrong I appreciated everyone of them.

It is more of a sense of Gratitude towards you and those that we serve that comes to my mind.  

Gratitude for over the 32 plus years that I have been let into people’s homes and worlds at some of the worst moments of their lives.  They have trusted me with the care of their loved one, they have trusted me with some very personal information and they have trusted me to do my very best even if all I could do was hold their hand as they breathed their last.  A sense of Gratitude to my patients and their families.

Gratitude towards you, my partners and colleagues that I have had the honor to work with over the years.  Many of you at times did not agree with me but with respect you listened to that smart nosed young EMT that learned in school that I would save everyone.  Many of you listened with respect and gave me comfort when I called for that intercept because I was sure I was doing it wrong and you could for sure do a better job than I for my patient.  You were the one that gave me the honor to land at your scene and have you entrust the care of your patient to me and my partner as we quickly swooped in and took off, many times without even so much as a thank you.  A sense of Gratitude to you my partners over the years!

Gratitude for the trust that you have placed in me by not only voting me to serve on the Board of Directors but then as the President of WEMSA.  Trust that as we enter this time of change and challenge in rural EMS and how we can work to come up with best practice for out of box ideas that somehow you thought I was one that could help lead us.  Gratitude for the chance to serve you our members, that serve everyone across this great State of Wisconsin. Gratitude for a board of directors that is not afraid to have the tough conversation behind closed doors and  then come up with a plan that we all feel will allow WEMSA to lead the change in Wisconsin EMS and Emergency Services as we face new as well as past challenges. Gratitude for a vibrant, engaged and the most professional team that serves you, all the members of WEMSA as they take on the challenge to help us take WEMSA to heights that many cannot even imagine.  

Yes it is a season of Gratitude and a time to share that with each other.  Regardless of your beliefs there is one thing that I think we can all agree on and that is that we all have a lot of reasons to have and share Gratitude.  This is a tough business that we are in and most of you do not do this for the money or the gratitude that is shown to you. Rather you do it to show your gratitude to others for all you have been given!  And for that I say Thank You with Sincere Gratitude!

Written by Kirk Gunderson, WEMSA Board President

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