Six candidates are running for three positions on the Delta County Ambulance District board of directors. The election is being conducted by mail ballot.
Election day is May 8, but ballots may go out to district voters as early as April 16.
Below are brief profiles of the six candidates obtained in interviews with the DCI.
Pam Baysinger has a wealth of EMS experience, knowledge, skills and a track record of success that she could bring to the DCAD board.
Between 1993 and 2008, she served the Eastern Plains community of Calhan as fire chief, fire district administrator, emergency office manager, and administrator of the ambulance district and ambulance service.
During her service there, she was a key figure in community EMS projects and wrote grants for funding to upgrade fire and ambulance equipment, provide programs to improve training and capability of fire and ambulance personnel, and to build a new fire house.
Pam is a native of Gunnison. She and her husband moved here from Calhan in 2008. Pam is an EMT-Int. Since 2008 she has been a state certified EMS instructor at the Delta-Montrose Technical College.
In both 2001 and 2006 while still at Calhan she was honored with the EMT-intermediate of the Year award by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment EMS Division.
The DCAD provides "a wonderfully high level of service and value here," she says. "I am excited about becoming involved again with community emergency medical services."
Terry Ferganchick has a 40-year-long connection with the Surface Creek Valley community. Terry was one of the founding members of the group that worked with many others and created the original Field of Dreams youth sports organization and facility in Orchard City.
She served as president of the organization for seven years. "We started with nothing at all," she recalls. "We were out there actually picking up rocks off the ground that became the ball fields."
Soon, she recalls, there was other help from grant funding,
and generous donations of all kinds coming in from across the valley. The successful effort continues to benefit local youth and their families.
It is that same kind of community connection and involvement she hopes to contribute as a member of the Delta County Ambulance District board of directors.
"We are fortunate to have such a high caliber service in a small community. The ambulance service means a lot to everyone here, and we don't want to ever risk losing that community support," she said. "I think that I have the time and the willingness to work helping ensure that. We really can't ever take the ambulance service for granted, and we need to take care of it as well."
In a time of tight budgets everywhere, Bud Holmes has a life full of business experience to offer the DCAD.
Holmes, speaking with modest sincerity, listed the resume of business and personal experience he has acquired: growing up in a family of watchmakers, he has managed and owned jewelry stores; he has been a licensed pilot and owned and operated a charter air service, flight school, and airplane rental business; he served 20 years as a Yavapai County, Ariz., sheriff deputy; he at one time ran three hay/cattle operations while living in Arizona; today he farms 36 acres of grass hay at Eckert where he and his wife have "retired."
His years in law enforcement especially taught him an appreciation for EMS first responders and the work they do. His business experience has taught him the value of quietly observing and learning while looking for a opportunity to offer insight or ideas.
Bud has used the county's health care system. "What you have in this community is absolutely awesome. I just can't say enough good things about it. Every (professional) I've seen has been outstanding. They're not in it for the money. They just want to give you the best care possible," he said.
Shirls Kaiser has devoted a lifetime to the emergency medical care field.
She began her career by earning nurse aide and CNA certifications from Mesa College. That career led her into teaching and to a seat on the DCAD board of directors.
She taught EMT training at the Delta vo-tech from 1965 to 1990. For 15 years, she was a Colorado Red Cross teacher instructor. She served as an EMT for the Delta ambulance service before the current combined district was formed.
She was appointed to the DCAD board to fill a vacancy in 2006 and won election to a full four-year term in 2008. As a board member she gets to work in the policy and management side of her chosen field. "I love emergency medicine. It is where my heart has always been," Shirls said.
The district is blessed with highly competent and dedicated personnel who work hard to provide the best care possible for local residents, she says. She believes the district has grown to the point of needing two full-time crews at both of its ambulance stations, and of needing the local financial support to fund them.
Current DCAD board member Kathie Lester brings extensive professional experience in emergency medicine and combines it with a heart-felt commitment to her work.
She was first elected to the board four years ago. Her current work as an ER technician at Delta County Memorial Hospital offers the chance for regular, professional interaction with ambulance district personnel where, Kathie explains, she sees the results of DCAD's investment training, commitment, and dedication paying off for the community.
"Emergency services has been my life for a lot of years," Kathie says, adding that the community's well-being is an important focus in her life's work.
"The more you are involved in the community, the better your service will be," she said.
Kathie worked 18 years for the Delta ambulance service (now DCAD) and also served with the North Fork Ambulance Service for eight years as an EMT. She has been an EMT-intermediate for over 20 years.
She resigned as an EMT with DCAD in 2008 when she won election to the board.
She believes her experience with the local health care system "would be a benefit for helping the service grow. I do care, and I do love what I do," she said.
Kathy Ryan's 30-year nursing career, continuing education, and up-to-date training as a registered nurse will enable her to make valuable contributions to the work of the Delta County Ambulance District, she believes. Her professional interactions with DCAD's own EMS personnel as an emergency room RN at Delta County Memorial Hospital have given her a broad and deep understanding of the health care issues and needs here.
She also worked as an emergency RN at St. Mary's. Dedicated to her profession, she also serves part-time at the Montrose County Jail and helps at Hilltop's Brown Center juvenile facility in Montrose.
"I work with EMS a lot," she says adding, "I would like to help find ways of improving employee retention" at DCAD.
Helping to en-sure that financial resources find their way to medical needs is a key responsibility of the DCAD board. Having necessary equipment and up-to-date training and certifications are absolutely essential, she says.
"The EMS system is critically important in a small community, more so than in a bigger one," Kathy said. "The EMS and hospital always need to work well together."
Kathy said she would work to see that the DCAD standards of highest quality care combined with community involvement continue in the future.
(Next week: The four candidates for the board of directors of Delta County Memorial Hospital will be introduced.)blog comments powered by Disqus