Chippewa Valley Technical College adjunct instructor Tim Lange recently was honored as an American Ambulance Association Stars of Life recipient.
Tim, of Altoona and a Gold Cross Eau Claire paramedic, represented Mayo Clinic Medical Transport at the event in Washington, D.C.
Tim, a Cadott native who earned his paramedic degree from CVTC in 1997 and has been teaching there since 2008, was humbled by the award.
"There were 71 other medics and EMTs that received the Star of Life throughout the U.S., and it’s a great honor to be around so many people who love what they are doing," Tim said.
"Sure, it’s an honor, thinking of the sacrifices me and my family have made, but I’m just out there doing my job like everybody else," he said. "Some days it’s a very thankless career and other days, when you realize you made a difference in one person’s life, you feel pretty good. Helping others, that’s what I’m in it for."
Tim admits it’s difficult seeing families "in the worst of the times, but we’re there to help them get through it. But we also get to see them in the best of times, like a birth and bringing people back home after a stay at Mayo," he said.
Tim, who also received firefighting training through CVTC and serves as a lieutenant with the Altoona Fire Department, has high praise for his CVTC instructors.
"The (paramedic) instructors that I had, Jeff Asher and Terry Gonderzik, were phenomenal in getting me ready for my career, and in getting me a job after I graduated," Tim said. "As an adjunct instructor for CVTC’s medic program, it’s rewarding for me to help pass on the knowledge that I gained from them to the new students coming through."
Tim, who served seven years as a medic with the Army National Guard before his paramedic career, received plenty of accolades from co-workers who nominated him for the prestigious award.
"Tim is always willing to do whatever is needed and go wherever the work takes him to get things done. He truly understands the needs of the patient come first and applies that belief in how he approaches his job," said Tom Fennell, supervisor for Gold Cross Eau Claire. "Always respectful of others, Tim goes out of his way to help his co-workers when needed."
"Tim has always demonstrated a steadfast commitment to our patients, added Paul Anderson, chief operating officer for Gold Cross.” He consistently delivers the highest quality care and has high expectations for himself, those he is involved in training and everyone he works alongside."
The Stars of Life program is an annual event held in Washington, D.C., to recognize and honor the dedicated professionals in emergency medical services.
While in Washington, Tim also met congressional staff members and toured the sights of the nation’s capital. "It was fantastic," he said. "We saw the memorials and got a tour of the capital. It’s pretty special out there."