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CCH Legend encourages many colleagues to become outstanding EMTs, Paramedics

CCH Legend encourages many colleagues to become outstanding EMTs, Paramedics

In July of this year, CCH posted a Thanks for working here Thursday post about Denny Bohne, CCH Paramedic and the Southern Campbell County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) coordinator in Wright, Wyoming. Posts about employees always do well on social media, but this post really blew it out of the water—more than 39 people left comments, more than 40 shared it, and hundreds gave the post a thumbs up. But the even greater thing is that we heard from people who Denny has helped, and mentored.

“Pretty sure he saved my bacon during a bad allergic reaction! Phenomenal paramedic and really made me feel comfortable and safe,” posted Steve Jen Corbett.

“I am a Registered Nurse at a level 2 trauma center in Reno, Nevada, and I wouldn’t be here without Denny,” chimed in Shawn Petersen.

After seeing these, and many more comments roll in, staff at the CCH Emergency Medical Services department—who already knew Denny was a great colleague, mentor and friend—decided to make sure he was recognized for what he really is, a CCH Legend.

For those who don't know, CCH defines a Legend as, “those people who have left an indelible impression on our minds because of their deeds and actions. Ongoing demonstration of hard work, compassion, and a reputation for greatness make someone a legend.”

A very visible part of our organization, the EMS department cares for the sick and injured through prevention, response, intervention, and transport to a medical facility. Every day, our EMS crews are called upon to help others through one of what may be the most frightening times of their lives.

“Denny is such a great leader and mentor,” says colleague Colleen Long, CCH Paramedic, and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Basic student of Denny’s. “When I went to paramedic school, it was because of him. He drove me to be a very good and informed paramedic. I’m grateful for him.”

Denny came to CCH in July 1998 after graduating paramedic school in May, and he’s been serving the Wright community since 2000. He was born and raised in Reeder, North Dakota, and had spent most of his life farming and ranching there. When he was working in Hettinger, North Dakota as a jailer, a good friend told him that he’d make a good EMT. So in his late 30s, Denny joined her class and become an EMT. And at 40, Denny became a paramedic.

“I love to care for people. In fact, I’ve been picking up and caring for people and animals most of my life,” says Denny. “I’ve started numerous IVs in cattle and gave calves CPR before I was giving CPR to people.” He also recounts stories of riding motorcycles in his youth, and helping strangers who had wrecked and needed care get to the hospital. He also remembers a time when he was on a lake near Lemon, South Dakota, and a man showed up at his camp who had wrecked his boat, so Denny rushed him to the hospital as well.

As a paramedic, Denny has learned that he should not go anywhere without an ambulance when someone has a medical question. “As a small town medic, people will call you up and ask you to check on their mom. Or, they will stop by your house on the weekend and ask you if they should take their sick kiddo to the hospital. I’ve just learned that if someone has a medical question, I will likely need all of my tools with me,” he says.

Denny certainly has a knack for caring for people when they are likely experiencing their worst day—and comforting them while also making them feel better. And caring for the tight-knit community of Wright means Denny is frequently caring for his friends, loved ones and neighbors.

“In the town of Wright, there are very few people who do not know Denny,” says another EMT Basic student Chad Reid, who is now a Paramedic at the CCH EMS base in Wright. “He’s always provided superior patient care, and he has built a lot of relationships with the people in the community.”

“Denny loves to be part of the community,” says Heather Springer, EMT-I, who was also taught by Denny. “He loves teaching, and sharing his knowledge. He is a great teacher, and he leads by example.”

Denny takes his father-figure role at the bases in Wright and Gillette seriously. “As a mentor you have to share your experiences. They want to understand your knowledge of a situation and compare it with what they have done so that they can enhance their patient care. And, I also learn from them—a paramedic should never stop learning,” says Denny.

Denny has also developed classes and kits to help keep his community better informed of what to do in an emergency. Denny started a bike helmet program in Wright and would give away free bicycle helmets, have kids go through a bike rodeo and talk safety to the kids. And he has given talks to students in the Wright Driver’s Education Classes for nearly 15 years. Colleen has taken this concept and introduced it to Boy Scout Troops in the area, helping them to learn about first aid and earn badges. And, according to Chad, Denny developed the idea for taking care of bystanders by creating a special kit for them to help protect bystanders from exposing themselves to blood or other fluids while helping during an emergency.

“It provided a great need for protecting the public. It also gave important information, and phone numbers that one might need after helping or witnessing a traumatic incident. We still use these today, and I have no doubt that we have helped multiple bystanders with them,” Chad said.

Denny served on the Wright Town Council, and said he enjoyed his time on the Council as he learned a lot about the community. He’s recently joined the Northeast Wyoming Critical Incident Stress Management team, and looks forward to working with those involved with the team.

Denny has been with CCH for the last 18 years, and he’s starting to toss around the idea of retirement.

“I work with an outstanding crew of medics,” says Denny. “And now it’s their time to shine.”

Denny, thank you for being there for our patients during a very traumatic and scary time in their lives. Thank you for your compassionate care, your commitment to educating exceptional paramedics and for keeping our community safe. You have left a permanent impression at CCH and in Campbell County, Wyoming. Congratulations.