Dan Stensrud is reflective as he talks about his experiences as an Emergency Medical Technician in his office in Dodge Center. Photo by Ruth Hanson
By Ruth Hanson
Dan Stensrud has 30 years under his belt working as an Emergency Medical Technician. He is pleased with the plaque he recently received from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians recognizing his service. It hangs on the wall of his office in Dodge Center.
He started working as a volunteer EMT in Plainview when he was 19 years old and has been an EMT nonstop ever since - next in Wabasha and then as a full time EMT in Winona.
He was hired in August of 1992 in Dodge Center. He is the Ambulance Director of the Dodge Center Ambulance Service, which covers Dodge Center, Kasson, Mantorville and Claremont.
"I've had over 15,000 patients," Stensrud said. "It's amazing."
He said that most of the calls come during the day Monday through Friday. Twenty-three percent are from a combination of Fairview Care Center and Kasson Mayo Clinic.
Dr. David Agerter and Dr. Anu Luke, who are Mayo Clinic physicians, are the medical directors for the Dodge Center Ambulance.
"They guide us in our treatment," Stensrud said. "We have written protocols of what we can and cannot do."
The Ambulance Service has three full-time paid men and women on staff and 27 volunteers on the crew who are "amazing, very dedicated people who work 50 hours a month," Stensrud said. The longest volunteer started in February of 2005.
"I'm the longest on the crew!" he said. "I like it when we go pick up someone who has been injured and then he says 'Hi' to me a month later and has done well."
They treat people for bleeding, shock and CPR (cardiac pulmonary resuscitation) and they start IVs, and IVs in leg bones, if necessary.
"That sounds more painful than it actually is," he said.
"We give medication for diabetic patients and cardiac patients and we help them breath," he added.
"And we treat allergic reactions. There's a lot to it, but we do monthly training."
The people on the crew trade off driving the ambulance and caring for the patient.
He explained that the Ambulance Service is financed based on user fees and doesn't use any tax money.