Phase One – Dedicated to Volunteer First Responders
As I officially surpassed the 300 mile mark, I thought no better place to stop and contemplate the reasoning behind this ride than the local library. I admit that my first stab at the run, walk, roll fundraising effort was just to make a donation and ride a few miles to say I had done it. As I started to feel better about the results of getting out and doing something healthy during this pandemic, I decided to take it more seriously.
Late in June I added a new odometer zeroed it out and set on towards my first goal of 221 miles and then announced that I was on my way to 442 or double my original goal. That’s when Jared Hughes challenged me to make a 1,000 mile by year end. No hill for a climber I thought so I shortened the time frame to coincide with my 71st birthday.
So for the first 300 miles I want to dedicate those to the volunteer first responders that still play an important role in many rural communities. While flying a handful of flights in 1974 with a MAST unit based at Ft. Knox, the scene flights that I participated in were often working with volunteers. When I was flying for Grant Hospital in Ohio, I again had the opportunity to work with volunteers that were the first line of emergency health care for their communities. Many have been replaced over the years, but even during the “Taking Care of Our Own” presentations in 2019 I still met several volunteer first responders.
If you have a story about working with a volunteer first responder, please forward to the MedEvac Foundation International so we can post on our website. I will be recognizing a different segment of our pre-hospital emergency responders throughout the remainder of my ride. You can track my progress on the MedEvac Foundation International website and see stories view stories about the ride and other events to support our community. I appreciate your support and please make a donation to our cause.
Phase Two – Dedicated to EMS Law Enforcement Partners and The Fallen
As I started my 301st mile I began thinking of the reliance EMS has on well trained and professional Law Enforcement officers. More often than not law enforcement is first on scene and making decisions that impact the injured and the security of the area. So, the next segment of 150 miles is dedicated to these individuals. I am personally thinking of Trooper Wendy G. Everett who at the age of 25 lost her life to a hit and run driver. But not unlike other tragic losses involving law enforcement the stage was set with a foolish individual(s) dropping water balloons from an interstate overpass. Wendy would stop by our LifeFlight II quarters in Wellston, Ohio for coffee and share stories of our respective duty days. I cannot say I knew her well, but hearing of her passing at such an early age left an indelible image that I have carried with me ever since. As of today, out of nearly 50 Ohio State Troopers that have fallen in the line of duty, she is the only female. If you have a story of a law enforcement officer that has impacted your career please share.
Passed 430 miles this weekend with a nice ride early Sunday the 26th. Here are some highlights of the journey so far. Passed the 350-mile mark on the 22nd of July and that afternoon I took the bike in for a quick tune-up. New chain, pedals, brake pads and of course they sold me on the latest chain lube. Note here in Lincoln, we wear mask often, even when outside. The Bike Rack is a local store and very accommodating, even to walk-ups like me that are in a hurry.
On Thursday the 23st, I made completed the 380th mile and stopped at a site that is set-up to entertain kids and adults alike on Pine Lake. They have magnetic letters so you can leave messages to the next passerby. There is a shortage of the letter E, so I made do with what was available. Probably should go to Walmart and buy some new letters.
As the message says please donate, now is a great time to do so! Thanks
I took Friday off to do some work for my real job. Saturday the 25th took me to the Billy Wolff trail that originates close to my home. I spent time riding laps at Holmes Lake and stopped in the parking lot of one of my favorite restaurants, surpassing 400 miles on the way home.
Sunday morning was a perfect day for riding, and I made the most of it by covering over 30 miles. The following is a selection of photos taken from the countryside south of Lincoln and the eastern side of the University of Nebraska, which is the farthest north I traveled.
This is what I think is still part of the Billy Wolff trail which I took south until it ended about a mile from this point. The trail will eventually head west and join up with others as part of a network that encircles the city and offers links to various communities in the region.
This is what I looked like at 20, 20 miles for the day that is. You can really see your flaws when you do a selfie.
Northern point of my ride on the west side of campus. You can see the top of Nebraska State Capitol to the southwest of my position.
Not sure what this building is but it looked cool so I took a photo. Time to start the ride home.
Another view of Holmes Lake which I pass often, stopped here to hydrate and give the butt a break.
A 30-mile day putting me within 20 to finish the second segment. Please note that in each segment I am looking for stories to add. If you have a volunteer first responder story or one supporting a law enforcement officer, please share so we can add. Next segment is to recognize the clinicians of our industry both air and ground.
Phase Three – Dedicated to All Clinicians in Pre-hospital Environment from EMTs to Medical Directors
Tuesday, July 28th, I passed 450 miles and then was delayed until Friday due to work and some weather issues.
An early start Friday morning and although I encountered some delays due to traffic on the Pine Lake Dam, I managed to knock off another 26 miles setting me up for an easy weekend to roll past 500 miles.
Thoughts of a second ride on starting took back seat to some driveway repair at my stepson’s house.
The majority of the first 480 miles have involved routes with just a few miles from home. Lincolnites are blessed with miles of trails and I plan to explore more of those in the last half of my ride. Until Sunday my main trial has been the Billy Wolff trail traveling from Southern Lincoln to Downtown. Holmes Lake Park is on this trail and I spend a fair amount of time there.
Sunday morning, I took the trail that parallels 84th heading North past our church to link up with the Mopac trail and head west towards downtown.
This segment is dedicated to clinicians. I will add a few but will start with some great Medical Directors that I have worked with over the year. Kevin Hutton, Joe Richardson. Dave Thomson, Jay Kovar, Mike Jasumback, Davvid Stuhlmiller and Howard Wormack to name a few.
A few years back, I had the honor to serve on the Board of Directors for the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services. (CAMTS).
CAMTS is an organization of non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical transport services, with 21 current member organizations each of which sends one representative to the CAMTS Board of Directors.
The Commission believes that the two highest priorities of an air medical or ground inter-facility transport service are patient care and safety of the transport environment.
Founded in 1991 this group has continued to revise standards to meet the dynamic changes of the medical transport industry. Incorporating best practices into their standards allows new or expanding services to achieve a level of professionalism in a short and affordable process. Eileen Frazer has been a driving force since its inception and she continues to do so today as the Executive Director.
In the past CAMTS has supported many projects that I have been involved to include the Safety Drives in 2014 and 2015. This year is no exception and yesterday we posted a $1,500 donation to my 1K bike ride in support of the MedEvac Foundation International.
I thank all the Board members for their support. I passed 530 miles on the 5th and plan to reach 600 by Sunday evening weather permitting.
Adding to the Medical Directors that I posted earlier as part of this segments recognition of clinicians I have a few nurses to add. Jodie Hignite, Linda Young, Linda Meiner, Charlaan Staub, Eileen Frazer, Sandra Hutton, Connie Eastlee, Susan Rivers, Debbie Boudreaux, Denise Treadwell, Denise Uhlin, Denise Landis for a start.
I have decided there are 4 different categories of bike owners. Class one is just that a “Bike Owner”. This is the class that I most generally fall into. You see bikes stored like mine in the picture in garages and patios in every neighborhood. When asked how often they ride, the conversation usually goes something like this. Not lately, but 5 years ago I rode it often—I plan to start again soon when the weather improves. Then there is the” Bike Rider”, which is the category I most often fell into. These individuals, actually take periodic rides, enjoy owning but seldom do so more than once a week or travel more than 5 miles or so. Then comes the group that I am trying to emulate. The “Bicyclist “, rides often tries to test themselves by extending the rides and riding multiple times a week. I like this category because as I entered, I noticed immediate improvements in my well-being both physically and mentally. The problem is that I am just one or two cheeseburgers and a soft drink from drifting back to a rider or just an owner. The last category is the “Bicycle Enthusiast”.
I will never achieve this level, but they own multiple bikes, plan vacations around riding, subscribe to Bicycle Magazines and dress in only the best gear. All four categories have an AH component. AHs are those rude individuals that have no regard for others on public trails and ride as if they were in the Tour De France or some other important event. You can guess what the AH stands for right?
I’m dedicating this post to the memories of Chuck LaCelle and Jane Wynn and in honor of Tom Allenstein
Phase Four – Dedicated to All Communication Specialists
A couple of names to add to the list Chuck LaCelle, Pilot and manager deceased, Jane Wynn,
nurse, industry icon deceased, Tom Allenstein, nurse, CEO/President MedFlight of Ohio.
Every time I sit for a minute another name pops up that played a major role in my career so you may see names that should have been in previous sections. Pamela Gersch, nurse, and Tina Ginagrasso also a nurse, fall in that category. Excellent individuals who played a big role in the early days of LifeNet.
Paramedics that have shown their worth include David Motzkin and Lee McCammon. Both continue to rock the industry and I would be remiss not to include David Olvera.
The previous leg of the journey was dedicated to the many communications specialists that make our air and ground transport systems work. With the fires that are so prevalent here on the west coast, I know that these professionals are playing a huge role in making things work. Thank you. In the late 90’s we organized the first communication center for air medical operations that provided flight following for aircraft in multiple states. This center located in Omaha, NE provided proof of concept for what is now the Air Methods center in Omaha and the PHI center in Phoenix. I miss working with these professionals most of whom have long since retired.
My last day in Livermore and I was able to knock out 12 miles before joining my daughter and wife for lunch.