North Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association

July Monthly Newsletter


For more information on the following North Dakota EMS events click on the button below. 

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Join us July 27-28 at the Ramada for the 6th Annual EMS Conference. The schedule and the presenters can be viewed on the website.

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Rural EMS Counts

Story telling is an important part of EMS.  We sometimes shy away from it.  Maybe because it is seen as bragging or complaining, which are two things mid-westerners hate to do.  However, an accurate, compelling, and often told story is important.  We must be continually telling the public who we are, what we do, why we do it, and how we do it.

My mom died in October.  Though she was already gone by the time the crew arrived, I am forever indebted to my hometown rural EMS crew who took care of my dad and sister during a very difficult time. I know it was a very long scene time waiting for the coroner to come, probably from 35 miles away.  There is great value in caring for not only the family there, but the family that cannot be there.

Even though my dad was a former board member for the service, he did not understand how EMS is funded (and not funded) until he attended a panel discussion that was held in 2016 as part of the future of EMS meetings hosted by the North Dakota EMS Association in partnership with the ND Department of Health, Division of EMS and the American Heart Association. The meetings had two parts: the first talking to EMS and hospitals, and the second part talking to the public and elected leaders about the challenges the EMS system is facing, such as staffing and funding. 

On July 23rd at noon, NDEMSA will be hosting a Town Hall discussion about creating value in EMS.  NDEMSA Board members Kelli Just and Adam Parker will be discussing possibilities of how EMS agencies add value to their community that extends far beyond simply responding to emergencies, treating, and transporting patients to the hospital. This presentation will discuss why simply providing emergency care and transport is no longer a sustainable model and explore ways that agencies can be proactive to facilitate engagement and contribute to a community’s safety, livability and residents' quality of life.

I invite you to join us in these continuing conversations at our monthly Town Halls.  I invite you to think about value more broadly and I invite you to tell your story. Because rural EMS counts!

Lindsey B. Narloch

Project Manager

Rural EMS Counts

Meet Rural EMS Count Subject Matter Experts

Jason Eblen

Jason Eblen was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and grew up on his family farm and home in Hillsboro, North Dakota, where he attended Hillsboro Public Schools. In his high school years, he developed an interest in the medical field. Jason attended a first responder course after his sophomore year in high school in 1995, then began volunteering for the Hillsboro Ambulance Service.

Jason took a full time position at F-M Ambulance in the summer of 2001 while he continued his education at North Dakota State University. He began paramedic school at F-M Ambulance and Bismarck State College that same year. Jason was promoted to the Paramedic position at F-M Ambulance and continues to work full time as a field provider.

Jason was a key contributor when F-M Ambulance implemented their initial system of live system status monitoring and demand analysis. In 2013, Jason took on a newly developed role as a Quality Improvement/Quality Assurance Specialist and SIM-ND Educator. As a SIM-ND educator, Jason participates in a grant-funded project providing mobile simulation education on high mortality-low frequency scenarios to rural ambulance services and critical access hospitals throughout the state in an effort to improve patient outcomes.

In 2011, the Minnesota High School League recognized Jason for his role in resuscitating a high school basketball player who experienced sudden cardiac arrest during a game at a rural school and was subsequently able to return to the court.

In addition to his previous volunteer service with Hillsboro Ambulance, Jason was a member of the ND EMS Association Board of Directors for several years. He also volunteered as a reserve deputy sheriff for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

In his spare time, Jason appreciates working with computers, firearms training, and spending time with his family. He is also an avid NDSU football fan. Jason is married to his wife, Tiffany. They live in Reile’s Acres with her sons, Tristan and Trenton, and a Shih Tzu-Bichon cross, Max.

Amy Kruger

First and foremost I am a wife and mother of five children. Four boys and one girl, between the ages 21 and 2 years old. My oldest is married so I get to have a daughter- in- law as well.  I feel my family is my biggest achievement. My runner up is being a paramedic. I currently work for Metro Ambulance in Bismarck as a Captain. I have been with Metro for almost six years. I first started working with them as an EMT in 2014 and gained my Paramedic through BSC in 2015. In 2016 I became a flight paramedic for about a year, hanging up my wings in 2017 after becoming a Captain. During my time at Metro I have gained many learning opportunities, as well as gaining the ability to work on QA/QI and communicate and coordinate with other entities for improvements.

In 2013 my first EMS experience started in New Salem ND after being asked to drive for New Salem Ambulance, and became quickly convinced to become an EMT and my education continued from there. I currently continue to work as a paramedic with New Salem as well as provide training to the rest of the staff. I have been the training officer almost four years. I have gained certifications for ACLS, AMLS, PALS and PHTLS. I am an EVOC instructor, as well as an EMS Education Instructor for ND. CPR instruction is something I do quite often and provide it to all the New Salem high school students and staff.

My passion in EMS is to try to help keep smaller services alive and active and help provide education when needed.

Karen Jacobson

Karen Jacobson has been involved in emergency medical services (EMS) for over 30 years, first as an EMT then a paramedic since 1992 in urban, suburban, and rural areas. For the past 18 years her focus and advocacy has been on EMS data collection through the adoption and improvement of the National EMS Information System data standard. She recognizes the value of healthcare data in demonstrating the benefit to patient care through quality assurance, performance improvement, protocol adherence, and key performance indicators.

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North Dakota EMS Association

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