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Newell ambulance holds annual dinner

April 27, 2018

NEWELL — Sunday was the annual appreciation dinner for the Newell ambulance. Service awards, gag gifts, and door prizes were handed out during the evening at the Blue Line Diner in Newell.

Director Sherry Hocking said she wanted to thank the crew, the fire department drivers who pitch in, the board, and administration.

“The board may or may not know everything we do, but they provide what we need to get the job done,” said Hocking. She thanked Tom Lewis, who served as assistant director, Hope Komes, who served a supply officer, and Todd Komes, who served as maintenance officer for the past year.

She named the new officers: Hocking remains as director, Calvin Fickbohm, secretary/treasurer, Hope Komes, assistant director, Jesse Komes, supply officer, and Tom Lewis, maintenance officer.

“We had 160 calls this past year, either paged out or at the request of the community,” said Hocking. The service has about 12 volunteers with nine running consistently.

Hocking started the evening with a humorous story about what can happen, and sometimes does. A tale of a call to a person with an allergic reaction near Nisland turned into an intercept on the highway.

One of the first responders accidentally injected himself through his thumb with an Epi pen on the call to deliver the patient to the hospital.

At the dinner, Hocking handed out a used Epi pen to EMT who injected himself.

Hocking also told of getting a used truck box to put on a 2017 ambulance chassis, and how it had been christened with a crease along the side when one driver got a little too close to the pillars at the Spearfish ER. That driver got a toy ambulance to practice his parking skills, while his cohorts on that trip received coffee mugs guaranteed to keep it hot so they would be wide awake.

Hocking awarded perfect attendance at meetings to Don Tishmack as well as receiving that recognition herself. She awarded 40-plus-year pins and a photo of the bus in front of the hall to Tishmack, and to Dave Zwetzig. Tishmack is starting his 44th year, and Zwetzig will begin his 40th and neither plan to hang up their stethoscope.

Five members received 20-year pins: Calvin Fickbohm, Tom Lewis, Todd and Hope Komes and Sherry Hocking. Hocking also recognized Ron and Vivian Sjodin for their help in raising funds for the organization through the Festival of Trees each year at Christmas. She gave kudos to Commissioner Kim Richards for his support, and thanked Nellie Isaacs, Sturgis training officer, for coming to Newell each month to do training for the group.

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