From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 25 - September 13, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Big Piney Resident Recognized For Years Of Service With EMS

by Trey Wilkinson

While December will mark the end of a long and illustrious career for a BigPiney man involved with Big Piney Emergency Medical Services (EMS), he will continue to carry his experiences and memories with him throughout the rest of his days.

Don Pope, who has been with the Big Piney EMSfor 41 years, was recently recognized for his years of service at a trauma conference in Cheyenne. Pope was notified Aug. 20 that he was going to be honored in Cheyenne. “I was elated (when I found out about the award) and never dreamed that this could happen to me,” said the lifetime Big Piney resident.

Pope received the Meritorious Award for years of service with EMS, which included a wall plaque commemorating his time spent in EMS.

“Don is very deserving of the award,” said Katie Krieger, Sublette CountyEMSsupervisor. “He has put in a lot of time and is very devoted to EMS.”

Back in February of 1966 Pope began his career inEMSforwhat he thought would just be a temporary stint. “Big Piney needed members for the ambulance and fire department,” he said. “I told Chief Charles Simms that I would help until my help wasn’t needed.”

Little did Pope know that 41 years later he’d be in Cheyenne being recognized for his years of EMS service.

Life of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certainly has its ups and downs, and Pope spoke of the hard times over the past 41 years.

“The hardest part (of the job) is losing babies, teenagers, good friends and people you know,” he said.

With the bad comes the good, and Pope said his favorite part of EMS was “helping others how need help.”

During his 41 years of service Pope learned a number of important lessons, including caring for other people, their families and “always telling the patient the truth.” “Patients loved him,” Krieger said. “He is a darn good medic.”

Pope said he could share numerous stories, but one stood out more than others. Pope spoke of a person who he did chest compressions on for 45 minutes. “He’s still here today,” he said. “We know CPR works.”

Besides working for the Big Piney EMS, Pope was also the EMS coordinator for the State ofWyoming for about 15 years. And it is evident that EMS blood runs in the family as Pope’s wife, Maisie, and two sons, Brent and Nelson were all EMT in Big Piney at one time during their lives.

“Nelson and Maisie are no longer in EMS, but Brent stayed in the medical field and has been in the Navy for the last 12 years,” Pope said.

The EMS veteran will be retiring in December when hisEMT card expires. “It is time,” he said, “and since I broke my hip I have not been a active as I once was.”

Pope, who works as a maintenance supervisor for the Town of Big Piney, will continue his duties with the town, which includes overseeing streets, water and sewer among other things. The family also plans on staying in Big Piney for the time being.

“At this point, we plan on staying in Big Piney,” Pope said. “The hunting and fishing is great. And so are all the wonderful people who live in Sublette County.” Pope paid tribute to the men and women he has worked with over the years speaking highly of all EMTs.

“Anybody who makes a commitment to become an EMT deserves a pat on the back,” he said. “You have to have family support. There is a lot of heartache and reward.”

Krieger had nothing but positive things to say about Pope. “He is a very compassionate person,” she said. “When on a run with Don it was always a learning experience. You learned something all the time from him.”

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