Steamboat Springs The 36 years of service Bobbie Vetter gave to Routt County didn’t go unnoticed by the EMS community across the state. After serving on local and state advisory boards for much of her career, the Emergency Medical Services Association of Colorado will award Vetter the Francis Mildred Roth Women in EMS Award on Friday.
West Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bryan Rickman said he nominated Vetter for the award based on her contributions to the county. Vetter worked with the Yampa ambulance service since its inception.
“She was one of the people who started the Routt County EMS council,” Rickman said, along with himself and Chuck Vale. With that, she worked to create a grant program to fund EMS programs in the area.
“The EMS grant program that’s in place right now, she worked very, very hard to get that legislation passed,” Rickman said. “She was on the state EMS advisory council for a number of years. I think the big issue is she looked out for the little guy. She looked out for small-town EMS and did a good job sticking up for the little guy.”
Ben Dengerink, of the state EMS association, said Vetter was selected because she worked hard to improve services in Yampa and helped teach a new generation of emergency medical technicians.
“Really, it’s her entire career” that the award is based on, he said.
The EMS Association of Colorado will present Vetter with a plaque during a ceremony Friday in Denver.
Vetter worked in Yampa as an EMT, CPR instructor, CPR instructor trainer and active ambulance crewmember, and taught at Colorado Northwestern Community College for 20 years until her retirement in 2005. She retired from the ambulance service last year.
Vetter said that when she started working for EMS in Yampa, the area was “in the early stages of even having an ambulance.”
She said there were challenges working in the rural area, ranging from a lack of equipment to the high probability of knowing the patients.
“It tugs at your heart strings in some cases when you know them and you know the family,” Vetter said.
Even so, Vetter said the job was satisfying, especially knowing that she was “participating and providing something that didn’t used to exist.”