2nd Vice President - Russ Christiansen

Russ began his career in 1987 as a volunteer fireman in Hanna, WY. and attended EMT training in Medicine Bow in the fall of 1988.  Attended EMT-I training under Dr. Abels in Rawlins in 1989 and subsequently was employed by memorial Hospital of Carbon County in 1990.
After moving to Casper in the fall of 1995, he started working at Wyoming Medical Center on the ambulance service in January, 1996. Attended the HealthONE paramedic program in Denver during the summer and fall of 1996. He worked as a ground and flight paramedic and training officer for Wyoming Medical Center EMS from 1997 to 2003 and was then promoted to manager of the ambulance service. During this time, he also conducted numerous EMT Basic and Intermediate programs in the Casper area. From 2005 to 2007, he was the educator for the allied health professions at Wyoming Medical Center in addition to the primary instructor for the American Heart Assn. BLS, ACLS and PALS programs. In 2007, he then returned full time to the ambulance service as a shift supervisor.

In January of 2009, Russ accepted a position at Casper College as the Program Director of the yet to be established associate degree paramedic program. The first class started in August of 2009 with 9 students, of which 7 graduated in the spring of 2011. Also in the spring of 2011, a site visit was conducted by CoAEMSP to ensure the program was meeting the prescribed accreditation requirements. In January of 2012, initial accreditation was awarded by CAAHEP. In May of 2014, Russ was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care. Since 2011, Russ has worked on the Mission Lifeline: Wyoming project in addition to serving on the Wyoming Office of EMS Education Advisory Group and the Governors EMS Advisory Board.

Several Wyoming EMS Providers got together back in 1972 and formed an association to represent the fast growing pre-hospital system in Wyoming. Through the years that association known as Wyoming Ambulance and EMS Association (WAEMSA) provided representation and continue education to pre-hospital providers across the state through Annual Trauma Conferences and Mini-Conferences across the state.

In approximately 2006 another association was formed, called the Wyoming Ambulance and Pre-Hospital Providers with a goal of representing Wyoming’s EMS providers, Directors and Services.

Both associations struggled through the next 6 years with attracting members and obtaining their goals. In 2012 the combined effort of the two organizations and an Advisory Committee formed the Wyoming EMS Advocates.

The Wyoming EMS Advocates struggled over the next year, but was beginning to make progress in attracting members and planning continuing education seminars, only to have another setback in 2013.  The effects of that setback are still being felt. 

At the Annual Membership Meeting in 2015 a new Board of Directors was elected and goals were set to advance the association forward meeting the needs of the Emergency Medical Services that is rapidly changing. Currently our membership is approximately 264 and growing.  The association is attempting to partner with EMS World and a supply company to offer discounts to our membership when purchasing materials. We also are working closely with the EMS Office and the American Heart Association to advance Wyoming’s pre-hospital response and care.

We are hoping that these and other goals will provide the needed support for the great pre-hospital care and treatment system within our great state.  This will help to attract members that will bring new ideas and move us forward.

Please contact any of the board members for further information and how we can all work to continue to make this one of the best Emergency Medical Service systems that is unique to Wyoming.

Current Board Members 

Member At Large - Aaron Hespe

Aaron started his career in EMS in 2004 as a EMR in Newcastle, WY aPending the First Responder course at Newcastle Ambulance Service. In 2007, he completed the EMT class. In 2009 he competed the EMT-Intermediate class. Aaron has enrolled in the Paramedic Technologies course at Casper College starEng in the Fall of 2016.

     In 2008, he started working Full time at Newcastle Ambulance Service and in 2009 he was promoted to Assistant Director and Training Officer. In 2015 he became Co- Owner at Newcastle Ambulance Service.
     Aaron currently coordinates EMR, EMT, and IEMT classes. He is a AHA BLS and ACLS class instructor, and coordinates/teaches mulEple other class.

1st Vice President - Ron Gatti

Ron is the director of Sweetwater Medics Ambulance and a Battalion Chief for the Rock Springs Fire Department.  I have been in the Fire Service and EMS for 25 Years.

Wyoming EMS Advocates History

President - Cindy Osborne

Cindy Osborne is the Operations Manager for AMR in Cheyenne. She has been involved in EMS for the past 25 years.  During this time she held positions as EMT, EMT-I, Dispatcher, Operations Supervisor and Administrative Supervisor. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration with a concentration in Emergency Management. Over the past couple of years she has served as the Region 3 Healthcare Coordinator. In 2005 she was chosen to as an American Ambulance Association Star of Life. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys and playing old people softball.

Immediate Past President - Jon Said

Jon has been involved in Wyoming EMS since the early 1970’s, thus his gray hair. He has had the pleasure of working on multiple EMS services across this state, which has given him a tremendous knowledge and respect for what our EMS system has done and can do. This experience and knowledge allowed him to advance his knowledge and education.  He is now working as a Physician Assistant and provides EMS education across the state. He has had the opportunity and pleasure of assisting some EMS services over the several years.
He believes Wyoming EMS providers need an association that will 
represent them in our endeavors to advance paEent care to our citizens and visitors. Prehospital Emergency Medical Service continues to change rapidly across the nation and he feels the need to ensure our system will provide the best emergency medical care that we can. Patient care in Wyoming depends on EMS professionals that have access to current medical evaluation, treatment and transportation that is enhanced through training, proper rules and regulations for our profession and legislative support. He is looking forward to working with this association’s board of directors to provide that leadership into the future.

Secretary / Treasurer - Kaela Bretz

Kaela started her education at the University of Wyoming pursuing Athletic training but when she took an emergency management class she knew exactly what she wanted to do! After she changed her degree she then moved out of the state of Wyoming as there were no Paramedic Programs in the state at the time.

She transferred to Colby Community College, received her Basic EMT certification as well as an Associate of Arts and and Associate of Science degrees in May of 2005. During the summer she moved back to her hometown of Wheatland and worked as a Basic for Eastern Wyoming Ambulance Service. Once the summer was over she ended up in Norfolk Nebraska at Northeast Community College. While working in the Emergency Room at the local hospital she attended the paramedic program and received her NREMT - Paramedic certification and an Associate of Applied Science - Paramedic in May of 2007.

Once she completed school she accepted a position at WyomingMedical Center as a Paramedic on the ground ambulance. She worked at WMC until the fall of 2011. She started a family and now works for Casper College Full Time. She is the clinical coordinator for the Paramedic Program and helps with the EMT classes offered. The next 3 board member biographies will be coming out in our next issue.  All of the new and old Officers are VERY honored to be representing EMS throughout the state. 

Wyoming EMS Advocates