For the past four decades, Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services has been coming to the rescue in Berthoud and Loveland, delivering critical care and assistance to patients in urgent need. With more than 80 employees manning six stations and 12 ambulances, the agency responds to around 15,000 calls per year in a territory spanning 450 square miles.
But Thompson Valley EMS does more than provide medical care in the community, said Battalion Chief Cheryl Feyen, a 32-year veteran of the agency. In addition to formal programs, like TVEMS CARES, staff also provide personalized outreach and education to patients with needs that go beyond an ambulance ride.
Feyen joined TVEMS in 1991 and has enjoyed what she called a “very rewarding and engaging” career ever since. She has been recognized for her performance several times, which she credited to “the support and opportunities presented by my agency and teammates.”
The Reporter-Herald caught up with Feyen to talk about her years of service with TVEMS and how the agency has strives to make the public safer.
The day to day is the most exciting part of the job and what keeps me in EMS, as it is rarely the same, let alone monotonous or mundane. Day to day, I am honored to assure the front-line care providers have what they need to be successful for the day. This could be anything from scheduling to assisting crews with patient care or sitting with family members as crews take care of their loved ones.
Throughout my career, challenges have changed from the simple task of talking on the radio without embarrassing myself to the challenge of a sick cardiac patient as I grew in experience. Perhaps one of the most impactful moments I’ve experienced was attempting to provide support to a patient with substance abuse that led to intermittent homelessness and unfortunately a tragic outcome. Substance abuse touches so many areas of people’s lives and I pray for the day we have effective treatment plans.
We are embedded in the community wholeheartedly. When the system allows, we are endorsed and encouraged to meet people’s needs outside of ambulance transports. Crews have made soup, picked up burgers, bought cat food and even started laundry for customers struggling to accomplish their daily tasks. Providing care is not just about medicine. I have worked in several agencies throughout my career, none of which have the passion and commitment that I have experienced at Thompson Valley for continued quality care as well as cultivating strong working relationship with our partners in the community to assist in this care.
I am blessed to have an outstanding support system with my family and faith, these two things primarily keep me grounded and in a healthy head space.
Advice for the public for personal emergency preparedness is a simple but hugely helpful step in providing care to a patient. Having medical information in one, easily accesible location. Having just the medication lists available for those situations when you are not able to speak for yourself or in a dire situation is a significant preparedness step. Often times we can piece together a history off this list alone. Let others in your household know where this information is, refrigerator doors are a universal place to post these.
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