Star Valley’s own Travis Osmond earned himself Wyoming’s EMT of the year award which is handed out annually.
It’s his first time winning the award and he has been an EMT for the last seven years in the community. He says he was not expecting to win it at all.
“I’m just blown away,” Osmond said. “Very humbled to have that.”
Wyoming’s Veterans of Foreign Wars make some nominations for the award. Then they meet and discuss and vote on the candidates. Osmond says due to COVID-19 they did not do the usual scenario of getting everyone together to present the award. He received a special plaque with his name on it.
While he is honored to earn this award he says one thing people need to keep in mind is that in the medical field, you’re not just an individual but part of a team.
“I always loved the phrase that ‘we’re willing to run in when everybody’s running out'”, Osmond said.
He recalls a particular moment while dating his wife and before becoming an EMT he witnessed an accident. One man lost his life and it left another man maimed for life.
“I told myself right then and there that I was going to do whatever it took so that next time I was in that situation I could help more,” Osmond said.
He says he is proud to be a part of Star Valley Health. He also says if you require a medical emergency, you’re in good hands. He believes it has “the best” medical staff and paramedics. He also says he has experienced working with Fire Station No. 8 out of Salt Lake, so he has some experience working elsewhere.
“So I know what I’m talking about,” Osmond said. “I’ve been able to experience how they run things and how we run things. I just hope if I ever have to call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency, I’m here in Afton.”
He recalls how there are hard moments and some funny moments in his line of work. He says there was one time they received a call from a three-year-old saying “Mommy can’t get out of bed”.
“That’s a big deal when dispatch gets that,” Osmond said. “I respond and I’m going fast. This is a big deal.”
At the time Osmond wondered if perhaps the mom overdosed or if she was having a heart attack. He gets to the front door of the house and he sees the young child through the window, but the door is locked. He tried ringing the door bell but no one answered. So, he told dispatch he was going in.
“I kicked the door open,” Osmond said. “And run in and turn down the hall to see a very surprised mom.”
He says what happened was mom didn’t want to get out of bed that early in the morning, so she was telling her daughter to “let Mommy sleep”. Evidently the night before they had a Family Home Evening on what to do in an emergency.
“So the little girl called 9-1-1 because Mommy couldn’t get out of bed,” Osmond said laughing.
He says he has so many fun and rewarding stories and then there are definitely some you “wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy”.
“Being an EMT, it’s not for everyone,” Osmond said. “You have to have the mentality that ‘hey we’re going to lose some but we’re going to win some’.”
Getting through those tough ones he says he relies on others. He says he leans on his team and they all watch out for each other. He also says there are many stories of those times he goes home and hugs his family because it affects him so deeply.
“I think the thing that keeps us going is there is going to be that one we can save and that we do save,” Osmond said. “The greatest thing I’ve been able to be a part of is being invited into these people’s homes.
“Maybe a year later after a tragic accident has happened and seeing how much their lives have improved. Seeing the interventions that we did on scene have made a difference in their lives and that’s one of the things I really wish people could be a part of.”
He loves the community feeling being an EMT brings. He has had several doctors help him personally with various things in his life. He says they just got a new EMT director that is fighting for him and his team.
“EMS in a small community has its challenges,” Osmond said. “But also in the same sense you’re also helping those you know.”
He says if anyone is interested in joining this field, just go to the EMS building and talk to any of the paramedics. He says they are easy to talk to and just ask them questions. He also says EMS is always looking to add more members to the team as it can be thin.