Mark is the quintessential rural hometown success. His route to EMS is atypical and a great testimony to his drive and desire to serve his community. Mark serves as an EMS Operations Supervisor II for Allina Health EMS. He is responsible for the day-to-day work of the New Ulm, MN EMS operation. Mark is responsible for 30 EMT and Paramedics that provide ALS care in New Ulm and the surrounding municipalities.

Mark went to Mankato State after high school and received a bachelor’s degree in Management. After, he moved to Colorado, where he worked for 9-years in the banking industry. First as a personal banker, then as a customer service provider. He stated, “I worked at a desk and it was not challenging.” He moved back to New Ulm, MN.

Mark then achieved his EMT and began working casually for Allina Health in 2011. He found the work fun and provided a little extra spending money. He became a paramedic in 2015 and graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Mark worked for Allina EMS as a paramedic and Allina’s New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) as a critical care nurse. When the supervisor position opened two years ago, Mark decided to make EMS his career.

Mark was asked “why EMS?” He stated, “EMS has a unique environment; the scope of practice is wider.” He loved the critical thinking aspects that EMS offers. However, most of all, he loved the family feel of EMS. He said, “we eat together, do things together; we are a family here.” He also enjoys working in a small town. It is not uncommon for him to treat a friend, schoolmate or even family and he finds this to be an honor.

Mark’s direct leader Carrie Lager stated, “Mark is dedicated in addition to being a strong supporter of his community. For example, when NUMC has more than one patient needing to be transferred to another facility simultaneously, Mark collaborates with all parties involved to formulate a plan. It doesn’t matter what time or day of the week this occurs. He is an excellent communicator reaching out to the hospital to notify them of any potential delays. He reaches out to his staff to create an additional crew to transport a patient. He also doesn’t hesitate to jump on the truck to make a full crew to assist in getting the patients to where they need to be.” Mark works a lot!

Mark loves spending time with his wife, Erica, when he is not working. They have been married for 10 years and have three children. One boy, age 9, and two girls, ages 7 and 5. They live in New Ulm but enjoy time at the family cabin near Hutchinson. Mark loves spending time with his family, and he likes to hunt pheasant, deer and elk in Colorado. He has a 6-month-old German short-haired puppy training to be an epic bird dog.

To conclude, Mark is an EMS professional. He has proven to be a remarkable clinical example of excellent care and a role model to anyone wanting to enter EMS. Mark’s mother (a New Ulm Nurse for over 49 years and going strong) and father tremendously influenced how Mark sees hometown values. You see, Mark gets it. Whether it happens in a hospital, an ambulance, or managing people. Mark embodies an EMS professional and I’m proud to nominate him for the 2023 Stars of Life Award. He’s indeed a Star in our book!

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