Published On: Thu, May 18th, 2017

Gary Schieffer retires after 30 years as Osmond EMT

Gatheirng to honor long-time Osmond EMT Gary Schieffer on his retirement were fellow EMTs and family members, back row: Police Chief Gary Umberger (left), James Bessmer, Doug Schmit, Marty Kruse, Mark Krienert; front row: Scot Gubbels, Melissa Lind, Erin Kumm, Tiffany Friedrich, Gary Schieffer, Missy Hoppe, Amanda Schieffer holding Remi Sue, Nathan Schieffer and Deb Gutz holding Raelynn

OSMOND — The Osmond community lost one of it’s longest-serving Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) when Gary Schieffer retired after 30 years of serving the community. The EMT group celebrated his retirement at their monthly meeting on Monday, May 15.
Gary joined the Osmond EMTs in May of 1987. At that time, there weren’t very many members on the squad, among them Brenda Lind, Percy Stanosheck, Dixie Johnston, Francis Liewer, Larry Peck and Barb Reineke. The town had a desperate need, so Gary joined 10 others in taking the 81 hours of training required at that time to become an EMT. Other members of his class were Diane Hoyt, Brian Kumm, Clark Wilke, Patty (Schmit) Timmerman, DaNel Blunck, Susie (Engler) Dennis, Dave Wagner, Leonard Frodyma, Mark Krienert and Clark Nelson.
Gary has seen many improvements through the years. He says when he started, “back then, it was throw them on a cot and go like h***!” And there wasn’t much room in the ambulance. He remembers on one run, the EMTs were doing CPR and the ambulance went across railroad tracks and the door popped open!

Gary displays plaque he received commemorating his 30 years as an EMT

Back in the early 1990s, they raised the money themselves including raffling a Dodge pickup — to purchase a 1994 ambulance. He named numerous pieces of equipment that are in use now and said with the equipment they have now, there is more comfort for the patient.
EMTs have to have a lot more training now also, he said. The most recent class of Osmond EMTs had to have 120 hours of training and have to be nationally certified. They must then renew their certificates — in CPR, airway, glucose testing, etc. — every two years, and do continuing education classes throughout the year.
“It’s a good feeling to walk down the street and see the people you’ve helped over the years,” he said. But there were also times when things didn’t turn out so good, he said, and that’s just something you live with.
When asked why he decided to retire now, Gary became a little emotional as he said, “I’m 68 years old. We have such a good group of people now. I’m going to miss it terribly, but it’s in good hands. I just need to be a grandpa and a dad. And I’m pooped!” he joked. He has a son and daughter-in-law, Nate and Amanda, and two granddaughters, Raelynn and Remi Sue. His son, Nick, died in a tragic traffic accident in 2000 and his wife, Pam, died in 2013.
Gary served as vice president and then president of the group in the 1990s, and recently concluded his stint as training officer. Current President Missy Hoppe commented, “Gary has been a great role model, as have other EMTs. He’s seen the good and the bad, and is always encouraging others to become an EMT.”
When Hoppe thanked Gary Monday night, he told the group, “Walking in here tonight was tough. All of you are my heroes. You’re going to see some tragedy and heartache, but I’ve never worked with finer people. Ever.”
Gary left the group with this final advice: “Remember to take care of the patients’ family and friends.”