It was CPR training in high school that sparked interest in a career of saving lives in the field of EMS for You’re the Cure advocate, Curtis Halmrast. Curtis became a volunteer responder in high school and then a paramedic. He is a long-time American Heart Association CPR instructor, teaching CPR to high school students in addition to community members and health professionals. Curtis provided testimony for SB 2238 to secure funding for CPR training in public and private high schools in ND and his work, including a radio news story, was key in the bill’s passage.
Curtis was awarded the 2014 North Dakota American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Impact Award on February 1st at the Red River Valley Heart Ball, held at the Holiday Inn, Fargo, for his extraordinary dedication and work to advance the mission of the American Heart Association in North Dakota.
For several years, Curtis has been active Advocate, attending advocacy training and taking action on Action Alerts during legislative session on important issues related to stroke and emergency medical care. He frequently steps forward to voice his support by testifying at legislative hearings or contacting legislators on key legislation and funding. During the 2013 legislative session he testified in support of newborn heart screenings (pulse oximetry), acute stroke systems of care expansion, acute heart attack systems of care, funding for EMS, community paramedics, and stroke systems of care legislation that included a public education/awareness component.
Mission: Lifeline in North Dakota is another excellent example of the impact that volunteers and advocates working together can have to save lives from acute heart attacks (STEMI). As president of the ND EMS Association, Curtis has assisted to recruit and engage task force members that have worked tirelessly developing training modules, protocols, and training of EMS personnel across the state.
Put simply, Curtis saves one heart and one life at a time in his ’24-hour day’ job with the Oakes ambulance service, and his dedication and efforts in collaboration with the American Heart Association are improving heart and stroke systems that save lives across the state today, and will continue in years to come. The American Heart Association extends a sincere congratulations to Curtis!