By Patrick Lynn
Keith Melvin has been named as Mid-State Technical College’s 2020 EMS Educator of the Year.
Melvin works as an EMS Simulation Specialist Keith for the school and has been recognized with the award by the Wisconsin EMS Association (WEMSA). The award recognizes Melvin’s work to strengthen Mid-State’s EMS education programs as well as his extensive outreach and service efforts.
“A person only needs to spend a few minutes in Keith’s presence to understand his passion for EMS and education,” said Rick Anderson, Mid-State Associate Dean of Protective & Human Services. “He cares very much about people and goes out of his way to provide experiences that allow them to generate positive growth and feel good about their progress.”
Melvin’s nomination for the award was submitted by Ryan Huser, Mid-State Paramedic Technician instructor, who cited his colleague’s patience and kindness when conducting simulation training for Paramedic Technician students, ensuring their comfort in a variety of challenging training scenarios. Under Melvin’s leadership, Mid-State’s simulation training was recently cited as a strength in Mid-State’s EMS programs during an accreditation site visit by COAEMSP, the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions.
Melvin said he was “truly humbled” with the recognition.
“In healthcare, so often the focus is on the technical side, but my approach to teaching is to be a servant leader,” he said. “I try to first build relationships with my students and recognize that they all face challenges and adversity, and from there I can model the caring side of healthcare. This award just validates and confirms that I’m where I need to be, here at Mid-State where I can make a difference in students’ lives.”
Melvin was also commended for his ability to put Mid-State training in high demand far and wide. As a Cameron firefighter and first responder, his efforts to forge relationships with departments in the northern part of the Mid-State district have resulted in increased enrollments. He also pioneered the use of distance education in the college’s critical care classes.
Melvin’s contributions to EMS education would not be complete without highlighting his tireless work to spread the word about career options in emergency medical services.
“He is always the first to volunteer at Mid-State’s College Camp and Program Showcase events for area middle school and high school students,” said Anderson. “Keith’s passion for the field shines as he works to recruit the next generation of EMTs and paramedics, and we are truly fortunate to have such an experienced and passionate instructor introducing young people to these incredible, high-demand career opportunities.”
Founded in 1973, the Wisconsin EMS Association (WEMSA) represents and supports the views and interests of its 7,000 individual members and 375 service/business members representing ambulance services, first responder organizations, and allied EMS organizations. The organization promotes education, sharing information, and facilitating legislative action.
To learn more about Mid-State’s emergency medical services degree programs, visit mstc.edu/programs.