A Tribute To Doug York

Doug York is a beloved icon in EMS and CAAHEP accreditation. The work he has done for the CoAEMSP in his role as Board Member, Chair of the Board of Directors, Site Visitor, Team Captain, Technical Consultant, Member of the CAAHEP Board of Directors, and so many other roles are too numerous to mention, but his influence is immeasurable. He has visited hundreds of programs and has read as many self-study reports. His gentle approach, kindness, corny Dad jokes, and his ability to relieve the stress of a site visit on Program Directors are legendary. Doug has made a lasting impact on the work we do at the CoAEMSP and, in no small part, is the reason there are over 700 Paramedic educational programs in the nation. Doug’s spirit of fairness and humility is something we should all try to emulate in our own lives. Please join us in saluting Doug York for a life well lived in service to EMS and remembered eternally.

George Hatch, Executive Director

132 thoughts on “A Tribute To Doug York

  1. Mike Miller says:

    1985 changed my life forever! I was a naïve teenager who thought he was going to save the world by becoming a paramedic. I was a terrible student, but you saw something in me and encouraged me to stick with it. None of what I have accomplished would have been possible without your influence at the very beginning of my EMS journey. I am proud to display my diploma to this day signed by Douglas York, Program Coordinator. Think about all of the students you have molded into EMS clinicians and the countless lives they have touched in so many ways. What an amazing legacy!

    Little did I know how our lives would continue to intersect these past 37 years. After becoming a paramedic I knew I wanted to follow in your footsteps and also teach. You gave me that opportunity as a guest presenter at the EMSLRC, and as an examiner for NREMT exams. You helped me become a site visitor and I was excited when I was able to be your partner on a site visit. Last year when I joined the CoAEMSP team, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you, and once again learn from you.

    Thank you for all you have done to influence my life. I will remember you always for your kind heart, approachability, love of chocolate chip cookies and diet coke, disdain for all food that is green, love of Star Trek and aviation, quick wit and sense of humor.

    With much love I wish you and your family peace in the coming days and weeks.

    Your student, mentee, colleague and friend,
    -Mike Miller

  2. Renee Barrett says:

    Doug, It is with gratitude and sincerity that I want to say thank you for your years of service, dedication and love of EMS. I could always count on your joie de vie to bring laughter and encouragement to look at the lighter side of life. There is a quote by Antoine de Sainte-Exupery that rings true when I think of all you, “Only the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born.” Your perspective, honed from years of experience in EMS, has provided invaluable guidance for us all.

    Renee Barrett, Public Board Member

  3. Ann Marie Mecera says:

    I am most grateful for several things about knowing you, Doug. Even though I was just a communications consultant with no important EMS or medical background, you always treated me as if I was just as important as everyone else in the room. Thank you, Doug for serving as a fine example for me to emulate. Secondly, your jokes and love for the Waffle House always made me laugh, maybe too heartily. But we know that laughter is the best medicine, so thank you, Doug for always providing me with the healing benefits of laughter. Finally, as you spend these coming days getting ready for what comes next, I thank you for providing me an opportunity to reflect on my own life and what’s most important. May you be embraced every moment going forward in peace, contentment, and love. “A good heart is better than all the heads in the world.” Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

  4. Jeff McDonald says:

    Doug, first, I want you to know that because of you, all my students know the capital of South Dakota – and most can even pronounce it.
    From the first site visit I was lucky enough to be pair with you, you have been in inspiration. You calm affect and humble approach to the accreditation process not only adds a calming affect to those going through the site visit process, but also to those young site visitors still learning their way. And 18 years later, through multiple site visits under the supervision of the ED because of our double secret probation you remain my greatest inspiration.
    As educators, the number for patients we touch through our graduates is many time more than we can care for in the field. As a person who has effected 100s of educators, your impact on the day to day patient care is nearly immeasurable. Every encounter you have had with an educator is an encounter with dozens of students, and hundreds of patients. A truly remarkable impact and gift on EMS.
    Thank you for your mentorship and for all the guidance as I moved through my days as a site visitor, but mostly for your friendship and kind spirit. My life is greater for our time together.

    Jeff McDonald

  5. Randy Kuykendall says:

    In 2006, I had the privilege to serve as a sponsor member of the CoAEMSP Board of Directors and the honor to serve as Chairman of the board along with Doug as he was elected to serve as Vice Chairman. At that time, great organizational change was inevitable for the CoA and it was Doug’s dedication, tenacity, commitment and love for EMS education of that supported not only myself, but the entire Board of Directors to undertake those challenges. Without Doug’s help and wisdom, I’m not sure how the organization could have been so successful in the years to follow. My admiration, appreciation and profound respect for Doug York is boundless. His kindness and genuine interest in seeing all EMS educators and their students be successful will serve as the anchor of the CoAEMSP for generations to come. Thank you, Sir!

  6. Theresa Sisneros says:

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve done for CAAHEP – and for being an incredibly wonderful person that always makes meetings relaxed and dare I say, fun? That, on top of being incredibly productive and getting things done. But more importantly, thank you for being such a kind, gentle soul. Thank you for sharing your fun and lighthearted approach to work and life and for all the joy you’ve spread to those around you!

  7. Murray Kalish says:

    I first met you in 2008 when I joined the CoAEMSP Board replacing Bill Montgomery. You were very kind to me as a newbie. I learned a considerable amount of knowledge through your leadership plus you helped me through my early days.
    It has been a sheer pleasure to work with you and the CoAEMSP Board these past 14 years. You have made major contributions to our EMS system in so many ways.
    I, also, always enjoyed our conversations about Maryland football and basketball versus Iowa football and basketball, especially when Maryland joined the Big Ten conference.
    I wish you peace.
    Your colleague,

  8. Tom Rothrock says:

    Doug, I want to thank you for making my first site visit very relaxing. You were so calm and cool, helping us to get through our first one. You were extremely helpful and inciteful. When I became a site visitor, I had the opportunity to learn from you in the class and then work with you as the zoom master for two virtual visits. You were always there for any questions that would come up and made our life so easy with the visits.

    Thank you for all you have done for COAEMSP and EMS education. Thank your for your mentorship. Take care.

  9. Patricia L Tritt says:

    It would be difficult to find a better colleague than Doug York. You are a kind, gentle soul who supports others and you have worked tirelessly in the interest of educating students and furthering the profession through the accreditation process. I’ve worked with you on a variety of projects, and you have always there, bringing years of experience and wisdom. You are very respectful of everyone, and you are able to provide a relaxed and non-threatening environment for site visits and other conversations. I know I can always count on you and continue to appreciate your support. We’ve worked together a long time in various roles and iterations, buddy of mine.

    Unfortunately, we have not been able to visit a Waffle House together though….

  10. Linda Anderson says:

    Doug: Once upon a time I was a pretty naive program director who was lucky enough to have you as a captain for my first site visit. You held my hand and miraculously we gained accreditation! Happily, you recruited me to become a site visitor and began a journey that turns out to be one of the most fulfilling parts of my career. You are a mentor I will always look up to and made me better at my chosen passion of EMS education. Unexpected benefits were the introduction to the Waffle House, trips to Walmart to supplement your lost luggage wardrobe and an appreciation for one of the best sense of humors around! You have touched many lives and I am honored to be among them. You leave a legacy and a life well spent. God speed and hugs.

  11. Lorna Frazier-Lindsey says:

    Doug, thank you for sharing your time and expertise with CAAHEP. It seems that the word “No” was not in your vocabulary when asked to help on a project, committee, or workshop. Your can-do, happy to help, and let me roll up my sleeves to get this job done attitude is appreciated more than words can say. And, of course, I enjoy and look forward to hearing your jokes – maybe a little too much as they remind me so much of the ones my Dad used to tell. I am wishing you peace and sending my heartfelt gratitude for all that you’ve done. Lorna

  12. Benji McCollum says:

    You helped this new program director tremendously and were always helping me find ways to make my job easier. You devoted time to help all of us be better and troubleshoot those hard tasks for new program directors. Thanks for your help in everything! I still owe you a diet coke.

  13. Brian Wilcox says:

    I am new to the accredition process so have not had the opportunity to have alot of interactions with you. The few interactions I have had have been a pleasure and my world and everyone elses world is a better place in having the opportunity to meet you.

  14. Nick Ferreira says:

    Doug: we have had the opportunity to speak only a few things, but I can remember your light-hearted approach and friendly advice. For that, I thank you. I’m sorry to hear this news and I’m sending all the best possible wishes.
    Nick F

  15. Robin L Clark says:

    I never had the pleasure of working directly with you. However, just reading the tributes above, I know I would have liked you. You remind me of my father and that makes me smile. I too received a cancer diagnosis 5 months after my mother passed away. It was breast cancer and I had 20 chemotherapy infusions, two surgeries, 20 radiation treatments, and 6 months on the chemo pill. I finished all of that January 19th and I am now considered a survivor. My best friend in the world wasn’t so lucky. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and for the next 11 years, she fought like a beast. She passed away of metastatic breast cancer 39 days before my mom. 2020 was not a good year for us. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers during this time and pray that The Lord heals you as only he can. He is the Mighty Physician. Peace to you and your family and loved ones.

  16. Craig jacobus says:

    Doug, while we only met thru webinars your reputation preceded you in so many meetings I have had since becoming a PD at the end of 2020. I could tell your caring attitude and intensity for excellence in conversation. I came to appreciate the fact that you were on so many of the national webinars so I could learn from you.. being in EMS since 1975 one might think few things were left to learn, yet I learned so much more from short comments and conversations at length as you allowed us all to learn from you and your experiences. I could tell, behind that grin, was the answer to so many of our questions. I wish you peace and I am sure you’re aware your legacy is setting the pattern for more now and to come.

  17. Jeff Anderson says:

    Doug, although our interactions have not always been pleasant, I left every one feeling like you tried to provide the assistance I needed. You have been a fixture in paramedic education for so long that I am not sure what our world will look like without you in it. I pray that your remaining time among us is spent at peace with the knowledge that you made difference in this world in a way that few others can claim.

  18. John Spencer says:

    Doug, thank you for all that you have done for our beloved profession! Your time, expertise, and ideas changed EMS and EMS education for the better. I always enjoyed and looked forward to hearing your jokes, and as a fellow lover of Dad Jokes, I would often pass yours along to everyone that I could get to listen. Praying for God’s perfect love and peace to surround and comfort you. You have run your race well, and we are all better for it. God bless you and keep you!

  19. Shira Schlesinger says:

    Thank you for your wise words, sense of humor, and dedication to EMS and education. There are many things that I appreciate about you — your can-do attitude, ability to navigate politics without spite, and your well-formed thoughts and opinions. But it may be possible that I’m most impressed by your incredible broom-thick mustache! Is that so wrong? 🙂 And looking at these photos it’s clear that you have long been blessed with that appendage. May you be in the arms of those whom you love most.

  20. TC Howard says:

    Doug, unfortunately my time with you has been more recent than past, though i would have loved to have met you many years ago!! Our relationship has been extremely professional but one that I always looked forward to during Alternate Location site visits. As I learned in pure Doug form, our conversations started and ended with a Joke (very much the Doug style jokes!!). What sets you apart is your sincere care for mankind and your sincere respect that you show in every conversation. I learned by simply speaking with you. You sir are as real as a human being gets and someone that represents our profession to it fullest and finest! Thank you sir for teaching me by simply speaking to me!!! The School of EMS is blessed to spend time with you often and learn from your leadership.

  21. Christine Gerke says:

    I only met Doug via zoom, during our virtual site visit. He had been on other webinars I had attended prior to the site visit. Doug, was very patient, funny and kind. I did enjoy his jokes. Thank you for your dedication. Reading through all the kind words about who you are and your character makes me even more honored to have the opportunity to meet you for just the short time of a virtual site visit. Praying for your you, your family, your health and for you to be comfortable in your final journey.

  22. Bud Marr says:

    Doug: You helped teach one of the first CoAEMSP webinars that I attended. I learned a great deal and really appreciated the peaceful spirit that you carried into the meeting. Many lives have been impacted by your expertise and servant leadership. This organization is better because of you. With heartfelt gratitude, Bud Marr

  23. Rob Rudzki says:

    Doug, your kindness, understanding, humor, and passion for EMS helped me as a new program director. You immediately relaxed the meeting by conversing with me about our mustache etiquette. Thank you. Deepest sympathy.

  24. Miranda Hagans says:

    I don’t know you well. I am a brand new Program Director and attended the Accreditation Course not long ago. You were so welcoming and helpful during the class. I happen to like the jokes, they were a great break during the course. While, I don’t know you personally, I have heard your name again and again throughout my EMS career and even more since I moved to Texas and into Education/Administration. I admire you. I wish you a painless journey and peace. You will be remembered fondly. I am sorry I didn’t have more time to learn from you, however, I am sure those you have touched and taught will guide me well. Thank you for your many years of selfless service, you are a hero sir. Prayers for your family as they go through this time, may they make endless memories with you.

  25. Mike Hunter says:

    Doug, I’m one of those people who you won’t know by name, however, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to you at conferences and asking questions of you. When I first became a Program Director I can remember talking to you about this daunting task of getting my program accredited. I’m sure you had been asked some of these questions hundreds of times, but you understood that this was my first time going through this process. You are always kind and willing to share your time. You have my best wishes for this next chapter of your life. God’s speed my colleague.

  26. Shelly Gardner says:

    10 bucks. Thank you for taking a chance on me joining the EMSLRC. You were able to open my eyes to education in a different light. Your afternoon airplane desk flights, diet coke and your jokes made every day another reason to love my job. Thank you!

  27. Bailey Price says:

    Doug is a good man, and encompasses so many things the EMS profession should try to emulate. I had heard of Doug years before I finally met him, and he did not disappoint. Recently, Mr. York assisted with our program’s site visit, and he could not have made it better if he tried. He is a kind, intelligent, funny man, and all that have gotten the privilege of knowing him are better for it. I will be praying for you Doug, and take comfort in knowing you have done a great job in each of your roles. I hope you are able to enjoy the rest of your days, and one day you’ll leave the world better because you were in it. May God bless you and your family, friends, and coworkers.

  28. Susan Yurek says:

    Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful evaluation of our program online this past June. We so appreciated your sense of humor and the way you made us feel comfortable even though we were using Zoom to do the site visit. I hope you are able to enjoy many more “Dad jokes” in the months ahead. I wish you all the best, as well as peace and comfort. Susan – United Training Center, Lewiston, Maine.

  29. Lourdes Marquez says:

    Doug, we at First Response Training Group appreciate your guidance and help. Over the past year we have enjoyed webinars and found them informative. Wish you the very best, praying for your and your family.

  30. Susan Lencioni says:

    Doug: I first met you at the online Accredicon last year, and then again when our program went through Accreditation in June 2021. You made the process so much easier! What joy it was to work with you! Your calm demeanor, the wonderfully corny Dad jokes, and your great smile, all made the process go smoothly, and calmed our very rattled nerves. You have our deepest gratitude. My heartfelt prayers for you and your family! Keep the dad jokes coming my friend!

  31. Sandy Hartley says:


    What a pleasure you are to work with on a site visit! I learned to model my demeanor at a site visit by following your gentle, humorous method of approaching a terrified program director. You have touched so many lives, more than you will ever know. You area true icon in EMS and will always remain so. Much love to you!

  32. Rhett Nelson says:

    Doug came to our school in 2016 for our first site visit. He greeted us at Memphis international airport with the classic dad joke about the two antennas that got married, the wedding was great but the reception was terrible“. I will always remember how he has put us at ease and made the accreditation process fine but also kept us diligent in meeting accreditation milestones. Thank you very very much for your time and efforts to make paramedic education the best they can possibly be with our love from Coahoma community college in Clarksdale Mississippi!

  33. Becky Tyler says:


    Thank you for your self-less dedication to making EMS great. Only a few people will be able to make the contributions to bettering EMS education that you have. Prayers of comfort and peace for you and your loved ones.

  34. David Filipp says:

    There simply aren’t words to describe your impact on the EMS Profession, and especially EMS education. Stay strong.

  35. Debbi Cason says:

    Hey Doug! What a blessing to so many people — personally and professionally. You have had a lasting impact on EMS education and so many students and their patients! Thank you for your generous gifts of time, energy, spirit, jokes, good sense, expertise in so many areas, and most of all your friendship. We are all better because of you! God bless you and hold you close during these coming months!

  36. Bill Brown, NREMT says:

    Doug, only a few will know your contributions to EMS via the accreditation process. You were with us during inception of accreditation for every Paramedic Program in the US. You saw the pilots of the psychomotor portfolio. You embraced the changes that were necessary within the CoA to make it all happen. You are my friend. You are humble and loved. And at this time my friend smile in remembrance of the legacy you have left. I declare there will only ever be one Doug York, the humble man, who took no credit, demonstrated leadership and showed others his true mission at home, within his state and throughout our nation. Hugs coming from me my brother.

  37. Joshua Stilley says:


    You changed the course of my career. I had no idea the good fortune upon me when taking the job as medical director for the EMSLRC. I still remember sitting down and interviewing with you for the job, and how much at ease you put me; just as you have for so many others. Very soon you had me doing site visits, and then more opportunities unfolded. Because of your guidance and mentorship, I was able to develop my passion for EMS Education.

    One of my greatest memories of you is not actually mine, but of my wife Julie. She took the EMT class, and had you as an instructor a couple of times. She recounts fondly the glee when your first joke was about to unfold, knowing it was coming, and waiting with anticipation for the Doug York humor to be blessed upon the class. It didn’t disappoint.

    I will always remember you fondly for your professionalism, wisdom, friendship, well-timed humor, and devotion to Diet Coke. You imparted a passion for EMS and Education upon so many, and clearly our profession would not be where it is today without you.

    Thank you my friend, you will be missed dearly. If there is anything I can do for you or your family, dont hesitate to let me know.


  38. Hans House says:

    Doug is an icon and the best thing about EMS at Iowa. I loved working with him; bad jokes and all

  39. Linda Steele says:

    THANK YOU is not enough for the encouragement and assistance you have provided me. I would not have the confidence to continue with my position if it were not for you. As a new Program Director (feeling a bit overwhelmed), your advice and assistance made the difference for me. It gave me to confidence to move forward. The numerous phone calls and messages have been a lifeline to me as I navigated the accreditation process. No questions was every too small. You always made me feel that I could ask you anything. Your wonderful sense of humor and compassion made the difference between me giving up and moving forward. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  40. Todd Birkhead says:

    I have not met with you in person but we have had a few conversations over the phone. And every time you have made me feel comfortable with the accreditation process. Thank you for doing the things you have done.

  41. Howard Huth says:

    Doug, you were part of one of the first CoAEMSP seminars that I ever attended. You were easy to talk with, incredibly insightful, kind and most of all, genuine. Years later, you, Gordy and George were integral in helping me navigate an ethical paperwork situation and I’m truly grateful for your mentorship. Thank you for all you’ve done for our profession.

  42. Gregory Frailey says:

    You are a calming and common sense person w incredible wit. Don’t forget to keep your ADF tuned. When it gives up, try some classic vinyl.

  43. Sheri Luck says:

    Thank you for all you have done for me. I am sitting here laughing at how I would call you every other day to ask about how something at the CoA works. I always loved how our meetings went from 30 minutes to over an hour talking about the weather or other things not related to the meeting. I realize you were reassuring me that I will be ok for the job that I felt like I couldn’t handle. Thank you for being a true mentor and coach during our 1 year of online meetings. You have served people well and your action speaks in volumes. I can’t explain how grateful I am to have met you and appreciate all you do. I am praying for your peace and comfort. Keep telling those jokes!

  44. Lance Overholser says:

    Several years ago, when I was new to accreditation and to EMS education, you were the lead on my first site visit. Your kind and gentle demeanor put us all at ease. When you found an item we had missed, or done wrong, you showed us the correct way to do it. That has stuck with me through my 33 year career in Fire/EMS and EMS education. I remember your smile was bigger than life, and made the site visit process enjoyable. Thank your for your advice, your kindness, and your tutoring of a young educator that will never forget what you taught him. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you take comfort in knowing all the lives your have touched. The world is a better place because of you.

  45. Doug Smith says:

    Doug, Thank you for being such an excellent role model. Your dedication and passion for EMS has stood the test of time and the many lives you have touched will continue to carry the torch. You have certainly achieved the mission of leaving the place a better place than you found it.

  46. Shaila Coffey says:

    When I first came to UIHC as an EMS fellow, I didnt know anyone yet and remember touring the EMSLRC. The minute I walked into the EMSLRC, you greeted me at the door and you made me feel at home. Anytime I came in after that, you always popped your head out of your office and made it a point to talk to me, ask me how I was and have a great conversation. I feel lucky to have been able to train while you were there and I learned a lot about how a successful EMS education program is ran. You are an amazing person professionally but also personally. Thank you for everything and God Bless you Doug!

  47. Patrick Comstock says:

    Mr. York was the Paramedic Director at the U of Iowa when I attended. During those 15 weeks, he taught us a lot of ‘medical’ things. I remember him always saying, when you do not know what to do, give O2 via NC because it ‘looks’ medical. It is unbelievable how one man could have such an awesome impact on an industry. -Patrick Comstock

  48. Susan Fuchs says:

    Thank you so much for your commitment to EMS, COAEMSP, CAAHEP and the Chicago Cubs! Your expertise, wisdom, and willingness to share it with others was amazing! You tirelessly went on site visits, committee meetings, and consistently missed plane connections to Iowa! Too bad there wasn’t a Waffle House at O’Hare Airport. I hope you are surrounded by loved ones, and find peace and comfort during this time. You will be missed!

  49. Lynn Caruthers says:

    Doug what a blessing I have been given by your presence in my life! Thank you for always being there when I called or sent you an email seeking your time and guidance. I love your dad jokes and have had a great time sharing them with my girls. Now they have fun sending me jokes and saying “Mom here is one for your friend Doug.” Thank you for being a very special friend.

  50. Merry Mattix says:

    You were my first site visitor and you made me feel so at ease with your wonderful sense of humor and gentle manner. Thank you for all you have given to EMS in your career.

  51. Leaugeay Barnes says:

    Aloha Doug,
    First, thank you for being an amazing human! In my early years as a site visitor, you were always kind and inclusive and even invited me to sit at your table. In an EMS world where many “eat their young” or are condescending, you have led the way in demonstrating a more empathetic way to engage with others. I have always known you to be ethical and honest and it is truly appreciated. May your time be spent surrounded by the love of your family. You will be missed.

  52. Charles Morton says:

    Thank you for all you have done for quality EMS education and accreditation. Rest assured that your efforts were fruitful and in the end resulted in better EMS administration, EMS accreditation, EMS education, and better patient care in the streets. It was my pleasure to have assisted you on site visits. My prayers are with you.

  53. Gary Heigel says:

    I’ve only known you from a distance, and from the impact of your work. Thank you so much for your years of dedicated service to improving EMS and EMS Education!

  54. Marie Gospodareck says:

    Doug, I’m so happy that our paths crossed many years ago. I’ll always remember that smile for everyone, but loved that twinkle in your eyes when a joke was about to be told.
    Your sweet nature and kindness affected students, program directors and any others that got to meet you.
    Your tireless work with CoA helped to make the Accreditation process successful. My prayers are for peace and comfort for you and your family.

  55. Lou Ann Montgomery says:

    Could not have been luckier to have you as a partner in the EMSLRC when you so graciously came back out of retirement to help me/us out. Thank you is not nearly good enough to express my appreciation. Diet Coke, HyChi lunches, silly jokes, any rock and roll concert with a 60s/70s/early 80s theme, and a person who loved what he did at the day job every single day–these will always remind me of you. Peace and blessings to you and your family, my friend.

  56. Greg Mullen says:

    I first met Doug when a friend of mine taught with him at the University of Iowa Learning Resource Center in Iowa City. That’s where I saw his first passion which was his students and teaching. We lost touch for a while. Then reconnected while doing CoAEMSP site visits together. One of the site visits we agreed that we would try and spend the least amount of money possible. He, like me, likes to think of different ways to make travel fun. We ended up spending less then 25.00 total each for all meals.
    Doug is the kind of individual that we should all aspire to be. Both from an EMS side but also in general as a human. Simply one of the greatest guys you could ever meet.

  57. Elise Scanlon says:

    They say the best clients are the ones we learn from the most. You were Chair of CoAEMSP when I became its counsel, at a time when the Committee was experiencing many changes including enormous growth, having stepped into its role as a gatekeeper for national certification, and relocating its corporate domicile to Texas. There were many governance considerations and challenges for the Committee. Together with George and the Board, you led CoAEMSP through these challenges with grace, professionalism and humor, respectfully guiding the Board toward greater engagement, friendship, compassion and a deepening commitment to mission and effectiveness. I have learned much from you and your unique style of quiet leadership expressed in this quote from Pat Conroy:

    Teach them the quiet words of kindness, to live beyond themselves. Urge them toward excellence, drive them toward gentleness, pull them deep into yourself, pull them upward toward manhood, but softly like an angel arranging clouds. Let your spirit move through them softly. — Pat Conroy

    You are a wonderful colleague, teacher and friend. Thank you.
    Yours sincerely,

  58. Jon Dunham says:

    I go back to the beginning of my education in EMS at Mary Greeley Medical Center (MGMC) when you imparted this on the EMT class “This is the EMT class blood goes round and round, air goes in and out and if it is gross cover it up” You said okay that is all you need to know. Your humor was a very important to us at that point. This is also something I have told my classes. I went on to be prn at MGMC and got to work with you a few times and it help me as I started in this field 30 years ago.

    I got the job at the EMSLRC and as I was told it was like “drinking from a fire hose” and got overwhelmed but our meeting as you became the interim director helped guide me to be EMS educator and clinical coordinator I am so thank you for your mentorship and guidance throughout my career. I know you told me you didn’t do much but it was your take on things even from a distance that has made an impression on me so THANK YOU!!

  59. Kolby Kolbet says:

    I had the pleasure of taking the remote paramedic course in Fredericksburg from the U of Iowa EMSLRC where we would “tune in” every Thursday and Friday back in 1999. I’ll never forget the way you prepared us for success by offering a quiz over the entire contents of the Paramedic text starting on day 1. You had a knack for holding students accountable while having the ability to feel as a friend. I appreciate all you did for me back then to make me who I am today!

  60. Sandy Heick says:

    I truly met you, Doug for the first time and began forever calling you my friend… I believe I was a paramedic and the EMS Training Officer for Area Ambulance in Cedar Rapids, I began traveling along with Ginny Henry, paramedic / RN and the Director of Mercy / St Lukes Advanced EMT Training Institution to State training institution meetings around the State on a regular basis where we got to further hang out with a do lunch with you.
    Then when I started at Johnson County Ambulance in 2006 is where I really got to work with and know Doug on a regular basis working with and training at the EMSLRC until he retired.
    My memories of you, Doug, were your constant, infectious smile; your amazing knowledge base and always ready to answer questions and help others, but most of all your friendship. I want you to know just how amazing you are and I am sorry it takes a diagnosis like this to tell you how much you have meant to my life. My prayers are with you.

  61. Darrin Hayes says:

    I don’t know what I could say that hasn’t been said. I was a snot nosed kid in 2001 when you taught some of my EMT class. I went on to Paramedic and quickly realized how much you cared about my success. You were an awesome instructor, boss, mentor and friend. Best job of my life was working for you in the EMSLRC. If I remember half of what you taught me about how to be a quality person I’ll consider it a success.
    “A guy walks into a bar with a set of jumper cables under his arm. He orders a drink and the bartender says , ok just don’t start anything “.

  62. Saranya Srinivasan says:

    I cannot tell you how blessed and privileged I am to have worked with you. From the very first time we met, I was struck by your immense knowledge, humility, charisma, and terrible but ever so charming sense of humor. Your contributions to CoAEMSP are unparalleled and all of us have become better people because of your love and dedication. You hold a massive piece of all our hearts. All the love to you and your family.

  63. Matt Phillips says:

    I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet you. Thank you for your dedication and kindness. God bless you.

  64. Marv Helmker, Lansing, MI CCC says:

    Doug, as a fellow EMS provider and educator who also joined the profession a long time ago, I honor and thank you for your impact on so many over the years. Just within the past year, I found your advice and direction to be most valuable as I worked through accreditation questions. I greatly appreciate all you have contributed to the EMS community.

  65. Ryan Teal says:

    I remember Doug as our site visitor for our initial accreditation. We were nervous and not knowing what to expect. The moment we met, I felt at ease. A kind, well spoken man, you helped make our process a pleasure. You offered advice, compliments, and resources to our students. I will be forever grateful for knowing you. Though many years have passed I still rely on your wisdom and knowledge to educate paramedic professional. May you rest comfortably knowing what a huge impact you made in this world!

  66. Kristina (Swanson) Kron says:

    Doug, it was an honor to learn from you and some of my fondest memories associated with EMS are from my time as a student of yours. Your contagious smile and quick wit is something I will never forget. Thank you for all you have done for EMS. Your legacy is beyond impressive and I hope you know how much of a positive difference you made in so many lives, not just my own. “Thank you” is not really enough to cover the gratitude feel towards you in helping sculpt me into the medic I am today. Wishing you and your family peace and comfort now and for always.

  67. Michael E. Cooper says:

    Doug, thank you for all you have done over the years to help improve our EMS education system. As I read other messages, I am saddened that I won’t have the opportunity to work and learn more from you. My prayers are with you and your family as you go through this transition. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” May you be at peace. We will continue to carry your vision forward.

  68. Jeff Chapman says:

    Thank you Doug for your life of Service. We in Clinton always appreciated your direction, candor, sense of humor, and friendship. We always looked forward to seeing you, and when needed picking your brain. I personally enjoyed our conversations during my CCP days in Iowa City, as your guidance was immeasurable. You have touched the lives of so many, and gave us someone to look up too. I thank you sir for being the hands and feet of our savior, whether you knew it or not. Blessings… Jeff Chapman, Assistant Chief Clinton Fire Department

  69. Susan Macklin says:

    Doug your accomplishments throughout your EMS career will not be forgotten. Your gentle guidance through the CoAEMSP maze was wonderful. Prayers to you and your family and you will be missed by many.

  70. Wade Olsen says:

    You conducted our program’s first site visit. Since that time, I have not had an opportunity to interact with you beyond the odd meeting or two. However, each time you added to the quality of our program with your guidance and wisdom. You are in my prayers. May God bless you and your family and strengthen each of you through this difficult time.

  71. Matt Williams says:

    In the brief time I was lucky enough to interact with you during the Accreditation Seminar as well as times you were helping us with LOR application challenges, you were always so helpful and pleasant. It was beyond obvious how much you cared and wanted to genuinely help EMS programs.
    Thank you for your incredible service to our industry and to the uncountable patients that programs you helped accredit impacted!!!

  72. Karyl White says:

    Thank you for your influence over the years as a program director, member of coaemsp, site visitor, and conference presenter, but mostly for someone who had a deep passion for EMS.
    I will miss all the corny jokes you liked to tell. No matter how many of us groaned, we still loved it when you geared up for a joke.
    May God’s grace and comfort be with you.

  73. Crystal Reynolds says:

    I have only had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Doug on a few occasions. However, the impact he made during those conversations were great. I have read through some of the comments and it is clear the impact that he made on us all. Thank you for leading the way and for everything you have done for EMS as a whole.

  74. Bob Libby says:

    Doug is the best thing that ever happened to EMS in Iowa. I had the privilege of taking his National Paramedic test that he helped write. I’m still sour about that too. Doug, you made EMS fun and exciting and made us think on our feet. CPR classes and ACLS was never boring. I was also happy to know I wasn’t the only “L” (Loser) around. Thanks for being a big part of my career. God bless you and your family. You will continue in our prayers.

  75. Angel Burba says:

    Doug: Thank you for your legacy, love and support for this profession. You have been a gentle breeze in this tornado of activity at the national level. I was heartbroken to learn of your diagnosis. I hope you are able to enjoy the time you have left and know that when you are no longer here with us we will be the ones with the loss. You have been so kind to me and I have benefited from your wisdom and guidance. Blessings to you my friend and mentor. I hope to see you again on this side of glory, but if not, I know we will catch up on the other side.

  76. Ben Symonds says:

    You had set the standard in EMS education, and I looked up to you. When I was in my role of Paramedic Program Director at Kirkwood, I would frequently ask faculty that we had in common how you would approach different issues. Each time I asked, they would provide responses that I would follow, and each time they worked! Though we have only met a handful of times, you had a huge impact on me and I always had the goal of running a program at the caliber of Doug York’s EMSLRC. It was a tall order for me, but it is always best to shoot for the stars! Thanks for all that you have done!

  77. Michelle Prentice says:

    Thank you for everything you have done for EMS (and your “dad” jokes while doing it). The knowledge you have imparted is irreplaceable.

  78. Matt Nealand says:

    Ouch. Reading about your diagnosis turned out to be more oniony than I expected as it is a sobering reminder that none of us are here forever. While I’m not sure we ever met in person, I saw you at many of the CoAEMSP and NAEMSE conferences and you were quick to answer my questions during the significant changes caused by COVID. My favorite memories of you are your jokes during a Zoom meeting and the picture of you throwing up your “rock fists” with your favorite band (was it Journey? Sorry I can’t find the picture.) Thank you for the good that you’ve done during your time here on Earth. Don’t stop believin’.

  79. JD Graziano says:

    There have been a lot of things said. A lot of wonderful things about a great pioneer for EMS education. Like so many here, I too have looked to you for guidance. I am forever grateful for all the support here in the EMSLRC and pushing me to move EMS in Iowa the best way we can. I miss our talks! Thank you, for everything.

  80. Chris Nollette says:

    I remember that night we drove from the airport through Canada to attend your first CoAEMSP meeting. I was trying to give you the lay of the land being your first meeting and I thought I was helping you – when in the long run I was but the student and you were the master. I have enjoyed every single moment with you – your professionalism is only exceeded by your kindness and enriched with your tremendous personality. You have a God given gift to make others around you feel important and become better people. I pray for you and your family every day and know that the good Lord will great you at the end of your journey and say, “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant”

  81. Delia Goff says:

    You are a wonderful guy and very helpful when it come to site visit time. We appreciate all that you do and did from the bottoms of our hearts! Sincerest condolences from all of us!

  82. Azeem Ahmed says:

    Doug – it was an honor working with you in the EMSLRC. You helped me in being an effective medical director in service of the students that we had in our educational programs. In addition, I so appreciated you introducing me to the CoAEMSP and guiding me to be a site visitor. Wishing you peace and love.

  83. Jennifer Anderson Warwick says:

    You are an amazing person who can deflate any tension, quietly lead with kindness and respect, and naturally, earn respect. I came to know you as a colleague through CoAEMSP, and the professional guidance you afforded me. I quickly learned you provide even more before I knew you, the impact you had on the prehospital care environment in the town I grew up, Decorah. Doug, thank you. Thank you for being you.

  84. Dave Hunt says:

    Doug- Thank you for your support and guidance to me and our program at Kirkwood during my time as the Paramedic Program Director and later a site visitor. Doug, you continue to have such a huge impact on all EMS providers not only in the the great state of Iowa but the nation. Thanks for your gentle encouragement and great jokes.

  85. Sue (Klenske) Mincks says:

    I first met Doug when taking the Paramedic class through the EMSLRC way back in 1987. So many years ago. So many memories of the fun in that class, the laughing, the relief of stress and Doug’s constant reminders that we would be okay. That we would get through this. Doug had a love of learning and a love of life, and sharing it with the rest of the world. Thank you Doug, for all of that.

  86. Glen Mayhew says:

    It would take volumes of books to record everything Doug has done for the EMS profession and other allied health professions through CoAEMSP and CAAHEP. He was always willing to lend a hand, share ideas, and had a heart of gold. Doug, my friend, you and quirky jokes will be missed more than you will ever know. May God bless your soul and your family during this difficult time.

  87. Bryan Ericson says:

    Doug – Thank you for helping me become the EMS educator and site visitor that I am today. You were a great friend and mentor. Rest easy brother we will take it from here.. You will be missed but your legacy, impact and memory will live on forever.

  88. Jacki Williams says:

    I can never fully express how much Doug’s mentorship has meant to me…..I would not have been a Site Visitor without him pushing me to do so. MY life & EMS life are so much richer because of Doug….

  89. Dr. Tracie M. Carter says:

    Mr. York was extremely helpful to our Paramedic program just on last year. He was crucial in assisting us with understanding how to show in our Annual Report that we were maintaining compliance. I’m certain that he had a tremendously positive impact on many others.

  90. Marie Ivey says:

    I only had a few brief interactions with Doug over the past year via zoom meetings in preparation for our ISSR submission. He was such a kind, encouraging man with a great sense of humor. I will miss him so!

  91. Paula says:

    Doug was always an amazing resource! Willing to answer any questions, provide reassurance, and give you the greatest dad jokes! It breaks my heart to hear this news! He will be missed in more ways than can be measurable. Thank you for all your advice, your professionalism on our site visit, and for JUST BEING YOU! I am proud to have known you!

  92. Jen Wolcott says:

    I was so sad to hear of his illness and now his passing. Talking to Doug was always a bright spot in my day. He was thoughtful, serene, kind, and loved to make us laugh. My colleagues and I will miss him.

  93. Melissa Stuive says:

    Doug, you were truly a inspiration to all of us. I remember you putting me at ease when I called you for several inquiries. You and your soft and easy going attitude helped our program after a previous program director left us with nothing other than shredded documents. You helped us with all we needed and shared how to better our program. Because of you I am still here as the program director and know everything will be ok. Thank you Doug for all you have done for us as a program and as a profession. Your knowledge and mentorship will be missed. Prayers to your family.

  94. Carl Voskamp says:

    Rise in PEACE Doug! We will do our best to carry on your legacy.

    Now, the God and the people of heaven will be graced by your corny jokes!!

  95. Paul Werfel says:

    Doug- Thanks for all your contributions and effort. May God comfort your family and friends. Fair winds and following seas sir….

  96. Ryan Nix says:

    Doug, you will be greatly missed. You have forever changed the face of EMS and EMS Education. Thank you for all that you did for our industry. Praying for your family and many friends during this most difficult time.

  97. Heather Claussen says:

    Doug was so gracious to me as an interim director getting baptized by fire with a site visit only 3 months into my new role. He possessed knowledge that was helpful and skills that gave me the confidence to lead my program to meet the standards needed for re-accreditation. I enjoyed meeting him and knowing that he was a long-distance colleague that would help improve EMS education across the country.

  98. Michael Highfill says:

    My prayers are with Doug’s family at this time. I met Doug at Accreditcon in Louisville, KY. He was such a soft-spoken man, full of knowledge and eager to help me out as a new EMS staff member at Kiamichi Tech. I am a better EMS professional because of that time I got to spend with him.

  99. Andy Teska says:

    Dad jokes abound! Doug was a fantastic teacher and I owe my start to him and his teaching ability!

  100. Andy Weaver says:

    I send prays for peace and healing for his family, his CoAEMSP family and EMS family. Doug was always so supportive and kind. His willingness to support, guide and lead was endless. Thanks Doug for always having a sense of humor and easy way.

  101. Rod Hackwith says:


    I hope your family can understand the deep impact you have had on so many people, even those you have have only met once. Your kind, supportive attitude is an example for all of us to model. I miss you already!

  102. Dr. Marjorie Bowers says:

    Always a smile and a twinkle in his eyes. He was a true EMS pioneer.
    Positive thoughts to his family and friends.

  103. Captain John Potter says:

    I was able to talk to Doug at some of the workshops and he always talked to me as a person, he always had good clear cut suggestions that helped us obtain a perfect site visit without any citations. I will miss being able to get his advice. He and his family will be in our thoughts and prayers here at ESACC.

  104. Jon Longest says:

    Doug was one of the site visitors for our initial accreditation. I was very nervous, but his personality put me at ease. Wonderful person who will be greatly missed.

  105. Jay Bush says:

    Doug was always a vast resource of knowledge as far as accreditation questions go as well as instruction questions, our prayers are with him and his family, he will be missed.

  106. Andrea Quinn says:

    We were sad to hear the news. We are so grateful for the impact and positive experience our program had with Doug just back in December. I can only imagine the amazing impact he has made over the lifetime of his career. God bless him and his family. He was truly kind and such a great example of everything good about EMS.

  107. Thomas K. Skalko says:

    My heart hurts at the news of Doug’s passing. He was a gentleman among gentlemen. During my terms on the CAAHEP Board and as President of CAAHEP, Doug was like a lifeline to advice and balance. I only hope to be as good a man as Doug York. He will be missed. My deepest condolences to his family.

  108. Linda M. Abrahamson says:

    Our dear colleague and his family: I would like you and your family to know that we are all blessed to have known and worked with you. You were always the consummate professional. Your vision for EMS, pioneer spirit and patience when mentoring all who sought your guidance is unlike any other. Your guidance, humor and kindness over the years is a true inspiration for the EMS community. Thank you is not nearly enough to express our gratitude for your contributions to excellence in EMS education. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  109. cynthia Jackson-McNeill says:

    Doug will definitely be missed and I will cherish every moment I was able to talk, laugh and learn from him. This is truly a huge loss to CAAHEP and CoAEMSP.

  110. Austin Toole says:

    I have not had the pleasure of meeting Doug in-person, but am grateful to have met him on Zoom several times, he has a real gift with making a tense and potentially stressful situation become light and pleasant. The EMS community is better for him being a part of it. My heart goes out to him and his family. Thank you for your service Doug.

  111. Ken Boston says:

    As a new program director at Western Nebraska Community College, and going through my first self-study, Doug was a wealth of information and insight. I called him numerous times with questions. (We spent so much time on the phone he probably could have claimed me as a dependant on his taxes!). I always found in Doug a listening ear and solid answers that were invaluable in helping me navigate the self-study waters. His humility and kindness, his desire to help my program, and his depth of knowledge were evident with every call. I never met Doug in person, but news of his passing deeply saddens me. Thanks, Doug for all you did for Western Nebraska Community College EMS!

  112. Jane Morgan says:

    Doug was an awesome friend, educator, and leader in EMS!! I taught for EMSLRC and proctored his psychomotor practicals!! He is an amazing individual that will be remembered by so many lives he touched!! RIP Doug!! You will live in all the great memories that we will keep close to our hearts!! Jane and Rick Morgan

  113. Kim Lew, EMS Personnel Chief says:

    As an EMS pioneer and mentor to many, the California Emergency Medical Services Authority thanks you for providing such impeccable support for EMS educators and responders throughout the years. As expressed by many on this wall, your service in EMS has been extraordinary. California Emergency Medical Services Authority

  114. Kenneth Williams says:

    Appreciate the many years to have worked with Doug from my first site visit as a Program Director and then later as we traveled together doing site visits together. I am grateful that I could always pick up the phone and call to get advise as this profession is constantly changing and it was nice to have a good sounding board. My thoughts and prayers are with the CoAEMSP/CAAHEP/NAEMSE communities. I especially send support and tribute to his family for sharing him with us these many years.

  115. Chris Havran says:

    You have touched many lives, sir. I was one of the lucky people to have you as their instructor. All of the hijinks in my Paramedic Specialist class and you never lost your cool. You were a great educator and I have some great (and funny) memories of you. May your memory comfort those who knew you.

  116. Mandi Dickerson says:

    I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already be said many times. You were one of the best instructors I’ve ever had. The number of lives you touched is vast. You formed me and countless others into amazing paramedics. You made sure to always remind me to keep breathing first then my patients. You could always make me laugh even when the stress of your tests and scenarios was thru the roof. You will be missed greatly but your lessons continue on in all your students and hopefully we can pass on some of your wisdom to future EMS professionals. I wish peace and comfort to your family during this time.

  117. Holly Poeschel says:

    Doug was one of the first people I met when I started at the University of Iowa Hosp. He was so funny and nice, he welcomed me into the New EMSLRC when it first opened. I cleaned the area and would often see him daily. We talked about his teaching and how he loved his job. He will be so missed by all .

  118. Mike Trullinger says:

    Doug, what can I say?
    That program and getting “Yorked” every day, helped shape my career as a paramedic and now in a leadership role in EMS.
    Rest Easy Doug, Prayers to your family, Friends and every student and graduate of that program!!

  119. Sebastian Wong says:

    Doug, I will miss you and the vast treasure trove of knowledge that you freely shared with your colleagues. I had difficulties navigating the intricacies of developing a Consortium and you were so patient and helpful with my efforts.

    I learned so much from you at classes during Accreditcon. The EMS educational community has truly suffered a great loss with your passing. Rest in Peace and thank you for all that you have done.

  120. O'Daniel Carolyn says:

    Doug was such an amazing colleague. His humor, fairness, warmth was a gift to those of us who benefited from his commitment, his dedication, and his character.

  121. Dave Cline says:

    Mr. York was a true professional and his passion for EMS was evident in everything he did. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me as a student in 1993. Godspeed…

  122. Shaun Marini says:

    Doug was always a pillar for CoAEMSP/CAAHEP and the accreditation process and now he carries on as an icon. He will be greatly missed, but always remembered. I have nothing but great things to say about the man he was and what he stood for. Doug has truly left his mark on the EMS community and its accredited paramedic programs. Doug, your family is in my thoughts and prayers. May you rest in peace.

  123. Nerina Stepanovsky says:

    My sincerest condolences to Doug’s family. Doug, you are a wonderful, funny and talented EMS Educator. The kindness you showed me not only during one of my site visits, but also later on when I became a site visitor will never be forgotten. Thank you does not seem enough for everything you have taught me and done for EMS. May God bless you and keep you and your family in his loving care. Rest well, my mentor, until we meet again. PS-I’ll never forget the capitol of Iowa!!

  124. Andrea Van Hook says:

    All of us at RESNA’s CoA-Rate Accreditation Program send our deepest sympathies. Doug was instrumental in helping us realize the creation and launch of our program. His advice was always wise, his humor was always gentle, and his comments were always insightful. He will be sorely missed by all of us.

  125. Dave Springer says:

    Doug, I met you as a brand new EMT-A in 1973. You, Mike Stevens, and Gary Fanning, all were most helpful in sharing your protocols, trials and tribulations, in trying to help me set up a service similar to Mary Greeley. My owners balked at the price, but some years later I was able to accomplish it for a service in MN.
    Thank you so much for all the help and support over the years then, and later at the EMSLRC. Even in retirement we had some good discussions, nearly all of which resulted in my learning something new or seeing another point.
    RIP my friend.

  126. Susan Muller says:

    Doug will be remembered among EMS for all the great contributions he made to his field. For those of us not in EMS, we will remember Doug as the one who always took time to talk to everyone and to make sure that everyone felt welcome. A truly kind, remarkable man.

  127. Timothy Albert Trosky says:

    I have known Doug York since the early 1970’s in my position as the former director of Area Ambulance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. EMS was just starting and Doug was working with the Ames, Iowa Service. For me that service did a lot for EMS including becoming I believe (getting old) the first paramedic service in Iowa. I also had the pleasure of working with Doug when he worked in the State of Iowa EMS section and later when he was Director of the EMSLRC and offering all kinds of ALS certifications, paramedic education, etc. Doug is the reason for the excellence in building such a valuable resource for Iowa EMS. Doug York, Ginny Henry, and Rosemary Adams were/are an outstanding team.
    However, the most loving thing about Doug, especially in these trying times, is that Doug is a humble human being and very gracious person. Always under control, glad to see you, smiling when you meet him. I know it’s a cliché, but never heard him say negative about anyone or anything. A guy you like to be around. Doug stands out as a wonderful guy whose had contributed immensely to the Iowa EMS system and the success of many of us involved in EMS. Need more like him.

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