A Tribute To Gordy Kokx

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Associates,

Let me begin by expressing my gratitude for your calls, letters, texts, messages, and emails over the past several months. Your kindness and concern have meant the world to me and my family. For those of you who were unaware, I suffered a life-threatening AMI at our February Board Meeting in New Mexico. Thanks to my great friends on the board – especially Dr. Drew Harrell – I was quickly transported by EMS to the University hospital where I received excellent care and as a result, survived.

The journey since then has been long and introspective. It is amazing what a brush with mortality can do to rattle one’s existential perspective. Considering the recent events, the demands of the job, and the need to recover, I have decided to step down from my role as Associate Director of the CoAEMSP.

It has been a distinct privilege to serve our profession as part of the organization the past 14 years – first as a board member and then on staff. I believe together we have made significant gains in our profession and moreover, have developed some terrific relationships. On a continual basis you reminded me of what is possible when we work together for the advancement of our profession.

Personally, I am excited for a new opportunity to teach EMS students of whom I have missed. I must confess, it will also be nice to be home more often. One day I also hope to return to the CoAEMSP in a contracted, technical consultant context; focusing on research to help us further understand the how and why of what we do.

As this chapter closes, my parting advice is to always remember: We are in this together and we all share in a valuable gift that affords us the ability to impact our world in a positive way by being good examples in our programs and to one another. We are works in progress and we never stop learning. As Maya Angelou famously stated, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Please be good to yourselves and be kind to one another.

God Bless you and thank you for the opportunity to serve you,

After seven years of service as Associate Director for the CoAEMSP, and seven years as a board member, Gordy Kokx is stepping down due to health issues. We will genuinely miss the day-to-day interactions we had, as well as his unique ability to make us all better educators and people. A search to fill this position will be postponed until a later date.

Both the CoAEMSP and Paramedic education are more solid, credible, and effective, all for the ultimate good of the American public, thanks to the insight and dedication Gordy has contributed to our profession. Because of his experience as a Paramedic, EMS educator, program director, department chair, and acting dean, Gordy brought a firm understanding of the various aspects of the profession to the CoAEMSP. He is credited for designing, implementing, and directing the first public college-based Paramedic program in the state of Idaho. His award-nominated thesis for his Ph.D. addressed development of program director leadership curriculum and training–subjects critical for improving Paramedic education. One of the most significant contributions Gordy made during his time with the CoAEMSP was serving as the main subject matter expert in the development of Appendix G, an important evidence-based measurement of student competency which was introduced in 2017.

Among his colleagues, he is best known for ‘walking the walk and talking the talk,’ his humility, approachability, and genuine nature. True to his nature, Gordy has served as an advocate for Paramedic programs, and has promoted the importance of the affective domain in Paramedic education throughout his career.

Gordy has indicated that he will return to teaching, and we know that he will be an invaluable asset to both his Paramedic educational program and students.

We are delighted that Gordy hopes to one day return to the CoAEMSP. If that comes to fruition, he will be welcomed with open arms as both colleague and friend. We look forward to the times in which our paths will cross and we can re-connect with our esteemed colleague and trusted friend.

Gordy, we wish you all the very best!

Leave your Tribute to Gordy below.

55 thoughts on “A Tribute To Gordy Kokx

  1. George says:

    Gordy is an exceptional EMS educator, researcher, and colleague and it was our pleasure to have him serve as the Associate Director of the CoAEMSP for the past 7 years. He actively worked each day to improve the lives of Paramedic Program Directors and their students and to ensure that graduates of those programs were competent to care for your family as well as his own. The initiatives he began with us toward making evidence-based decisions and tying those to the CAAHEP Standards will continue and those outcomes will impact changes in Paramedic education in the years to come. Gordy’s approachability, his kindness, compassion for others, as well as his love of EMS has left an indelible mark on the CoAEMSP and accreditation. For me, I have lost a colleague to share my accreditation journey with each day and a trusted advisor who helped frame our work in a way that always was impactful as well as insightful. More than anything, my friend is simply going to work in a different role going forward but I know he will continue to impact our work in a positive way. Gordy is truly “one of a kind” and it has been my distinct and absolute pleasure to work alongside him daily for these many years. ALL of us wish him well!

    George Hatch, Executive Director

  2. Murray and Michele says:

    It has been a pleasure and honor to work with you this past decade. Your wisdom and advice will be missed by all of CoAEMSP and paramedic programs across our nation.
    Best wishes to you and your family for the future.

    Sincerely,
    Murray and Michele

  3. Jeff says:

    While I did not have much exposure to Gordy on a day-to-day professional basis, I did have the privilege of speaking with him on a personal level numerous times and have nothing but positive memories of those interactions.  Gordy is one of those extraordinarily rare people that is genuinely kind to the core.  I’m not referring to the garden variety “nice” person, but something totally different… purely kind.  Gordy is the kind of person that I envision metaphorically (or perhaps literally) taming a lion with his kindness.  While I know he’s capable of sarcasm and witty snark, it’s not his primary language like most people and therefore his edges are softer.  I’ll miss having him in the board meetings and conference calls to be that stabilizing gentle voice of reason.

    Jeff Sadtler

  4. Tom says:

    Gordy’s contributions to the field of EMS education go way beyond the amazing work he has done over the years for the CoAEMSP, as a board member, lead researcher, and associate executive director. Gordy brings everything, every day, and truly makes the world a better place in every way. His humor, graciousness, intelligence, experience and humility combine with his genuine love of people and passion for bettering everything and everyone around him. I know of no better friend, colleague, mentor or human being than Gordy Kokx.

    Tom Brazelton

  5. Mike says:

    Gordy is an approachable colleague who was always willing to help in any way he could. He genuinely listened and sought to understand so he could best guide you to a possible solution. Every conversation I had with Gordy included an inquiry of how I was doing – even in his work in accreditation he was a caregiver, offering support and encouragement.

    Mike Miller

  6. Bridgette says:

    “Gordy is one of the kindest souls I know. His warmth, kindness, and endless patience are just a few of the things that make him priceless. He dedicated so much time and effort to Paramedic programs because making those programs successful was so important to him. I am going to miss Gordy so much. He is a remarkable man.”

    Bridgette Svancarek

  7. Hugh says:

    Everybody knows about Gordy’s encyclopedic knowledge of our standards specifically, and accreditation generally. We all respect his awesome knowledge of statistics and its application to analysis of surveys and other site visit data. We all admire his ability to explain many arcane aspects of accreditation in a way that we all are able to understand. The one quality that makes Gordy so very special is that when he talks to someone, that person becomes his total focus. A bomb could go off next to him and Gordy would continue to listen to the person he was speaking with. For him, nothing could be more important than focusing on others. There is a myriad of things to admire about Gordy, but none compares with his focus on the concerns of others. I am so proud to have known him for the past 10-15 years.

    Hugh W. Bonner

  8. Shira says:

    Gordy has been an incredible motivator for performing high quality, effective research in Paramedic education and accreditation. His positive spirit, warmth, and openness to ideas and opinions helped direct me as a new Board member to get involved in areas of research where I had never previously seen myself traveling. His desire to do right by students and programs is palpable and remains inspiring.

    Shira Schlesinger

  9. Jennifer says:

    Gordy is a teacher at heart. Watching him teach is a gift, his love and passion for EMS education shining through. Gordy has taught me to always strive to be better. I would often hear him quote Maya Angelou: ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ I remind myself of these words frequently, in Gordy’s voice of course! Gordy is genuine, kind-hearted, and has a sweet soul. He has impacted my life for the better.

    Jennifer Anderson Warwick

  10. Pat says:

    What to say about Gordy? What’s not to like about Gordy? I have had the privilege of knowing Gordy for many years – way prior to his days with the CoAEMSP. Gordy is one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and professional individuals I know. He is dedicated to EMS education and to the continuing evolving role of EMS education and evidence-based practice. I have never heard Gordy angry and he is always willing to engage in thoughtful dialog, present his position, and listen to others with patience. And probably most important to me, Gordy has a great sense of humor – and perspective. I know he will continue to educate Paramedics and to mentor those around him. I am lucky to count Gordy as a friend.

    Patricia L. Tritt

  11. Bill Young says:

    Gordy and I were at a NASEMSO meeting in SLC when our hotel was oversold. I was tired, frustrated and cranky about having to move to another motel when Gordy helped me to see that, in the grand scheme of things, it really wasn’t that big of an issue. I am glad that Gordy is back in the classroom and I can only imagine the great things that his students will accomplish because of who he is…Gordy Kokx a man who is compassionate and patient with others. Good luck Gordy!

  12. Justin Tilghman says:

    What can I say? Gordy was the SVT Leader for the first site visit I ever went through as a program director. To say he was kind and considerate would be an understatement. He was the epitome of professionalism and compassion. During the whole visit he put me at ease and made me feel like I could actually “do this” as a brand new program director. I will be forever grateful for his compassion and wisdom and willingness to help out a “newbie” like me. After that visit I always knew I could call up Gordy any time I needed advice on an issue related to our program and it was a huge relief to know I had his ear to bend when I needed it. We are all better for having had Gordy in our lives and I hope he knows that. Gordy, “godspeed” to you my friend and I wish you a speedy and complete recovery! I really do hope our paths cross again someday!

  13. Joshua Freeman says:

    Gordy is an exceptional human and friend. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to learn from him and look forward to the chance again. I am hopeful he continues to have a strong connection with EMS and the CoA. When i became a new PD unexpectedly I was very reassured by him and his very helpful nature. For me at the time he took the “scary” out of accreditation. I hope he continues to improve in health and look forward to seeing him soon hopefully. Gordy, thanks for being amazing and helping so many.

  14. Brian Ehlenbach says:

    Gordy,

    I am have mixed feelings hearing that you are stepping away. Selfishly, I don’t want to lose you because I will miss having such a vital resource at the CoA, but how can anyone stand in your way when you are making exactly the right decision for yourself and your family. I wish you all the best on this new chapter.

    Your friend in Willmar, MN,

    Brian

  15. Melissa says:

    We are going to miss you Gordy, but I totally understand health needs to come first. Your passion for teaching and your enthusiasm has really inspired me to continue the growth and knowledge you have brought to CoAEMSP. Your are truly an inspiration and I wish you well in your next chapter.

  16. Kristin says:

    Gordy, I didn’t know about your AMI and thank God you were at the right place at the right time to have one. I haven’t had the pleasure of working with you much, but we have talked on the phone several times and you have been so kind and helpful. God bless you and your future endeavors!

    -Kristin Spencer

  17. Richard Ellis says:

    If you look in the dictionary for professional you will see Gordy’s picture. He is a knowledgeable, caring person who genuinely wants to help all he comes in contact with. His wealth of knowledge is astounding. He exudes calmness and I am honored to have my personal and professional life touched by him. When I grow up I want to emulate his qualities. You will be missed at CoAEMSP. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do for the EMS profession.

  18. Michael Schmitz, DO, MS, FACEP says:

    It was a pleasure to meet you in person during your visit to Southern Maine Community College and to hear your words of support and encouragement for our program in addition to your inspiring thoughts on the direction for EMS education.

  19. Rod Hackwith says:

    Being from Idaho and relatively close to the college at which Gordy taught and led, I have several close friends and colleagues who were past students of Gordy. The respect, admiration and love they have for him is universal, which is all that needs to be said about the type of instructor and leader he is and the impact he has made in countless lives. As a representative of CoAEMSP, I have always appreciated his thoughtfulness and “big picture” perspective. I value his ability to look at issues from a positive, problem-solving perspective, understanding the unique issues for each program and individual. You will be missed in this role my friend!

  20. Paul Arens says:

    I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Gordy as a Program Director, site visitor, and a team captain. When I think of Gordy two words that come to mind are “calming personality.” Gordy has the distinct quality to calm even the tensest situations. He is always the voice of reason. On a recent site visit (my first as a team captain) I was fortunate to have Gordy attend as a CoAEMSP observer. Gordy provided us with so much insight, unpretentious advice, and support without my team member or I ever feeling like Gordy was trying to impact our site visit findings. That is how Gordy is. Gordy will be missed in his former role with CoAEMSP but the students that Gordy will be teaching will benefit from Gordy’s wisdom as a result. I wish Gordy the best in his recovery and as he returns to the classroom!

  21. Kent Spitler says:

    I have known Gordy for many years and see him as a mentor , colleague, teacher, friend and leader who believes in the present and the future. It is sad to here about your experience with an AMI and my heart goes out to you, family and friends and hope for a healthy recovery. You are a true friend , mentor and person. Thank you.

  22. Cynthia Jackson-McNeill says:

    Gordy is one of the most caring, patient and dedicated individuals for whom I have great respect and admiration for. He has taught me to “not sweat the small stuff” with his calm way of dealing with difficult situations. His dedication to COAEMSP and CAAHEP is an awesome example to all and I will definitely miss seeing, hearing and conversing with him at CAAHEP meetings. I’m so blessed to have experienced Gordy!

  23. Mike Hunter says:

    Although I’ve been in EMS for nearly 40 years, I came to EMS Education later in my career than many. Gordy is one of the first people I met at my first NAEMSE Symposium. My first impression was that such a genuine person in EMS is rare. Although Gordy will not know my name, I’ve had to opportunity to talk to him at the NAEMSE Symposiums, ACCREDITCON and at the CoA. I’m sure there are many others like myself, who he doesn’t know their names, that he has had an impact on. I pray this next chapter in Gordy’s life is fulfilling and I wish him good health.

  24. Laverne says:

    CoAEMSP without Gordy.

    WOW, What can I say. Breaking up two entities that have been synonymous for all of my career. Your Atlanta Fire Rescue Fan Club will miss you. You have been a guiding light through the whole process. Thank you for being that Beacon of light and knowledge that we need in this industry helping us to do our best until we can do better. My prayers for full restoration of your health.

    Warmest Regards,

    Laverne Hardwick

  25. Sheila Elliott says:

    Gordy was one of the first contacts I had as a Program Director of a struggling program several years ago. His genuine concern surrounding my circumstances helped me in a very difficult time. Thank you, Gordy, for all of your assistance and for being a sympathetic ear!

  26. Sandra Hartley says:

    Gordy is one of the most genuine, caring individuals I have ever known. It has been such a pleasure to know and work with Gordy over the years! Gordy, I send my prayers forward for your continued health and happiness. May it please God to allow you to continue serve our EMS family in whatever fashion you deem best for you and your loved ones. Love to you always.

  27. Randy Spies says:

    It has been an honor and privilege to have worked with Gordy over the years. His vast knowledge allows you to learn while simply having fun in his presence. Gordy is one of the nicest persons I know and when he speaks softly speaks it is always with meaning and direction for the improvement of how we teach and should be teaching our students. His direction has been spot on with navigating through our new mounds of evidenced-based teaching. He has always been one of those gentle giants of EMS Education and I’m sure will continue shaping the minds of generations to come. Thank you for all that you do and have done for us all.

    Randy Spies

  28. Donna G Tidwell says:

    Gordy is a true educator and mento. He has guided so many programs with such kindness and grace. I will always value my days on the board with Gordy both as a member and in his role as Associate Director. He has the heart of a true servant. I will never forget our site visits we were teamed on and how much I learned form him. The students will be so blessed to have him back in the classroom, where his heart is. Thank you my friend for your service and your continued service through the classroom. Much Love from TN.
    Donna G. Tidwell

  29. Matt Nealand says:

    I remember first meeting Gordy many years ago at a CoAEMSP event. He was gentle, humble and kind. He was even-keeled, level-headed and a joy to be around. I’m grateful that Gordy has been given a great gift…an event so large that it caused him to reflect on what is truly important…and that he listened to this message and has adjusted his path accordingly. Thank you for your years of service to the EMS community and for answering many of our questions. Godspeed in all you do Gordy.

  30. Rhett Nelson says:

    Gordy,
    My heartfelt thanks for all you have done at CoAEMSP these many years. As a new program director and starting a new paramedic program back in 2012, I appreciated the guidance and wisdom you showed us! Sincere wishes on a speedy recovery and God bless!

  31. Rick Foehr says:

    Rick says:
    I first met Gordy in person on my second CoA site visit. I had recently become a site visitor and thought that I was being set up because CoA sent two of their top guns as site visitors, Gordy and Doug York! However, as it turned out, that was the best site visit ever and it was a pure pleasure working with both of them. I learned how real professionals conduct a site visit, nicely done!

    Gordy and I have become friends over the years and he has always been my “go to” whenever I needed a Standards explanation or interpretation. I went on a site visit with him once and learned how truly compassionate he is about EMS, not to mention how to treat people with dignity, humility and respect. He’s such a gem!

    I wish him all the best and feel to have been blessed by his personality, he is a true friend and Mentor.

    Take care and God Bless, my friend.

    Rick Foehr

  32. Lynn says:

    Gordy, may the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. You hold a special place in my heart, in my life. I am blessed to call you my friend. It has been a pleasure and honor to work with you, to experience your passion for the profession and for education. You always made me laugh with your humor and jokes. Thank you for making us all smile!

  33. Sahaj Khalsa says:

    Gordy, you are amazing. Kind, thoughtful, funny, humble, generous and incredibly knowledgeable. Every interaction with you has been a warm and helpful one, even when we were discussing technical issues relating to accreditation. I am so glad the EMS community in New Mexico was able to provide you the care you needed, that you are healthy, and I hope you fully recover. Your contributions to EMS and EMS education are massive and they will continue.

    I wish you all the best and look forward to continuing to visit as we are able to travel and see each other again.

    Sahaj S. Khalsa

  34. Karen says:

    Gordy has been invaluable to the CoAEMSP not only as an accreditation teacher, spokesperson and advocate, but in his day-to-day “in-the-trenches” interaction with staff. I will miss seeing his face at staff meetings and teleconferences and I will DEFINITELY miss updates on Mr. Fish and his antics!

  35. Scott Gann says:

    Gordy will be truly missed from CoAEMSP but what a gift he will be to pre-hopstial education again.
    Gordy will be truly missed by the facilities that CoAEMSP works with and the State EMS departments. I for one have been guided and assisted in multiple roles including Adjunct Instructor, Paramedic Instructor, Program Director, Division Chair and State EMS Official. Gordy’s guidance has been a fundamental reason of the success I have seen. I wholeheartedly believe the program and students he will serve will benefit from the expertise and knowledge that only Gordy can provide! I hope to keep in touch and continue to learn from your ways Gordy! I am so sorry to learn of these medical struggles but hope and pray that for a quick recovery and thankful for the quick actions of those around in February! Gordy I have been so honored to learn from you and call you a mentor and friend! Be safe and please let me know if I can every be of assistance in anyway!

  36. Elaine Karr Remington says:

    Gordy: There are no words to express my appreciation for your guidance and friendship since the first time we talked many years ago. How ironic was it that I was coming out to work at Electric Forest at a festival and you lived close to there and we got to meet in person…instead of just being a voice on the other end of the phone! I thank God that you survived your life changing brush with death and know that he has kept you here on earth so you can continue the wonderful work that is so dear to your heart….education and family! I hope our paths cross again some time in the future when you return to CoAEMSP and I’m trained as a site visitor. I’m retiring soon, so maybe when you’re back at it, we can team up! Your knowledge, thoughtfulness and caring attitude meant the world to me as I went through the CoAEMSP process. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being YOU!
    Elaine Karr Remington

  37. Mark Kunimune says:

    Mahalo nui loa Gordy for the service you have provided to the many program directors you have touched. Your approachable style made it easy to ask the tough questions to tackle the most imposing accreditation tasks. I appreciate your commitment to EMS and working to continually improve the profession. I wish you the best my friend. Go grab some joy back in the classroom.

    A hui hou
    Mark Kunimune

  38. Chris Nollette says:

    Gordy – you are a blessing to all that know you and it has been a pleasure to work alongside you. In life we are lucky to know someone who cares more than others dare, inspires us with the decency of their lives, lifts our profession up with their duty and service and just has a kindness and compassion that is unequal in our time. May the good Lord bless you and keep you all the days of your lives – and I will remember your example the rest of my life.

  39. KEITH I COX says:

    Gordy,

    Your guidance and support to me during my time as program director to the only military CAAHEP accredited program assured we were ‘on track’ with CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines while providing options to meeting the S&G. Your friendship along with personal thoughts and prayers throughout my medical issues have helped me maintain a positive attitude toward overcoming any challenges faced.

    I wish you a happy and long life as you shift to a familiar career path.

  40. Tim Reitz says:

    Gordy, I first met you in person at a NAEMSE conference a long time ago. I had the opportunity to work on some projects with you throughout the years. You are an amazing person, educator, and lover of life! I hope that our paths cross as you recover. I have learned a lot from you and let’s make sure that continues!

  41. Walt Stoy says:

    Gordy – having known you for many decades, I know you are going to do extremely well in all your future endeavors. Without question, you are a kind soul. I look forward to hearing all about your new ventures. Back to your roots of teaching will be wonderful therapy. I can’t wait to hear from you on your many new accomplishments as you continue to seek and strive for excellence. If you need me for anything – let me know. I will be here for you. Until next time…

  42. Renée Barrett says:

    Dear Gordy,

    Thank you. Those two words cannot begin to convey my gratitude, admiration, and appreciation for your leadership with COAEMSP. From day one when we first met at the site visitor’s orientation, I was impressed. I do not often meet authenticity and professionalism so integrated into one person.

    I was immediately struck by your warmth, sincerity, astute judgment, and communication skills. Those early impressions have been further cemented over the past three years during committee and board meetings, review team conference calls and personal conversations.

    I have always been aware and impressed by the respect you conveyed to others and in return, everyone towards you. Your expressed views in a room full of board or committee members could change the tone, tenor, and influence the direction of a discussion. Surely the reaction of others is a reflection of the respect, expertise, and admiration of those who have worked alongside you.

    There is an institutional legacy you are leaving behind that is noteworthy and lasting. While I cannot name all of those contributions, I am almost certain there are many resolved conflicts, solved problems, and new directions especially in research that have been initiated because of your leadership.

    I shall miss you most of all. In love and friendship,

    Renée

  43. Keith Orloff says:

    For the past couple of years, I have had the pleasure of working with Gordy whose exceptional talents–especially regarding programmatic accreditation and academic/clinical research, and the application of technology to both arenas–have been markedly beneficial to the CAAHEP community in general and to the CoAEMSP’s mission in support of quality Paramedic education in particular. And, my own understanding of the profound impact of academic research on programmatic accreditation has been immeasurably enhanced through his mentorship. As I wish him well in his teaching and other endeavors, I look forward to the next opportunity to work with him again .

  44. Marjorie Bowers says:

    Gordy,
    I knew you peripherally over the years through the various CoEAMSP meetings. I really got to know you when we did a site visit together in Louisiana at a casino. You made the whole experience fun as well as professionally enriching. I want you to remember the yellow highlighters (inside joke).
    Any time I needed questions answered about the process and intent of the accreditation standards and guidelines, I knew you provided good counsel.
    I did not know about your medical emergency, but I am very glad you had the people around you to provide you with lifesaving treatment.
    You are a treasure to EMS and EMS education. Wishing you good health, my friend. I hope our paths will cross again in the future. Marge

  45. Theresa Sisneros says:

    Gordy,
    I have always admired your passion for life and genuine care for others. Your gentle nature is such a gift and will be sorely missed around CAAHEP. You are an example of how we should all treat others and I am so thankful to have had to opportunity to work with you! I know you’ll keep up the good work and I hope our paths cross again soon! Take care of yourself Gordy!

  46. Megan Corry says:

    Gordy,
    Thank you for emulating professionalism and expressing enthusiasm for helping programs and program directors, especially during site visits and the rollout of new standards. I wish you good health, my friend! May we cross paths on future EMS education endeavors!

  47. Doug YORK says:

    Gordy:

    Since we first met we became fast friends. We have so much in common and I was able to learn so many things from you especially how important it is to be nice to people and to try and assist them. I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me. You are my mentor and I will never forget how you have helped me. Please let me know if you need any humorous material for your students.

  48. Susan Macklin says:

    What a man. As soon as you meet him you are instant friends. His smile is infectious and makes you want to smile. He has never met a stranger. I enjoyed the meetings he spoke at and hosted. He could help figure out even the toughest problems and they were never problems just things to work out.
    Keep smiling Gordy!

  49. Michelle Reese says:

    Gordy – good for you for taking care of yourself. Although I was only around you a few times, you left such an impression on me – honest, kind, brilliant, funny – there aren’t enough adjectives! I wish you the very best in the future and thank you for all you have done for EMS!

  50. Matt Phillips says:

    Gordy,
    Thank you for always taking the time to answer my questions at the different conferences and via email. I am so glad I had the opportunity to get to know you. I am glad that you are taking care of yourself and wish you all the best. I hope our paths cross again in the future.

  51. Jeff McDonald says:

    Gordy, Thank you.
    Thank you for your leadership with the CoA and your clam and comforting advise to those of us with questions and concerns.
    Thank you for your friendship and camaraderie. Your smile and gestures were always welcoming.
    Thank you for your spirit of “we can do this” that makes us feel all things are possible within the standards.
    Thank you for your dedication to advancing the EMS profession and your interest in the research that proves our worth.
    Thank you for your ethics and integrity which unfortunately has played a role in this decision to step down.

    I am proud to say that my world had been greatly improved due to my relationship with you. I hope that I can emulate your spirit and do my part to keep your mission alive.

    I am very happy to hear that you are doing better and finding joy in returning to teaching. That first love is hard to leave and you will do well giving your vast knowledge to many more generations of students. Hope that you will return to the world of the CoA very soon, and know that I at least will miss you until that happens. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything I can do to help, or just to talk.

    Take care of your self and stay safe.

  52. Marvin Helmker says:

    My great friend Gordy,
    You and I met in September 1985-35 years ago this month-when we both began as students in the Lansing Community College Paramedic Program. We became friends, endured the rigors of becoming paramedics, and have remained close friends ever since.

    In addition to being an outstanding educator, you have great compassion for others. I observed this first-hand several years ago while visiting you in Idaho as you assisted an elderly gentleman who had fallen on the sidewalk in front of your home.

    Now that you have returned to the role of full-time educator, you and I will continue to compare notes on teaching the next generation of EMS providers.

    Marv Helmker

  53. MIke Souter says:

    Gordy
    – thoughtful, empathetic, mannered and unflappable – these are all traits of the expert educator, and all round decent human being which you demonstrate so well. The corny jokes were an added advantage…! Wishing you all the very best, and kudos

  54. Nerina Stepanovsky says:

    Gordy, so sorry to hear of your MI. I consider myself blessed to have been able to work with you as an instructor at the college. I always knew you were destined for great things! You are truly the embodiment of a servant-leader. Your love of and dedication to EMS is unmeasurable. Your students will be fortunate indeed to have you as their instructor and mentor. I wish you and your family all the best. Trust me, being an instructor is so much more fun than being an administrator!! 🙂 Hope to see you again. Sincerely, Nerina

  55. Paul E Perry says:

    The needs of the one! You have been an inspiration to so many, and I wish you well in your future endeavors. I have looked toward you so many times over the years to make sure we stayed on the straight and narrow with EMS education and have always tried to follow your lead to be successful. God Bless, and we’ll anxiously wait until we meet again.

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