Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Krista Fahlgren
PCN Editor 

DPHHS recognizes Kautt, PC Ambulance EMTs for service


September 2, 2020

From the left, Caleb Meisdalen, William Hofer, Vince Mace, Rhei Tharp, Lori Abrahamson, Sidney Hagenbuch, and Coleen Kautt. The Phillips County Ambulance Service and Kautt were both recently honored by DPHHS. Not pictured are Riley Abrahamson, Jon Kautt, Gina Lamb, Justin Lamb, Josh Newman, Teresa Robinson, Joe Tharp, and Miles Verhoef.

With a new manager at the helm, both the Malta Emergency Medical Services and Malta Sheriff's Department Dispatch Officer Coleen Kautt are being honored by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services.

When Rhei Tharp took over for Riley Abrahamson as the Phillips County Ambulance Service Manager on August 8th, he inherited a great crew, and the state has taken notice.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is honoring Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel in Malta for their efforts to respond to emergencies, further their professional training, educate their communities on CPR and first aid, and improve emergency care in Montana.

"Like many rural volunteer EMS agencies, they struggle to find volunteers but their dedicated EMTs make sure someone is always available to answer the call," former manager Abrahamson said. "And, overcoming these obstacles, they are able to provide a tremendous service to the people they serve."

In addition to emergency medical treatment and transport, Phillips County Ambulance volunteers provide services to the community such as CPR classes, pedestrian safety classes, and bicycle safety classes. They have also received recognition as a Pediatric Ready Ambulance Service. Pediatric Ready is a recognition earned through specific guidelines set by the EMS for Children program. This means the organization has taken the extra step to obtain pediatric-sized equipment and education specific to caring for children.

"These people volunteer their time and skills and they work so hard. If you don't see them in the picture, it's because they are at work, or just getting off or going to work now," says Tharp.

The full crew of volunteers are Lori Abrahamson, Riley Abrahamson, Sidney Hagenbuch, William Hofer, Coleen Kautt, Jon Kautt, Gina Lamb, Justin Lamb, Vince Mace, Caleb Meisdalen, Josh Newman, Teresa Robinson, Jo Tharp, Rhei Tharp, and Jim Verhoef from Malta; Diana Robinson from South of Malta/Zortman; Brittany Christopherson, Christal Gehrke, Dorothy Jensen, and Jamie Mix, from Saco/Hinsdale.

Not only that, but Coleen Kautt has been named Montana's 2020 911 Dispatcher of the Year.

Kautt has worked at Phillips County Sheriff's Department 911 Dispatch Center for 6 years and has been a volunteer EMT for the Phillips County Ambulance Service for 4 and a half. She works to explore ways she can improve her skills as a dispatcher and provide a better service to the 911 callers requiring medical assistance. She assisted the Sheriff's Office with the implementation of Emergency Medical Dispatch.

"Coleen is a perfect example of what it is to be a 911 dispatcher," Riley Abrahamson, former Phillips County Ambulance Service manager, said. "She is confident, competent, knowledgeable, dedicated, and adept. Any first responder should feel safe knowing Coleen is behind the mic."

DPHHS Director Sheila Hogan said Montana's emergency medical responders, both paid and volunteer, provide a critical service to this state and continue to do so during COVID-19. "The services these individuals provide had the potential to impact us all, "Hogan said. "Emergencies are unpredictable, but when these situations occur, it's reassuring to know that EMS is there."


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