Clinton, Miss. — At its General Membership Meeting in Las Vegas, the National
Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) awards its EMT of the Year Award to
William (Bill) Rise, EMT-I, of Milbank, South Dakota.
Rise, a volunteer EMT-I with Grant-Roberts County Ambulance Service, is described as an
outstanding example of an EMT by Katheryn Q. Benton, South Dakota EMT Association (SDEMTA)
State Training Officer. “By helping educate other EMS providers and the public, as well as
promoting safety to everyone, Bill shows his commitment to the care and welfare of the people
of his community and the State of South Dakota,” she says.
Benton notes that because of Rise's commitment to EMS, he currently is enrolled in a paramedic
program to increase his skill level. He looks to “provide an even higher level of care to the patients he serves and for the ambulance service of which he is a vital member,” says Benton.
Assistant Chief Corey Hooth of the Milbank Police Department also notes that Rise actively works
on improving his knowledge and skills in EMS. Hooth says Rise's “dedication and commitment to
the EMS profession is beyond reproach.” Duane Tillman, EMT-I, of Grant-Roberts Ambulance
Service, commends Rise for sharing his knowledge with other EMS personnel as well.
Mike Mach of the Milbank Fire and Rescue Department comments that Rise has always been very
active with the department, not only at the scene of incidents, but also during drills and in
helping newer members. “He is experienced with rescue drills and helps with planning and
setting up different rescue drills such as vehicle extraction and procedures in an actual water
rescue,” Mach says.
Since 1989, Rise has found time to volunteer with the Grant-Roberts County Ambulance Service
and also volunteers many hours with organizations including the Milbank Volunteer Fire
Department and the Police Reserves.
He has served as a police reserve officer since 1999 and is Secretary/Treasurer of the Fraternal
Order of Police. As a member of the Milbank Police Department, Rise has been “a valuable
member of our department, serving the Milbank community with honor and distinction,” says
“Through continual training and hands-on experience, Bill has become a valuable asset to the
local community,” says Tillman. Rise is trained in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) and
helps on the Watertown, S.D., CISD team. It's one of his toughest jobs, Benton says.
Trained as an American Heart Association CPR/AED instructor, Rise has been involved in
coordinating and teaching bicycle safety courses to the public, teaching first aid courses to local
fire departments, Boy Scouts and 4-H groups, and in many events promoting safety in the
community. He also is involved with the Department of Public Safety, conducting annual child
safety seat, seat belt and motorcycle helmet surveys within the county.
Rise has served as Vice-President of the SDEMTA for more than 10 years and has been involved on
its various committees. He also volunteers for the Masonic Temple, Elraid Shrine in Sioux Falls,
and the Yelduz Shrine in Aberdeen. “He has made numerous trips transporting children to the
Shrine Hospital in the Twin Cities,” notes Tillman.
Benton says, “It's time for everyone to take notice of the person who is always helping, is there
when needed, and is the one who always can be relied upon to get the job done.”
The NAEMT EMT of the Year Award is sponsored by Braun Industries and is a part of the National
EMS Awards program. Award recipients receive $1,000, registration to EMS World Expo, plus
$1,000 for travel and lodging to attend EMS World Expo and the NAEMT Annual Meeting.
More than 32,000 members strong, NAEMT is the nation’s only professional association
representing all EMS practitioners, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first
responders and other professionals working in prehospital emergency medicine. NAEMT members
work in all sectors of EMS, including government service agencies, fire departments, hospitalbased
ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in