The world is full of news about natural disasters as we in the northern hemisphere make the turn from summer to fall—Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas, Hurricane Irma hitting the Caribbean Islands and Florida, wildfires all over the western United States, and then a huge earthquake in Mexico.
These disasters are profoundly served by emergency medical professionals—in my eyes the true modern day heroes.
This weekend also marks another cycle of the Brian Schimpf memorial scholarship. When Brian died unexpectedly in November 2013 of complications from a line of duty accident, we, his devastated family, decided to establish a scholarship in his name for students accepted into the Denver Health Paramedic School.
To date we have been able to give seven young people one-third of their tuition for either the 9 month or 12 month training programs. Each of the candidates writes an essay about why they are choosing this line of profession and includes documentation of need.
Five fine applicants have just submitted their forms for this year’s 12- month program. In the next few days a committee made up of Brian’s father, a Denver paramedic friend, and a childhood friend will review these heartfelt applications and chose one or two of them for awards.
The applications are inspirational. This year’s application includes a young man who is supporting his sister’s dreams to become an actress while supporting himself on the meager salary of an emergency medical technician (a level of training below paramedic). Another year a young father was determined not to put his family too far behind financially.
Paramedics do not make a lot of money. These young people are doing this because it is exciting, exacting work that enables them to help their fellow human beings. We desperately need their skill and devotion. It is an honor to be able to help them, even a little bit.
Brian was an instructor in this school. As the flyer from Denver Health Foundation below indicates, he won numerous awards in his too short career. Donations are completely tax deductible and can be mailed to: Robin Engleberg,
Denver Health Foundation, Program Manager
655 Broadway, Suite 750
Denver, Colorado 80203
mail code 0111
When you read all of the stories about accidents and natural disasters, remember to pause and give gratitude for all the emergency workers who quite literally are putting their lives on the line to help us out.