Louise Trachta— 2011 Outstanding Emergency Provider
Each year at the Cook County Emergency Services Conference, an award is presented to an emergency services provider who goes “above and beyond” what is expected of them. Receiving the award for 2011 is Tofte EMS Chief Louise Trachta.
Trachta was nominated by Tom Thompson of the Colvill Fire Department, who wrote, “For years, she [Louise] has been in charge of the Tofte Fire Department’s First Responders and has exhibited nothing but professionalism and efficiency in her position as an EMT and firefighter. When you monitor a medical or rescue call for Tofte First Responders, more likely than not you will hear her calm, confident voice on the radio taking charge of the incident and making sure the patients/ victims are taken care of in the best possible way.
“She is clear and concise on the radio and doesn’t fill the air waves with needless chatter but just gets the job done.
“She is a great credit to our emergency response effort in this county and I can think of no other person more deserving of this award – bar none. Recognition of her service is long overdue.”
Emergency Management Director Jim Wiinanen announced Trachta’s award at the Saturday night EMS conference dinner on April 30, to a hearty round of applause. Unfortunately Trachta was out of town, but she graciously stopped by the News-Herald office to meet Wiinanen and accept the award.
Asked how long she has been serving as EMS Chief, Trachta said she was encouraged to take her first emergency responder course in February 2000, by Tofte Fire Chief Rich Nelson. It was shortly after he had assumed fire chief duties after the death of Fire Chief Tom Laine. “Rich said ‘we need people,’ so I signed up. Three of us took First Responder training,” recalled Trachta.
She was tested on her first call. “During training, we were asked ‘What is your worst fear?’ I said responding to a call for someone I know.”
And sure enough, that first call was to a very good friend suffering a heart attack. “You get over that,” said Trachta. “You have to just do your job.”
Trachta said she learned a lot from then-EMS Chief Jim Potter and when he moved away from Tofte, she took on the EMS chief position. Since then the department has grown and Trachta now shepherds an EMS crew of 13 people.
History of award