Valued EMS leader dies at his home

Tom Nehring, former North Dakota State EMS Director and consultant for SafeTech Solutions, died suddenly on Saturday


By John Becknell, EMS1 Columnist

BISMARCK, N.D. — Emergency Medical Services has lost a valued leader. Tom Nehring, former North Dakota State EMS Director and consultant for SafeTech Solutions, LLP, died suddenly on Saturday, Dec. 30 at his home in Bismarck. Tom was 70 years old.

Over his lifetime, Tom was a tireless champion and advocate of EMS and especially for the support and improvement of rural EMS.

 Tom Nehring, former North Dakota State EMS Director and consultant for SafeTech Solutions, died suddenly. (Photo/SafeTech Solutions)
Tom Nehring, former North Dakota State EMS Director and consultant for SafeTech Solutions, died suddenly. (Photo/SafeTech Solutions)

Tom began his career in EMS in the early 1970s as one of North Dakota’s first paramedics. He was a leader in the development of paramedic training programs in North Dakota and a founder and first president of the North Dakota EMS Association. Throughout his career, he served in a number of leadership roles in healthcare, hospitals and EMS, including Director of the Division of Emergency Medical Systems in the North Dakota Department of Health.

In his role as state EMS Director, Tom rose to national prominence as an advocate for rural EMS. In traveling to Washington, organizing rural EMS conferences and working with NAEMSO’s Rural EMS Committee over the past decade, he sought to bring more attention and understanding to the challenges facing rural EMS agencies and to promote solutions to ensure that EMS is reliable and sustainable where needed most. In North Dakota, Tom logged tens of thousands of miles driving to meet with rural ambulance services that counted on his wisdom and encouragement over the years.

Tom retired from his position as Director of the North Dakota Division of Emergency Medical Systems in 2017, but refused to stop working. He joined SafeTech Solutions, LLP, as a consultant and was working diligently to develop a national rural EMS assistance center at the time of his death.

Those who knew Tom and were privileged to work with him will miss his leadership, knowledge, encouragement and wisdom but most of all, they will miss his kindness and loyal friendship.

Tom was one of those people who led, not through position and power, but through connection and relationships. Tom will be deeply missed.

 

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