Pictured left to right above: Cuyuna Regional Medical Center Paramedic Ryan Franz, EMS Coordinator/Paramedic Matt Lacy, EMS Director Bob McLaughlin, Registered Nurse Darcy Rowan (Toby’s widow), Amber Boettcher (widow of Meds-1 paramedic and EMS Memorial Service Honoree Troy Boettcher), Essentia EMS Paramedic Brian Olds, and Deb and Jim Halter (Toby's parents) at the National EMS Memorial Service in Washington, D.C.
Cuyuna Regional Medical Center and Mille Lacs Health System Paramedic Toby Rowan of Fifty Lakes who passed away at age 47 while on duty was among the 72 Emergency Medical Services professionals lost in the line of duty who were honored during the weekend of July 22 by the National EMS Memorial Service in Washington, D.C.
Rowan’s family members and colleagues from the CRMC and Essentia attended the event in his memory. He worked at CRMC with honor and dedication to his patients and communities for five years. He was on call as a paramedic for Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia in January 2021 when he died. Minnesota EMS Honor Guard escorted Rowan through Crosby along with numerous EMS, Police, and Fire officers from all over the state driving with the hearse on Highway 210 to the Koop Funeral Home.
As part of the weekend’s celebration, an EMS memorial bike ride which began in Texas, completed its three-week journey to Washington, D.C., on Friday, July 22, accompanying the Tree of Life, a representation of an oak tree, symbolizing strength. The name, agency, and date of loss of each National EMS Memorial Service honoree is engraved on a bronze oak leaf, which is then added to the Tree of Life. Each rider wore a dog tag with the name of one of the honorees, which was given to families. Earlier, the honor guards left a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
On Saturday, July 23, a memorial service was held complete with Honor Guards, pipes and drums, and the reading of all the honorees’ names. Families were presented with a white rose, a medallion, and a flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol building.