Bob Klein receives Star of Life award

Former Langdon resident, Bob Klein, recently received the Star of Life award for his dedication to EMS for the past 27 years.

bob klein

Posted on 5/3/14

By Dee Entzi

The award is part of a program put on by the American Ambulance Association to honor emergency service members all across the United States for their outstanding commitment to the job. All recipients and their families were invited to Washington, D.C. for a special ceremony to congratulate them on their achievement.

Klein, who’s known as Farmer Bob among most of his colleagues, and his wife Margaret (Nowatzki) Klein, both originally from Langdon, now reside in the Fargo area where Klein is working as the Liaison Coordinator and educator for Fargo-Moorhead Ambulance Service. Though Klein’s career has led him to Fargo where he has been a vital asset to their team, it all started for him right here in Langdon. His interest in EMS was first sparked when the television show ‘Emergency’ aired in 1972, it wasn’t until 1987 that Klein took his first step into emergency medicine by becoming an EMT and working for the Langdon Ambulance Service. Bob’s love for EMS grew from there and he eventually decided to further his education. Klein became a paramedic in 1995 after graduating from paramedic school through F-M Ambulance Service. After finishing school, Klein took a part-time position with F-M while continuing to serve in his hometown. By 2004, Klein became the director of the Langdon Ambulance Service and held the position until 2006 when he was offered a full-time position with F-M as their Liaison Coordinator. Since accepting the job, he has been in charge of the EMS education and training for Cass and Clay county. From quick response units to law enforcement agencies, he has taught classes for hundreds of emergency personnel. In his years at F-M Ambulance Service, Klein has also been a huge part of their paramedic program that he was once a student of. Because of his passion for teaching, Klein became lead educator for the service in 2012.

F-M coworker, Kristi Engelstad, commented, “I have known and worked with Bob for over 13 years. He is an unbelievable paramedic, a great teacher, and most importantly, a truly good person. Bob is willing to do whatever it takes to get his students to pass. He is friendly and nice to everyone. He received this award because of his dedication and work with all students, especially the time he spent with our county responders.”

His current and former students couldn’t be more proud of the man who’s taken them under his wings and committed to seeing them through till the end. For Klein, his reward is seeing his students down the road sharing the same joy for their work and knowing he was privileged to be a part of the start of their career.

F-M Ambulance Service selects a Star of Life recipient every two years and though his years of dedication made him an obvious candidate, Klein himself was shocked by the news.

“This was something I did not ever dream, think, or fantasize about. Never in all of my days would I have ever imagined this would happen to me.” Klein explained. “When they told me I was going to receive this award, I was in total disbelief. There are so many more deserving of this than me. I was so honored and will always be honored to have been a recipient of this award. I feel like I have run the race, it just really completes my EMS career.”

Since moving from Langdon, Klein has still remained an active part of the continuing education of Cavalier County Memorial Hospital.

bob klein

Posted on 5/3/14

By Dee Entzi

“I really do enjoy coming back to Cavalier County Memorial Hospital to teach. After all, that’s where it all started for me. I have always said Langdon is where my roots are.” stated Klein. “I have always had such good support from the hospital all throughout my career.”

Former F-M paramedic student and current Langdon Ambulance director, Lindsey Gellner, stated, “Bob is an amazing teacher and an all-around great paramedic.”

Friend and former ambulance director of CCMH, Michelle Hoffman also commented, “I have known and worked with Bob for many years, both on the nursing side and the EMS side during his time here.” Hoffman, who is currently an RN at CCMH, continued, “Bob has shown amazing passion and dedication to his profession from the beginning. The nursing and EMS staff has learned so much from him throughout the years. He is a true genuine person and it shows in the field and in the classroom. As a former director of the Langdon Ambulance Service, his shoes were hard to fill and it was an honor to have worked where he once stood. On behalf of CCMH, we are so proud of Bob for receiving this honor and thank him for all he’s done for us.”

Not only has Klein made an impact on the lives of his students and coworkers, he’s also influenced the lives of his family and friends. Several of his nieces and nephews, whose lives he’s been a huge part of, are now following in his footsteps and making their own mark in the world of medicine.

“My uncle Bob is one of my heroes, not to mention the smartest man I know. He has not only given the gift of a tender, helping hand, but he has also given the gift of passion; passion for his wife, family, friends, coworkers, and especially his patients and students. He is my true role model for life. No one deserved this award more.” His niece, McKinzie Ratzlaff, LPN for CCMH states, “We all love Uncle Bob.”

Klein is sure to continue to impact the lives of many not only through his passion for EMS, but also through his humble and kind character. The community would like to express their thanks to Klein and his wife for their continued commitment to their hometown; as well as their hopes in seeing Farmer Bob return back to his roots sometime down the road.