The City of Cannon Falls Ambulance Service takes great pride in nominating Paramedic Brenda Voshalike as a 2022 Star of Life recipient.
Brenda has served the community as a Dispatcher, Police Reserve Officer, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, and Educator. Brenda is now in her fifth decade of service to the Cannon Falls community.
Beginning as a Police Dispatcher in the 1970s, Brenda was encouraged to become an EMT with what was then a volunteer ambulance service. She eventually assumed a leadership role as the Ambulance Supervisor, and then Service Director, and assisted in transitioning the service to a combination career/volunteer model. After identifying a need for Advanced Life Support service in the community, Brenda earned her Paramedic certification, becoming the first Paramedic in Cannon Falls. When the concept of Community Paramedicine became a reality, Brenda was one the first to obtain the additional training and licensure.
Brenda has been, and continues to be, actively involved as an educator for both new EMTs and members of the community, teaching CPR and First Aid. Hundreds of students throughout the years have learned life changing and lifesaving skills from Brenda.
As part of the Minnesota EMS Honor Guard, Brenda provides a valuable service to her profession throughout the state. She offers support services for Line of Duty and Non-Line of Duty funerals, and honors those who have fallen in our challenging profession. All of the members, including Brenda, volunteer their time for the program.
While many of her peers might joke that her first charting system was on stone tablets, no one has provided more time contributing to EMS in the community. Brenda has averaged over 3,000 hours on the schedule per year. Although many of these hours are on duty hours for her full-time position, plenty are also from back up coverage, teaching, and public information events.
Brenda Voshalike is the very definition of service before self. Thousands of residents and visitors to the Cannon Falls community have been impacted by Brenda. Without any doubt, we are proud to call her a friend, a partner, and a Star of Life.