Park River Ambulance Service leader Daniel Young remembered for serving and educating community

Apr. 14—PARK RIVER, N.D. — Walsh County first responders say the loss of Daniel Young leaves behind big shoes to fill. Young, president of the Park River Ambulance Service, died on April 6. He was 62.

He was known by many in Walsh County as a paramedic and teacher as he volunteered for the Park River Ambulance Service for 32 years and trained many first responders and community members in lifesaving skills like CPR.

"Words will never ever describe the amount of stuff that man has done," said Greg Martinson, manager of Valley Ambulance in Grafton. "I don't know how they are ever going to fill those shoes — I mean, it's going to take many people."

Young joined the ambulance service in 1991, starting as an emergency medical technician. Then, he trained to become an EMT-Intermediate, a step up from EMT, and became a paramedic in 1997. He was voted Park River Ambulance Service president in 2006.

Young also worked as a respiratory therapist and purchasing director at First Care Health Center.

Darryl Hell, a member of the Park River Ambulance Service, said Young's leadership and dedication to training helped members of the Park River Ambulance Service excel at providing care.

"I feel that we're one of the best ambulance services in North Dakota and that's thanks to Dan, with all the teaching and the recertifications and CPR classes," Hell said.

Outside of his work at the hospital and volunteering for the ambulance service, Young also trained first responders in other Walsh County towns and taught CPR classes for area school employees, students and nursing homes.

"That all took time, and that was the way Dan was — it was time for everybody and not really for himself, but that was his joy in life," said Hell.

"He was always on the go, and if you couldn't make one of his classes, he'd come down and teach you, even if you were the only person," said Arlen Simon, vice president of the Park River Ambulance Service.

In 2020, Young was recognized for his work as a paramedic and time committed to his community when he was awarded the

North Dakota Emergency Medical Services Provider of the Year award.

The award is given to a member of the North Dakota EMS Association who has devoted personal time to local and state provision, developed and improved prehospital care and educated their community.

In his spare time, Young golfed, played pool and bowled. He was involved with the hockey booster club and was on the golf course board. Wherever he went, Young made friends and helped others feel welcome, Martinson said.

"I don't know how he did it, but he just drew people in," he said.

One activity Young did not enjoy was fishing, said Simon and Hell, but he still joined his friends when they went, usually sitting and enjoying the sun while they fished.

"Arlen and I, we're pretty hard fishermen, jigging and everything, but not for Dan," said Hell. "He wouldn't admit it, but I think he did enjoy going with Arlen and I fishing."

The day that Young died, a gathering honoring him was held at the ambulance building. The impromptu memorial service brought health center staff, ambulance service members and others from the community together to remember Young.

"Within two hours, we had 75 people there to honor him. Everyone knew Dan," said Cindy Staven, Park River Ambulance Service secretary.

Young's impact on Walsh county communities is immeasurable, said Martinson.

"Between bringing people into the world and preventing them from leaving, how much more could you say?" Martinson said. "I don't know how many kids he was present at the birth of, and I don't even know how many codes we ran together, just trying to help people stay in this world."