Grand County is unique not only in its location and recreational opportunities but is also rich with unique families and individuals. I recently had the chance to chat with Cory Ziegler, who is a unique individual who is also part of a unique family.
Cory Ziegler is a Paramedic for Grand County Emergency Medical Services (GCEMS) and also volunteers at the Grand Lake Fire Protection District. Cory's brother, Adam, is an EMT for GCEMS, and his father, Chris, is a member of the Grand County Search and Rescue. Together, the family has over 11 years of emergency response experience.
Chances are, if you need emergency assistance in Grand County, at least one member of this family will be there to help you out.
Ziegler started his medical training while he attended Middle Park High School through GCEMS's high school EMT course, and has since found his passion.
"I took the high school class and fell in love with it," Ziegler said. "I can't get enough of it."
Ziegler was a student in the first generation of the course and now helps to teach high-schoolers who are involved in the course.
"It's something different," he said. Ziegler commented on how the course enabled him to come out of high school with a trade under his belt and helped him to immediately start his career and life.
After he graduated from high school, Ziegler pursued a years worth of paramedic training and took a job as a paramedic in Denver.
"I got a lot of experience," he said. "But home was calling."
Ziegler was offered a job at GCEMS and jumped on the chance to move back to the rich outdoors of Grand County, and to be back home with his family.
One of the main reasons Ziegler chose to accept the job offer was the ability to complete his passion of helping people with his medical training while in the outdoors.
GCEMS routinely responds to emergencies that require backcountry travel and the use of ATVs, snowmobiles, snowshoes, horses, and the like.
"There are no limits to us getting out to a patient," he said.
When asked what advice he would give to someone looking to get involved with or receive training for emergency medical training, Ziegler replied: "Take the class, even if your unsure of what you want to do in life, take an EMT course so you will have the knowledge to help someone when they're in need."
Ziegler was lucky enough to get Christmas off from work, however his brother will be on duty. So if you overdose on sugar cookies and eggnog, or if grandma gets run over by a reindeer, remember that at least one member of the Ziegler family is just a phone call away.