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Cherokee Nation EMS instructor receives national honor

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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A Cherokee Nation employee was recently honored by a national EMS association. Mark Bighorse, training supervisor for Cherokee Nation EMS, was named Instructor of the Year by the National Native American EMS Association during its annual conference in Nevada.

“Cherokee Nation is fortunate to have great employees such as Mark who are recognized for their efforts on national levels,” said Chad Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. “We as a nation congratulate Mark on this great accomplishment.”

The NNAEMSA works to support the efforts of all EMS, rescue, and public safety organizations that provide services on Native American and Alaska lands. The group works diligently to enhance the quality of emergency services delivered to Indian country through education, self-promotion and political action and embraces opportunities to work with other emergency service stakeholders to find ways to offer developments in Native American health care.

“It was quite an honor to receive this award, and it took me by surprise,” Bighorse said. “I am very thankful to the association and I am proud to represent Cherokee Nation EMS with this honor.”

Cherokee Nation Emergency Medical Services is a state licensed paramedic level ambulance service owned and operated by the Cherokee Nation that serves citizens in Cherokee, southern Delaware, northern Sequoyah and western Adair counties. The service consists of four major components: Ambulance services, communications, non-emergency transport and training. The group was the first ambulance service in the State of Oklahoma to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services and offers instruction in many levels of EMS and paramedic critical care training, including life-saving care for infants and adults alike.