Ahead of his retirement from the Union Ambulance District in March, Ken Koch was honored by the Union Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Union Ambulance administrator/chief was presented with the 2018 Shield Award for First Responders Saturday night at the 48th annual Distinguished Service Award banquet.
The award was presented by the 2017 recipient, Union Police Department Lt. Andrew Parker.
Koch has a lengthy career as a first responder.
“Ken had dedicated 44 years of his life to the emergency medical services throughout the area,” Parker said.
He began his career as a first responder in 1975 with the Marthasville Fire Department.
In 1980, he received his advanced first aid training. Later he received his EMT training at East Central College.
While doing his training at ECC, he did ride-alongs with the Union Ambulance in the early 1980s. He got his paramedic license in 1983 and started with the Warren County Ambulance District.
He served with the district from 1983 to 1991. During that time, he became a state-certified paramedic instructor.
From 1985-1993, Koch was the primary EMT and paramedic instructor at ECC.
While doing that, he stay involved with the Marthasville Fire Department and the Warren County Ambulance.
As if he didn’t have enough to do, Koch started working with Mercy Hospital Washington.
“During this time, the hospital emergency room was short of registered nurses,” Parker said. “Ken would fill in and help with the caring and treatment of patients in the emergency room.”
In 1993, he moved to the St. Charles County Ambulance District. He started as a paramedic training officer and then rose through the ranks before becoming the chief executive officer.
In 2013, Koch moved on and moved back to a place where his career started. He took over as the administrator/chief of the Union Ambulance District.
“I’ve always considered Union and Franklin County my home,” he said. “I got my education here, I taught here and I worked at the hospital here. … This was always home to me so when the Union job became available, I jumped at it.”
Koch plans to retire from the Union district March 1.
“I ended up at the right place and the right moment to have a really great experience and developed some wonderful friends,” Koch said. “I really appreciate this award and I hope Union can continue to have the top-notch emergency medical services.”
In addition to his professional work, Koch was a founding member of the Ambulance District Association of Missouri and continues to serve on the board. He also serves on the Warren County 911 board.
Koch also worked to help rewrite Missouri state statutes relating to emergency medical services.
He currently serves at the chief operating officer for the Marthasville Ambulance District.
“Ken has served with many organizations with the hope of improving services, care and professionalism in the emergency medical profession,” Parker said.
He and his wife, Angie, live in Union.