GREAT FALLS - Mercy Flight paramedic Keith Bicsak was honored in Great Falls on Wednesday for 52 years of service.
Long-time colleagues and friends gathered in the Benefis Ambulance Bay to surprise him with a celebration party. Among those attending was Gov. Greg Gianforte, who presented Bicsak with the "Spirit of Montana" award.
“No one else deserves the award more,” said Bicsak’s nominee and coworker Wade Wagoner, who works as a Mercy Flight nurse. “His dedication and commitment to the field earned him recognition, that’s why I nominated him.”
Bicsak’s family owned one of the original ambulance services in the region. Bicsak began working EMS services, and later became one of the first flight EMTs for Bicsak Emergency Air Transport, which evolved to become Mercy Flight 40 years ago.
“He's the guy you want at your side and I mean he’s cool, calm and collected and provides stellar care,” said Wagoner.
After receiving the award and shaking hands with the governor, Bicsak said he was surprised by the attention.
“I had a feeling they were planning something when they wouldn’t let me back there (in the ambulance bay), but I never expected this,” he said.
During his 52-year career, Bicsak has flown all over Montana. Reflecting on his time coming to the rescue, he says that it has given him a new outlook on life.
“I’m thankful for my career and the people that I have met along the way,” he said.
Bicsak plans to retire later this year.