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Last Update

2008-01-01T00:00:00.000Z

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Background Information

Employment History

Manager
Joseph Vertin & Sons Funeral Home

Member, Staff
Joseph Vertin & Sons Funeral Home

Mayor

Affiliations

Member
Ambulance Service , Inc.

Director
Ambulance Service , Inc.

Education



University of Minnesota

Web References (4 Total References)


Hugh Mikkelson - Dedicated to ...

www.wahpetondailynews.com [cached]

Hugh Mikkelson - Dedicated to providing quality, compassionate service to Breckenridge

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by Erin C. Hevern • Daily News Published/Last Modified on Monday, December 1, 2008 11:40 AM CST
Hugh Mikkelson may have saved your life. He may also have helped put to rest a loved one from your family, or in the family of someone you know.
Born and raised in Breckenridge, Mikkelson has been the long-time director for Ambulance Service, Inc., and is a licensed funeral director and manager with Joseph Vertin and Sons. Mikkelson has dedicated more than 30 years to the city of Breckenridge, helping its residents through times of tragedy and helping to provide the community a meaningful service in two separate entities.
It was in January of 1971, when Mikkelson returned from completing his education at the University of Minnesota, that he joined the staff at Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home. Growing up, Mikkelson and his family lived across the street from the Vertin family, whose business was intriguing to him.
...
"I always kind of admired Joe Vertin Jr. — the way he carried himself and his profession," Mikkelson said.
Over the years, Mikkelson has really grown into the position of manager at the funeral home. Grateful to the Vertin family for allowing him to do that, he takes pride in what he does.
Mikkelson believes its important to serve each family as if it were his own and to take care of each personal detail, as families will allows him. Usually, he said, families are very receptive to suggestions he makes to create a special funeral.
What is rewarding about being a funeral director, Mikkelson said is when weeks, months or even years later a family approaches him and says to him that he made a difference in their lives by making a difficult time in their life much easier.
"I want each family to feel like they are the only family being served," Mikkelson said.
It was the Vertin family who also stimulated his interest in the Ambulance Service. Before Ambulance Service, Inc. came to fruition, which now serves Wahpeton and Breckenridge, and the surrounding area, funeral homes ran separate volunteer-based ambulance services. Mikkelson was often asked by the Vertin family to help out on calls every now and then during high school. When he returned to Breckenridge in 1971, Mikkelson also joined the Ambulance Service, which had been formed as its own business by Tom Vertin.
"I take great pride in the service we have," Mikkelson said.
Mikkelson's first task with the ambulance was taking an EMT course, which led to him teaching the EMT course to others who wanted to join the service. Their staff now has four full-time paramedics and 20 volunteer EMTs, who are paid when they go out on calls. There is always one paramedic with the truck and another on call, he said.
Being able to respond to an accident scene or medical call as quick as possible is an important part of providing a quality ambulance service. Mikkelson said he believes Ambulance Service, Inc. is one of the best available.
"We're not in it for the profit of it as much as we are in it for the people we have working for us, making residents happy and the good equipment we have available," Mikkelson said.
Ambulance Service, Inc. not only provides medical care, but Mikkelson and volunteer EMTs also work to educate the community on ways they can protect themselves and others from injury. For many years, Ambulance Service has provided CPR and First Responder training to businesses, city and county officials, and schools. The service also often partners with Richland and Wilkin county health departments in prevention efforts. Most recently, Ambulance Service responded to a mock crash meant to teach students the dangers of drunk driving held on North Dakota State College of Science campus.
In addition to working for the funeral home and the ambulance service, Mikkelson took on duties of Breckenridge Mayor in 1976 and 1977.
An experience as mayor that Mikkelson will never forget was the Stratford Hotel fire in January of 1977 that took the lives of 16 people. Mikkelson, a large number of firefighters, and many others responded to the scene around 4:30 a.m. Mikkelson remembers taking on several roles that day, one as mayor and the other as a member of the Ambulance Service. Because they weren't taking victims of the fire away to the hospital Mikkelson stood by with the ambulance to take care of firefighters overcome by the extreme winter conditions. As mayor, he was the focal person for national news media.
The tragedy didn't end for Mikkelson when the fire was put out, however, because afterward he had to assist in figuring out how to identify the 16 bodies. Plus, he had to deal with the grieving families. Mikkelson said his experience in funeral directing helped him to be caring and compassionate during that time.
A second memorable experience for Mikkelson was when Breckenridge ran out of river water and officials had to go out and drill wells — an expensive feat to overcome.
Mikkelson's time as Mayor was short, due to his time dedicated to the funeral home and ambulance service.
"In fairness to both the city and the funeral home I chose not to run again," Mikkelson said.
Throughout the years, Mikkelson's dedication to Joseph Vertin and Sons and Ambulance Service, Inc. has remained consistent. It's only difficulty, Mikkelson said, is that "it's very time consuming and has in the past taken from my own family."
Regardless of the difficulties, Mikkelson has had a rewarding career and enjoys serving the people of Breckenridge, many of those being people he has known much of his life.
"It's very self-satisfying to me," he said.
After all these years of service, is retirement on the horizon for Mikkelson?
"What would I even do," said Mikkelson with a smile.


Hugh Mikkelson may have saved ...

www.wahpetondailynews.com [cached]

Hugh Mikkelson may have saved your life. He may also have helped put to rest a loved one from your family, or in the family of someone you know.

Born and raised in Breckenridge, Mikkelson has been the long-time director for Ambulance Service, Inc., and is a licensed funeral director and manager with Joseph Vertin and Sons. Mikkelson has dedicated more than 30 years to the city of Breckenridge, helping its residents through times of tragedy and helping to provide the community a meaningful service in two separate entities.
It was in January of 1971, when Mikkelson returned from completing his education at the University of Minnesota, that he joined the staff at Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home. Growing up, Mikkelson and his family lived across the street from the Vertin family, whose business was intriguing to him.
...
"I always kind of admired Joe Vertin Jr. — the way he carried himself and his profession," Mikkelson said.
Over the years, Mikkelson has really grown into the position of manager at the funeral home. Grateful to the Vertin family for allowing him to do that, he takes pride in what he does.
Mikkelson believes its important to serve each family as if it were his own and to take care of each personal detail, as families will allows him. Usually, he said, families are very receptive to suggestions he makes to create a special funeral.
What is rewarding about being a funeral director, Mikkelson said is when weeks, months or even years later a family approaches him and says to him that he made a difference in their lives by making a difficult time in their life much easier.
"I want each family to feel like they are the only family being served," Mikkelson said.
It was the Vertin family who also stimulated his interest in the Ambulance Service. Before Ambulance Service, Inc. came to fruition, which now serves Wahpeton and Breckenridge, and the surrounding area, funeral homes ran separate volunteer-based ambulance services. Mikkelson was often asked by the Vertin family to help out on calls every now and then during high school. When he returned to Breckenridge in 1971, Mikkelson also joined the Ambulance Service, which had been formed as its own business by Tom Vertin.
"I take great pride in the service we have," Mikkelson said.
Mikkelson's first task with the ambulance was taking an EMT course, which led to him teaching the EMT course to others who wanted to join the service. Their staff now has four full-time paramedics and 20 volunteer EMTs, who are paid when they go out on calls. There is always one paramedic with the truck and another on call, he said.
Being able to respond to an accident scene or medical call as quick as possible is an important part of providing a quality ambulance service. Mikkelson said he believes Ambulance Service, Inc. is one of the best available.
"We're not in it for the profit of it as much as we are in it for the people we have working for us, making residents happy and the good equipment we have available," Mikkelson said.
Ambulance Service, Inc. not only provides medical care, but Mikkelson and volunteer EMTs also work to educate the community on ways they can protect themselves and others from injury. For many years, Ambulance Service has provided CPR and First Responder training to businesses, city and county officials, and schools. The service also often partners with Richland and Wilkin county health departments in prevention efforts. Most recently, Ambulance Service responded to a mock crash meant to teach students the dangers of drunk driving held on North Dakota State College of Science campus.
In addition to working for the funeral home and the ambulance service, Mikkelson took on duties of Breckenridge Mayor in 1976 and 1977.
An experience as mayor that Mikkelson will never forget was the Stratford Hotel fire in January of 1977 that took the lives of 16 people. Mikkelson, a large number of firefighters, and many others responded to the scene around 4:30 a.m. Mikkelson remembers taking on several roles that day, one as mayor and the other as a member of the Ambulance Service. Because they weren't taking victims of the fire away to the hospital Mikkelson stood by with the ambulance to take care of firefighters overcome by the extreme winter conditions. As mayor, he was the focal person for national news media.
The tragedy didn't end for Mikkelson when the fire was put out, however, because afterward he had to assist in figuring out how to identify the 16 bodies. Plus, he had to deal with the grieving families. Mikkelson said his experience in funeral directing helped him to be caring and compassionate during that time.
A second memorable experience for Mikkelson was when Breckenridge ran out of river water and officials had to go out and drill wells — an expensive feat to overcome.
Mikkelson's time as Mayor was short, due to his time dedicated to the funeral home and ambulance service.
"In fairness to both the city and the funeral home I chose not to run again," Mikkelson said.
Throughout the years, Mikkelson's dedication to Joseph Vertin and Sons and Ambulance Service, Inc. has remained consistent. It's only difficulty, Mikkelson said, is that "it's very time consuming and has in the past taken from my own family."
Regardless of the difficulties, Mikkelson has had a rewarding career and enjoys serving the people of Breckenridge, many of those being people he has known much of his life.
"It's very self-satisfying to me," he said.
After all these years of service, is retirement on the horizon for Mikkelson?
"What would I even do," said Mikkelson with a smile.


Mayor Cliff Barth and Alderman Matt ...

www.wahpetondailynews.com [cached]

Mayor Cliff Barth and Alderman Matt Kammerer softened their view of the issue somewhat after what Barth called an "enlightening" meeting with Vertin and Ambulance Service Director Hugh Mikkelson.

...
While Vertin and Mikkelson assured officials the service would not shut down, they told Barth changing to a volunteer ambulance would cost the city considerably more.


In that article Hugh ...

www.wahpetondailynews.com [cached]

In that article Hugh Mikkelson, director of Ambulance Service, Inc., states that "Mikkelson provided the representatives with financial statements for 1984 and 1985, but the representatives said they would prefer to wait for the 1986 figures before making a decision."

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