The 2000s

In 2000 my second granddaughter, Natalie Jo, was born.

In 2000 I worked with the Kentucky Ambulance Providers Association to successfully lobby for Kentucky House Bill 405 which established the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services to be responsible for all EMS functions and activities related to state government. The new organization replaced the Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services EMS Branch. The bill also changed Kentucky paramedic certification by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure to a licensure by the new Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services.

From 2000 until 2002 I served on the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services' Air Ambulance Regulations Committee drafting changes to the Kentucky air ambulance state regulations.

When Louisville Medical Center STATCARE was formed in 1996, we moved from a Jewish Hospital facility in downtown Louisville off-campus to Bowman Field airport. This relocation removed us from the hospital computer network. We were operating off of exchanged floppy-disks which made it very difficult to work efficiently, so I created my first computer network by wiring our offices and connecting them to a new server.

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Treating a pediatric motor vechicle crash patient on Sept. 29, 2004.
In 2001 I was reassigned from an education role to Network Administrator at STATCARE (although still continuing in a flight paramedic position on a part-time basis). One of my first tasks was connecting our stand-alone computer network to the Internet. We had been keeping our flight records in an Excel spreadsheet and managing our patient flights ad-hoc, so my second task was to deploy a CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch System). One of our challenges was that the CAD that we selected to use was built for ground ambulance systems (which typically go from one location to a second location to pick up a patient, and then transport the patient to a third location). In HEMS, there are frequently additional locations that need to be documented and we needed to work with our software vendor to add an air medical component to the computer aided dispatch system.

In the interest of safety, we also added real-time GPS tracking of our aircraft and integrated this into our CAD, too.

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Robin and I were married on June 1, 2002.
In 2002 I married Robin and gained an entire family: her daughter Bobbi Jo, son-in-law Scott, and our two beautiful granddaughters, Cassandra and Natalie.

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With Flower Girls Natalie and Cassi on June 1, 2002, before our wedding.
In 2002 I was selected to present at the National Air Medical Transport Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, that November. I was selected to present again in 2003 at the National Air Medical Transport Conference in November in Reno, Nevada.

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July-August 2002 County Line magazine cover.
In 2002 one of my covered bridge photographs was selected to be on the cover of the Kentucky Association of Counties' County Line magazine. This photograph was later awarded first place in the 2004 Kentucky State Fair, Fine Art Division.

In 2003 I was honored with the Kentucky EMS Conference and Expo Chairman's Award.

In 2003 I also earned my Certified Flight Paramedic from the Board of Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certification. This was probably the hardest written test that I have ever taken. At the time there were very few certified flight paramedics, which made earning this certification that much more rewarding.

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My first blue ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair for the Fine Arts Division, August 20, 2004.
In 2004 I started preparing for possible retirement by starting John Hultgren Photography, which was founded and in operation in 2005. Realizing that it takes a few years to develop a business, my thoughts were to get the business set up and operating before I would actually need it. I have never had an interest in commercial photography but I do enjoy taking pictures.

I tested the waters by entering two photos into the Kentucky State Fair. One was awarded first place, and the other honorable mention. I had friends who I considered good photographers who were always entering photographs into the Kentucky State Fair, usually without receiving any ribbons. So these two awards on my first attempt were very encouraging for me and I started selling photographs at regional art shows.

With all of the recent changes in healthcare reimbursement which started in the 1990s, this new century was a turning into a very challenging time for EMS agencies, especially for air medical services. Hospitals in Kentucky were deciding that there were enough helicopters in Kentucky that would bring them patients anyway, so they no longer needed to operate their own helicopters. In 2006 STATCARE was sold to CJ Systems Aviation Group where I served briefly as director and then was promoted to Medical Information Coordinator for the corporate office at their newly formed CJ Critical Care Transport Group, coordinating the transition from written to electronic patient medical records. In 2007 CJ Systems Aviation was sold to Air Methods Corporation and in that transition I was appointed Communications Manager for the Kentucky operation. I also coordinated the transition of electronic patient medical records to the same system that I had been using at CJ Critical Care Transport Group. After the electronic patient medical records transition was completed, and Kentucky's communications operations was transitioned into Air Methods' Omaha Nebraska operations centerIn 2008, I was reassigned to a District Business Manager position.

In 2005 I was appointed to the Kentucky Ambulance Providers Association's Legislative Committee, which I served on through 2018. In 2005 I worked with the association to successfully lobby for Kentucky Senate Bill 217, the Brenda Cowan Act, which established that it is a felony assault in the third degree when someone recklessly or intentionally causes or attempts to cause physical injury to paid or volunteer emergency medical services personnel certified or licensed in Kentucky if the event occurs while EMS personnel are performing job-related duties.

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A photo of my granddaughter Cassi that appeared on a Jones Soda bottle, sold nationwide in 2005.
In 2005 a photograph that I had taken of my granddaughter, Cassi, was selected and appeared on a Jones Soda label. Also in 2005 a photograph that I had taken was awarded Honorable Mention in the Indianapolis Star photo contest.

In 2006 I was elected to the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Ambulance Providers Association and servied on the board until 2015, when I was no longer eligible.

In 2006 one of my photographs was awarded Fourth Place in the Kentucky State Fair Fine Arts Division.

And also in 2006, one of my photos was published in When Weather Turns Nasty by Toucan Books in London, England.

In 2007 I was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services' Air Medical Task Force Communications Committee and served as their Chair.

From 2007 until 2008 I again served on the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services' Air Ambulance Regulations Committee, drafting revisions to the Kentucky air ambulance state regulations,

In 2007 I also served on the Kentucky Ambulance Providers Association's EMS Awards committee, until 2009.

In 2007 I was awarded two Honorable Mention ribbons at the Kentucky State Fair in the Fine Arts Division for two photographs.

On December 2, 2008, I joined three other Kentucky Ambulance Providers Association board members in accepting the American Ambulance Association's 2008 Partnership Award for impacting national ambulance legislation at their annual conference in Las Vegas.

In 2008 I was awarded an Honorable Mention ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair in the Fine Arts Division.

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My scene from the movie Secretriat where I am walking between Fred Thompson and Diane Lane.
On October 2, 2009 I had a short role in the movie Secretariat, released October 8, 2010. The crew shot a good-length scene over two days where I actually had a spoken line, but most of my scene (and my line) was cut in the final cut. In the final release I can be seen walking from right to left behind Fred Thompson and Diane Lane about 14 minutes into the movie.

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With my sister Jenny and nephew Christian on my last visit with my Aunt Adele on July 2, 2003 in Wisconsin.
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Goofing off with my friend, actor Randolph Mantooth (from the TV series Emergency!), on September 18, 2003.
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Family photo taken on Thanksgiving, November 27, 2003, with Bobbi Jo, Natalie, Robin and Cassi.
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On a photo outing with my STATCARE photography friends, May 27, 2004.
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Reading "The Night Before Christmas" and Christmas Eve to my granddaughters, December 24, 2004.
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Crawling out of the Grand Canyon, October 14, 2005.
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Robin and I on January 28, 2006, at a company party.
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Robin and I in the Great Smoky Mountains with Cassi and Natalie.
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On a photo outing in Glacier National Park, June 18, 2007.
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Visiting with my sister Eloise on November 29, 2007.
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One of my photographs was displayed in U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield's Washington, D.C., office lobby.
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