Chip In for Valerie

Let's give Valerie a hand

If you don't know Valerie DeFrance you're missing an important piece of EMS history. Before there was a JEMS Online or an EMS1 or an EMT City or EMT Life, there was the  EMS House of DeFrance, one of the most comprehensive EMS resources on the web. And the person who ran it, my friend Valerie DeFrance, did it for years via a 56k modem from Hope, AK.

Valerie was an Internet pioneer, building or helping others build and host dozens of EMS educational websites over the years and she still maintains the House of DeFrance, the premier EMS news and education site. Valerie is one of our most important EMS dinosaurs. Over the years she has offered her expertise and knowledge to anyone needing a hand, and doing so more often than not without charge. Valerie has always been a giver... never a taker.

Only a few years ago Valerie lost her husband to cancer. The medical bils were massive and Valerie had to sell many of her assets to pay them. Now Valerie is diagnosed with breast cancer and has no more assets to sell to cover her own bills. She needs our help.

Medically speaking, to this point at least, Valerie has been doing fairly well and has a better than average chance of winning the battle, but the bills are stacking up. Valerie is now at a point now where she needs radiation treatments, and another problem has arisen... an immediate problem.

To get to the oncology clinic in Anchorage where she goes for her treatments, Valerie must drive 75 miles one way. Fuel in Alaska is $4.00 or so a gallon, so these trips are breaking the bank. The ongoing treatments have left Valerie unable to work and therefore without income. In the long run there will be those substantial medical bills to pay, but right now we just need to get her to the clinic and back. We need to kick in and help her get past this hurdle.

Valerie has been there for us all these years. Now it is time we return the favor. We already know how far Valerie will go to help the EMS profession, lets see what we can do for her when she needs us.

The Chip-in widget you see below will remain on this page until we reach the very modest goal of $10,000. This amount is a far cry from what will be needed in the long run, but it will buy the gas and get Valerie some groceries while she makes these trips back and forth. One step at a time.

Click the ChipIn button to donate a few bucks, and then click the <copy> button to copy the html for embedding on your blog. Spread the word boys and girls! Valerie needs our help!

Got a message from an old friend wanting to chip in but he didn't want to use PayPal. No problem. Just mail a check to:

Valerie DeFrance
28204 Hope Hwy
Hope, AK 9905

You can also send cards and letters to that address. Valerie will be thrilled to hear from you.


Some who have tried to use the widget can't get it to work. This is most likely a browser setting or compatibility problem, but as a work-around you can send your donation directly to Valerie's PayPal account. 

You DO NOT need a PayPal account of your own to do this. Just click on this link to PayPal and follow the directions you find on the page. Make the donation (payment) to



  1. The purpose of this blog is to give something back to a woman who has dedicated her life to the profession of EMS. You can help by chipping in a few bucks using the little widget thingie over on the left. You can help more by chatting this up and driving more folks here to donate a few bucks.

    You can also copy the widget and put it on your blog, and if you do that leave a comment here so we can add you to the blogroll.

  2. How do I get this chipin thing to work, I can't see it in Firefox do I need to use explorer?

  3. Very sorry you had a problem. It may very well be a Firefox compatibility problem. I've tried Chrome and IE, both of which work from here at the house, but IE gives me some trouble while on my work PC. That is probably a security setting.

    At any rate I've added two other options for making donations. Please take a look at the bottom of the blog post for either a direct snail mail address or a direct link to the account on PayPal.

    Thank you for caring, and thank you for giving me a heads up on the problem.

  4. Valerie DeFrance is an angel of our industry. She's a creative, sweetheart of a woman who made a legacy of providing free stuff to EMS educators when the internet was a baby. Like any typical dedicated volunteer and kind heart, she invested thousands of hours into giving to the EMS training industry - quite possibly at the cost of her own financial security. The only reason you don't hear as much about her is that ever since the internet started making money, she was drowned out by commercial sites with big budgets.

    Back in the day (circa 1997ish) a wet-behind-the-ears punk EMT created an EMS simulator on the internet for people to use to train and play. Valerie promoted that website hard and got us A LOT of hits. She even made and sent me a mousepad and t-shirt with simulator promotional stuff on it. For the record, purchasing a t-shirt and a mousepad was out of my budget at the time. She was an invaluable source of support and encouragement at a time when successes were hard to come by.

    It's going to be a real privilege to be able to help her out when she needs a hand. In fact, If I've ever been useful to you and you'd like to pay it forward, please consider using the button above to send Valerie a couple of dollars.

    John Mateus - 888-277-3671
    Less Stress Instructional Services

  5. Sent to another blog:

    Valerie, I met so many people in virtual space over the 8 years of Merginet. You're the one I remember most. My wife Corina started teaching and I sent her to the House of DeFrance for resources that she still uses today. Get over this bump in the road so you can get back to inspiring young EMS'ers from afar.

    Richard Bilger

  6. 12 August, 2012 23:53
    Hal Newman said...
    Dear Val,
    I love you, kid.
    Been a long time since we first made our virtual acquaintance online - and your words of wisdom have always been an inspiration.
    Let's get this party started.
    Spread the word. Our sister needs our help.
    Be well. Practice big medicine.

  7. When I first started out as an instructor many moons ago.. I sought out advice and information anywhere I could find it. The House of DeFrance and Valerie helped me so much..Nothing but a "thang" to give a little back.

    JoAnne Christian

  8. I've tried to thank all individuals but I know I could not reach some.

    Thank you all - mostly for your wonderful messages and for the donation and help!

    And to the person who set this blog up; thank your anonymous heart!

    Valerie DeFrance