He also holds the title of the areas very first qualified Emergency Medical Services technicians (EMT) and was instrumental in starting the first fire fighter ambulance in the North Country. Those are just the first few of a whole list of reasons why Ken Laplante was Woodmen of the Worlds (WOW) pick for Citizen of the Year. Sherb House, president of WOWs Chazy Fraternal Lodge, made the announcement during the groups annual dinner, held last Saturday night at the Rainbow Banquet Hall in Altona. Jokes that Laplante may have responded to an emergency call enroute to the dinner had helped relieve the tension as organizers hoped Laplante hadnt changed his mind about attending the dinner as a guest that night. He and his wife, Jane Kaufman, did arrive, but that didnt change the mood much. Once he accepted his award, Laplante became the subject of a little friendly roasting as his long-time friends and fellow EMTs took turns saluting him. It seems Laplante, who was credited for being the drive behind the first non-profit EMS corporation in the area, and the first EMS instructor, also has a humorous side to him. His good-nature was evidenced by his continuous laughter as Dr. John Southwick, EMT Cory Thompson and long-time friend Norbert Yakey took to the podium to share memories of Laplante dating back to his high school years on the basketball team. Despite all the wittiness, it became clear to all just how committed Laplante has been and continues to be to his community and those that surround it. Laplante had also been recognized as a United Way Citizen of the Year, Clinton County Firefighter of the Year, Mountain Lake District EMS Provider of the Year, and is also a member of the ski patrol and a certified ski instructor.