A challenge coin is a unique token that symbolizes a representation of a group or organization. Challenge coins are often collected and traded in the military and first responder communities, and some are harder to come by than others.
Paramedic Erik Bedwell of the Joachim-Plattin Ambulance District began to collect challenge coins when he was hospitalized after sustaining catastrophic injuries in the line of duty in a vehicle accident on July 12, 2020. “My journey for challenge coins began at the hospital when local departments began sending me coins”, says Paramedic Bedwell. “After receiving a few coins and seeing the support from the other departments I became intrigued by the designs and built up a small collection that I wanted to increase.”
From Miami to New York City, departments all over the country began sending Paramedic Bedwell their uniquely designed challenge coins. His collection has now extended beyond the United States as he has added challenge coins sent from around the world. “I’ve received coins from two continents and would like to be the first to receive one from all seven.”
Of all the challenge coins Paramedic Bedwell has collected he shares which coins hold an extra special meaning to him, “My own district coins matter the most to me because they are a part of my journey as a paramedic.”
The support and care that Paramedic Bedwell has received from his own department and others from across the globe display a common thread of unity and love in the first responder community. Paramedic Bedwell has a message for all first responders that have been in his situation, “For those out there who were injured in the line of duty and for those who lost a loved one you are not alone. You have a family of first responders and supporters.”
We provided financial assistance to Paramedic Bedwell and will be with him during his long road of recovery. “I want people to know that BackStoppers helps in more ways than just financial assistance, they also offer educational assistance and help those like me who have been catastrophically injured in the line of duty.”
Challenge coins may be sent to Paramedic Bedwell through the Joachim-Plattin Ambulance District.