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Ralph LaPlant is a Holyoke, MN resident who operates North Woods Images TM LLC, He has devoted his careers to public safety in Emergency Medical Services and Law Enforcement and related instruction. He has been an active photographer since the 1970s and a writer since the mid 1980s.

Ralph retired from public safety with over 30 years in law enforcement and almost 20 years in EMS. His professional resume’ includes being a paramedic at the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), Divine Redeemer Memorial Hospital,  Waconia Ridgeview Medical Center, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC), Health Centrai – Buffalo,  Minnesota Dragways and as a deputy sheriff for Carver and Hennepin Counties (Sheriff Emergency Squad), a city officer for Staples, Deerwood, Crosby-Ironton and Onamia as well as a peace and conservation officer for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe (as well as their first Emergency Management Coordinator and a member or their SWAT Team) and a conservation officer for the 1854 Treaty Authority. His firefighting career was cut short due to an accident.

He has been involved in EMS since the early 1970s and has taught EMS, outdoor survival, nature related, and photography courses; some since the early 1970s teaching for various law enforcement agencies, ambulance services, hospitals, colleges and freelancing. He was a PRIM – Professional Rescue Instructor of Minnesota and has taught MN DNR Firearms, Snowmobile, and ATV Safety courses. He is currently a MN EMT. Ralph also holds a FAA Private Pilot’s License and has taught a small aircraft rescue course he authored since the mid 1980s and is a certified SCUBA diver. Most of the courses he instructs he authored and most are POST approved.

Ralph has experienced over 11,000 ambulance calls and having been an active photographer for decades has traveled as far as Hudson Bay twice to photograph polar bears, Alaska three times to photograph Alaskan browns, grizzlies and other wildlife and scenics and worked at about 15 wildfires in the Western US (one in MN). These experiences plus residing and working in MN’s beautiful northeast area has given him opportunities to capture about a third of a million images which he has in stock of which 50,000 are on 35 mm slides with some on print film. Remember film? All of this and having been published well over a thousand times, Ralph is qualified to give instruction on various related topics. He is a frequent nature column contributor to the Reader, a Duluth based weekly periodical.  Some of his article topics are listed on this web site.

In his free time he taps maples for sap, operates a firewood enterprise, likes to fish (especially fly fish) and on rare occasion catches fish. He also target shoots, manufacturing his own ammunition, is a NRA Life Endowment Member and likes to read. He and  his dog Savannah live in a rural setting where he operates a gallery of his photography. He invites all to call and visit. Takes but a few minutes to put the coffee on.

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