“His stuff is everywhere,” said Bill Boyd, recently retired chief of Bellingham Fire Department. “I was in Hawaii on the beach with my wife and the lifeguard was driving around, there were Conterra kits in that.”
Boyd and Lipke were friends at Western Washington University in the 1980s. They love to describe how they perfected one of Lipke’s signature products, the Trauma Pro EMS/radio holster, while riding a chairlift at Mt. Baker Ski Area a decade later.
His interest in mountaineering and emergency medicine dates to high school in Anacortes where he worked as a lifeguard and scaled rock faces across Skagit and Whatcom counties for fun. He became an EMT instructor, teaching continuing education courses to firefighters around the area. He has a BA in psychology from WWU, and has worked as a counselor in a psychiatric hospital. But it’s his love of the outdoors that’s driven his career focus.