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Rescue squad

During this new year, I want to express my appreciation for our volunteer rescue squad and fire department members. I have been certified as an emergency first responder and it is only now that I realize what a treasured resource these people are. Until last year, I hardly ever noticed evidence of the rescue squad except for occasionally seeing them sitting in the doorway of the squad building on a sunny afternoon. I have never called 911 for anything and know only one person who has called an ambulance in the last few years. Sure, I have seen a few fires, and have seen the fire department working heroically on occasion. I sure appreciated their response when my horse was stuck in a cattle guard one snowy night! But the rescue squad somehow escaped my notice.
What a new view I have now! My eyes have been opened to the dedication of a fairly large number of volunteers in this county. I just never thought about all those skilled people who are on call 24/7 for anyone who calls 911.
Calls come in night and day for the sick, the fallen, and the accidents; for the forest firefighters, the elderly, the poor, the schoolchildren. These local people put in endless hours of training and testing to maintain certification to serve their community. They have to know about homeland security, CPR, childbirth, pharmacology, advanced life support, legal issues, and so much more. Once trained, the education requirements continue. Fortunately, we have a treasure of wonderful teachers who spend many a late night training these young people to provide emergency care and making sure they can perform the necessary skills. But there’s more…
I never thought of the ambulance having to travel on muddy or snow-covered roads in remote areas, with a good hour’s trip to the hospital with a critical patient. I never considered what it would be like to drive a large ambulance containing a critical patient and 2 EMT’s, until I tried it. Never thought much about that helicopter that flies regularly across the sky… until a good friend of mine was transported in one after a near death experience in the national forest. We are so fortunate to have the services of the Life-Guard teams in this area. That’s another whole story! Let’s face it, we love our remoteness but when you’re delivering a baby or you’re injured, it’s a long way to a hospital!
Being “on call” has been a way of life for me. However, I have failed to appreciate all those folks who are on call for me each and every day. Since I have been on a few 911 calls, I see the same familiar faces show up with the ambulance time after time. Their concern and professionalism never waiver even in the worst circumstances. Each emergency takes 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on the distance to the hospital. Often there are no calls for hours, then overlapping calls come in. There is always a back-up crew and another ambulance ready to take over. Our new first responders serve as a supplement to the rescue squad, responding to calls in the more remote areas of the county, ready to assess the situation and advise incoming crew.
I would just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to each and every person who contributes to emergency services. From dispatch to the emergency room there are a multitude of parts that keep this well-oiled machine running. From the mechanic who fixes the ambulance to the Paramedic on call, every part is critical. Take time to thank a volunteer when you can. Contribute what you can to a cause you believe in. Everyone has something to offer. And don’t be surprised if a vet shows up when you’ve called 911!
Marge Lewter, DVM

Dr. Lewter is not just running the roads.

Dr. Lewter is not just running the roads.


January 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment