Recognize EMS workers for service

Published 12:59 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dear Editor,

Last week was EMS appreciation week. We don’t think about our emergency medical services until we need them, and we never think about who they are.

There is a young man graduating from Shelby County High School this year that has chosen to be a part of that service. For the past year, he has been volunteering his time with Southeast Shelby Rescue as well as being a volunteer fireman for Kingdom Hall.

He recently graduated from Jeff State in basic EMT. He is state certified but has to wait for his high school diploma to get his national registry. How many teenagers do you know who would risk their life to save another?

For the last five months, he has been in high school full time, taking night classes three days a week and working a part time job on weekends. He stays overnight at rescue to run calls several nights a week. He was there one recent night with every intention of making his classes on time the next morning. In the early hours of the morning, there was a call to a collision between a log truck and a pickup truck.

He was one of the responders. When they extracted the man from his pickup truck, he was non-responsive. This young man got him resuscitated.

This is not to say that another responder could not have done this, but this time it was this young man. When he arrived late for school with an excuse from the emergency room, he was told that it would not be excused.

He was left to believe that he might now not be allowed to walk with his graduating class.

I think that people should stop to think, what if it had been them in that pickup truck and been their life that needed saving? Our EMS workers risk their lives everyday to save one of ours.

They rescue us from burning buildings, pull us from auto accidents and literally bring us back to life. I would like to see many people tell an EMS worker “thank you” for what they do. If you see someone that you know or in uniform that has chosen that profession, just a simple thank you would mean so much.

Most of them don’t do this job looking for appreciation. It usually comes from a desire to help others. Some of them are volunteers and receive no pay.

The reason I think we should say thank you is because the next life thay save may be our own or someone we love. Regardless, every minute of every day, there is an EMS professional somewhere saving someone’s life.