Most of the volunteer EMT’s worked from six to eight years at their own expense.
Finally, our cities and county realized that they were going to have to establish sure-enough emergency medical departments, with salaried employees.
A lot of warm memories have come back as I write this. There are a lot of sad ones, too.
I remember lying to one man whose wife kept telling him he would just be in the hospital for a few days and would be coming back home. The rest of us could tell he was not going to ever make it back home.
One night I had to drive a criminal to South Fulton Hospital. I don’t remember what he did or why he was injured. A policemen asked me to tell him exactly what streets I would be using to get there, and he followed me, just inches from the back bumper of the ambulance, all the way there.
I never got to deliver a baby, because I always got the mother to the hospital in time. I did bring a man “back to life” one time.
Another EMT and I were carrying a man to the hospital and were in the back of the ambulance, when he died. In seconds we were performing CPR and I shall always believe we saved his life.
As I previously wrote, the Fayetteville volunteer EMTs decreed there would always be three of us on each run. We had pulled up to an auto accident on McDonough Road one night, busy examining a driver, filling out the paperwork, and one of us was on the phone to Clayton General Hospital. All of a sudden, a man standing nearby yelled out, “Oh my God. They’re all women.” Yep, and doing a thorough job of the event.
One evening, a man and his wife were coming from a party in Peachtree City, heading north on Highway 314, just as a truck driver was backing up his semi from his home driveway, blocking the entire road. The party-goer obviously did not see it, and drove entirely underneath the semi, killing himself and badly injuring his wife. We were there in minutes, I realized the situation instantly and it was important to get the wife to the hospital ASAP. I did not want to put her dead husband in the ambulance with her, and someone certified had to stay with the body, I called Dr. Ferrell Sams, good ol’ “Sambo” to come stay with the man so the rest of us could get going, and he did so.
The next day my daughter came home from school and said some man had his head taken off in a car accident the night before. I explained the true situation to her. I was the lead EMT, what she had heard was not true, I realized the man was dead, called for the proper handling of him, and got the wife to the hospital in time to save her. Rather than believe her mother, my daughter chose to believe what she had heard at school.
Why have I gone into all this for two weeks? I want all EMTs, the next time you’re in the Justice Center, to look at the first picture box on the back left-hand side of the wall, my volunteer jacket is hanging in it, so you can’t miss it, to read all of the names of those volunteer EMT’s and silently thank them for your job.