More EMT memories


We were quite proud in the late 1970s when the county was able to purchase a rescue truck. It was filled with equipment that was more than we could carry on an ambulance.

All of us volunteer EMT’s would have to drive from our home to whatever warehouse or garage was letting us park the ambulance there at the time. If the emergency site was closer to you, you drove your car straight to the emergency site.

Such was the call one evening and I was closer to the emergency site and headed there from my house and got maybe a half mile from my home when my car decided to stop and not start again. I knew from the big hand-held radios we had back then, the rescue truck was coming my way so I just waved it down, left my keys in the car, relayed all this to where ever dispatch was at that time, got on board the new rescue truck and my colleagues never let me forget that I was the first thing ever rescued by our new acquisition.

And by the way, a garage heard all this, came and got my car, took it to the garage and fixed what ever the problem was, notified dispatch they had it, and would not charge me for the service. Ah, for the good old days.

Some of us decided that a mock disaster school bus accident would be a good practice site for the volunteers. The Rev. John Weber and I were co-chair’s and put together an in-depth plan for a mock disaster.

We got an old school bus on a Saturday morning, had it turned over in a creek down off Bernhard Road, got some high schoolers to put on various kinds of makeup including, of course, imitation blood. Perfect. Oh, yes, they were also great at a lot of moaning and groaning.

The call went out and the volunteer EMT’s came running. One of those was Bo Ingram who had a grocery store at one time that he had converted to a wedding chapel. He locked up his building and came post haste. After about 10 minutes it hit him this was a mock disaster. He was not pleased and returned to Fayetteville, also in post haste. Since this is a family newspaper I will not repeat what he said.

John and I were just dedicated to giving volunteers needed practice and didn’t realize it would have been nice to have informed the sheriff’s department ahead of time. We promised them they would be the first to know if there was a second time.

At this time there were approximately 18,000 folks living in Fayette County, and about 40 of us volunteered for as many as six and seven years to run around this county, day and night, buying our own uniforms and our own personal equipment, laying the groundwork for the fine city and county emergency services currently serving about 112,000 folks.

You’re welcome.