My Journey began in 1977 or 1978 to become an EMT, I actually wanted to be a Doctor..but with two small children and a Military husband that was never going to happen. I enrolled in an EMT course taught at Moorhead VoTech the instructor was a Moorhead Fireman EMT Marty S. I learned more in that class from him, than almost any other time in my life. Some Moorhead Fireman were in that class, and a few young men who are now Doctors. It was a long class, two nights a week, four hours a night. We had 130 plus hours of instruction and then put our time in at the ER which was then the old St. Lukes and at FM Ambulance. It was a Nationally Accredited Class, and we had to pass both the written and the practical skills. I passed! I worked for FM as a casual, just an extra person here and there..Rodeos, Drag Races and sometimes transfers to Rochester. I also became a CPR Instructor and gave classes in the FM area.
In the summer of 1979 I was injured in a freak one in a million accident ( a blog for another day.) I had to learn how to walk all over again. I was pretty gimpy for a long time, but thankful that I did not lose my leg..however it might have been a better outcome if I had.
I could not walk fast enough to keep up with a gurney and a patient any more after that. I struggled with lifting and walking with a patient on a backboard. The Doctors said I would only walk ten years, well those Doctors are all dead now, and I am still walking 29 years later. I do not walk or stand like a normal person. Over the years I have adapted. However I am easily tracked in the snow!
When we moved to the Resort in 1986, the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department recruited Far Guy and I. Since I had been previously certified, I found myself in a special refresher program and regained my certification. I could still do patient care..I just could not RUN! I was still not able to lift a backboard and come out of a steep ditch with a patient. Well, there were lots of guys to do that for me. I just got to boss them around! At that time there was only one other woman on the department, and one other EMT. Rural areas do the best they can, with what resources are available. For a number of years out here that involved a "gimpy" EMT. We saved a few, we lost many. After a while your head gets so full of bad photographs, that you have to step back and say..it is time for someone younger to take over. The Chief knows if they have some huge disaster... a plane crash, a 100 car pile up..I will come and help. Far Guy and I could probably take the roofs off of some of those cars with a hacksaw and a bottle of water..we would just have to stop and rest more often:)