Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Journey To Become An EMT

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:)


  1. What a wonderful contribution you have made! My sis in England gets called out as a First Responder to help with minor accidents and so... Her husband is a volunteer fireman.

  2. Thanks for your comments!
    Lattice, No I do not teach CPR anymore.
    LadyFi, Your sis is special! Volunteers are so important, First Responders, Fireman..everyone in the volunteer system gives so much! :)

  3. What a neat life you have had. I am sorry about your accident. I also love your humor. You are a great addition to my life.


  4. Our friend up in Williams Lake, [middle of nowwhere] is a volunteer first responder. To contribute so much of your life to serve others in need is a wonderful thing. They always seem to get called out in the middle of a snowstorm, but he loves doing it.

    Your contribution was wonderful, it must have been a very rewarding but challenging position.

  5. Ihad a terrible car accident in 1977 and the EMS team showed up and one of my friends was on the team. To make a long story short, he realized that it was too hard to deal with when you knew the person so he moved on to something else. It would seem your leg injury made me a tougher person rather than a weaker one!

  6. Good lord, I can not type this morning! I meant that it made you a stronger person. Where is my head???

  7. you have amazing strength and courage... a true inspiration

  8. Hi. So you live in Moorehead? I live in Storden (close to Walnut Grove / Windom / Jeffers). My youngest daughter's in-laws live in Fargo; my youngest sister was born in Moorehead (56 years ago).

    My middle sister was an EMT. And a very good one. She told me the story of trying to revive a woman who was dead from a heart attack. She taught me first responder skills but I fortunately never had to use them.

    She was - you ARE - very strong to be able to do such an important task in life.



Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie