EMS Week; thank emergency responders - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

EMS Week; thank emergency responders

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - EMS workers save thousands of lives each year. This week everyone is encouraged to thank a paramedic because it's National Emergency Medical Services Week.

Sirens mean business for paramedics in Dougherty County. They respond to roughly 19,000 calls a year.

Shift Supervisor Steve Ebel says 70 percent are emergencies. Out of that, about 15 percent are life threatening. He's been in the business for 23 years and something keeps him coming back for more.

"Just knowing that we get to help folks and seeing the gratitude on their faces when we do help them is helpful," said Ebel.

Dougherty County EMS has roughly 90 employees. The folks at headquarters work 24 hour shifts with 72 hour breaks in between.

Most of them including Assistant Supervisor Kenny Nolf have second jobs. He says his job is more than just responding to calls.

"Sometimes it's personal and we say hey look we're going to take care of you," said Nolf. "Just calm down and everything is going to be okay and they realize everything is good."

To get to those patients, responders must know all 2,400 streets in Dougherty County. They can help people even faster with newer technology like power stretchers and portable heart monitors.

Paramedics can hook up a heart attack patient and fax the information straight to the hospital.

Though life threatening calls come in often, Nolf says people would be surprised what kind of calls they receive. Stumped toes, tooth aches, stomach aches, and anxiety attacks are just a few.

"What's my emergency is not your emergency," said Nolf.

They're here to help everyone and that's why they deserve a thank you this week. National Emergency Medical Services Week will last through Saturday May 22nd.

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