E.M.S. honors paramedics - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

E.M.S. honors paramedics

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May 21, 2004

Albany -- Paramedics and emergency medical technicians have a stressful job that many people couldn't handle. But if help is needed, you rely on trained experts to respond when you call 9-1-1.

 During National E.M.S. week, these men and women are honored for their life-saving work.

A head-on collision traps a young woman in her car, with critical injuries. While firefighters cut the car apart to try and free her, Dougherty County paramedics crawl into the wreckage to treat her. The victim is hooked up to I.V.'s while still trapped in twisted metal and glass. Paramedic Steve Ebel said, "It's knowing that you have helped somebody, that gives you personal satisfaction."

Paramedic Tammy Atkinson said, "You can experience everything from birth to death all in one day."

18 employees of the Dougherty County Emergency Medical Services recently received the Lifesaver Award from Georgia's Department of Human Resources. They were honored for saving a life.

Dougherty E.M.S. Director Bobby Tripp said, "It's just very rewarding knowing your skill and your ability makes a difference in whether someone lives or dies. Every call you go on, you are able to make a difference."

Paramedics have to daily face death and tragedy and be ready to help. Ebel said, "You see a lot of blood and sad moments in folk's lives that you have to help them through also." Atkinson said, "Sometimes it's just some people's time to go, and you understand that. You can deal with that a little bit better than you can deal younger people who die from traumatic injuries or from children."

Paramedics say they rarely get thanks for their work, even when they save a life. That's why National E.M.S. Week is observed.

posted at 4:41 PM by jimw@walb.com