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2011-11-24 digital edition

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2011-11-24 / Front Page

Lexington EMS Needs Your Help

Do you remember what it was like before we had Lexington EMS?

Linda Patschke, President of the Lexington EMS and a 30+ year veteran of the service said, “We are facing a crisis if we don’t get some help soon. We need five or six more certified EMTs immediately or we may have to close the Lexington EMS.”

She continued, “We have ten to fifteen people ready to train for their certification, but that process takes three months. In order to have the time to train these people, we need several certified EMTs to help fill the gap for the next three or four months, while these people earn their certification.”

The Lexington EMS currently has seven active volunteers and two paid part-time employees. The problem isn’t with any of their dedication, it’s that all but two of the volunteers have full time jobs during the day and can’t volunteer any more than they already do.

Each call requires that two certified EMTs be on the ambulance for each run. The suggested guidelines are that EMTs be on call for 24 hours and off for 48. This means that each team would only work 2 to 3 shifts a week. Patschke says Lexington EMS simply does not have enough people to cover all the bases. More volunteers are needed to fill the gap.

There are at least eight people in our immediate area who are already certified as EMTs and not working with Lexington EMS. The hope is for some of them to come to the aid of Lexington EMS so that they can fill the gap for the next few months, allowing the new trainees to become certified.

Patschke said, “ We are so grateful for volunteers. We owe a great deal of gratitude to everyone who has volunteered at the EMS throughout the past 30 years. Today, our active volunteers are Randy Brown, Mary Retzloff, Joby Reynolds, Tonya Rhodes, Darrell Shed, and Michael Milburn. Our two part- time employees are Lane Dussetschleger and Guy Hall. We appreciate them all.”

Many people do remember what it was like before the Lexington EMS. Several lifelong residents of the area have told us, “It was frightening when we didn’t have an EMS. While other services tried their hardest to respond quickly, it still took at least 30 minutes and many times up to an hour before a trained EMT could be on the scene of an accident or at the home of an ailing person.”

To volunteer, call Linda Patschke at 979-540-8263 or 979- 773-4018.

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