Every month, KX News recognizes a local first responding agency for their hard work, and we reward it with some much-deserved food.
Today, some of our team members trekked out to Linton to visit with their ambulance service. With plenty of sandwiches, we chatted about what the EMT’s and Sheriff’s Department do for the community every day, and what they give up to do it. It’s a necessary part of the more than 15-hundred square miles of Emmons county.
For the more rural counties in North Dakota, they know all too well how to do more with less.
And that includes our first responders.
Spending the day with Emmons County EMT’s and paramedics, it’s clear this job requires a lot of heart. And even when they get calls at any hour, it’s a job they say they love.
Lenae Schneider: “Well, my husband doesn’t appreciate me being on call all the time because we also farm. That’s a field-hand he doesn’t have because I’m on call.”
Nolan Anderson; Squad leader for Emmons County Advance Life Support: “I work 3 out of 4 weekends a month and I’m on call probably 2-3 nights a week.”
Sacrifices they say are worth all of the trouble. Emmons County only has 17 EMT’s. 13 of which are volunteers.
Lenae Schneider is a volunteer paramedic, and works to balance her full time job, and personal life.
Lenae Schneider: Typically 8 to 12 shifts a month. The shift is a 12 hour period. And I work full time as a nurse also.”
The advance life support squad leader says they’ve learned to do the best with what they have, even if it isn’t always enough to staff both rigs.
Nolan Anderson; Squad leader for Emmons County Advance Life Support: “Sometimes it’s just not enough. We have to have one ambulance fully staffed. And we do, 24/7.”
Anderson is one of the 4 full time staffers… and says with many volunteers having separate full time jobs, those extra hours fall on him.
Nolan Anderson; Squad leader for Emmons County Advance Life Support: “You learn to work around their schedules. If something comes up, as a full-time staff, I’ll just pick up their shift for them.”
But for all 17 that respond to the more than 15-hundred square miles of Emmons County, it’s something they’re happy to do.
Lenae Schneider: “If you’re in the back of the ambulance and you’re on the cot, that’s probably the worst day of your life. For me to be able to make it better for you, and let you know that you’re probably going to be ok, it makes it worth it to me.”
The squad leader said, similar to many EMS providers across the state, they’re always in need of more volunteers.