Official Start Date for Nelson EMTs

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

July 24, 2006

Answering emergency calls for help in Nelson County just got a lot easier. For the first time ever, the county welcomes paid EMTs.

Jeanne Parrish is the only new medic that is from Nelson County. She has been flying in a critical care helicopter in Orlando, Florida for several years, but when she heard about the new opportunity to come back home to do the job she loves and get paid for it, she jumped aboard.

"When this came up it was perfect," said Parrish.

Parrish and the other five paid EMTs are assisting the volunteer crew, who have had a hard time getting to all the calls because they have other full-time jobs.

"We are here not to take over, but to support the volunteers, to help them, so that they are not caught between family obligations and wanting to be there to respond to a 911 call," said Parrish.

The paid EMTs are not only going to help the volunteers, they are going to make Nelson County residents more at ease knowing there is someone to answer their call for help at all times.

"It's really going to cut down on response times and how long people are going to have to wait to get the care that they need," said Jennifer McNeal, a paid EMT in Nelson County.

Helping someone in need is what Parrish said keeps her going. Weeks of training and preparation will soon pay off.

"There is no feeling on earth like knowing you just saved a life. There is nothing like helping that child breathe when they are having an asthma attack, bringing a person back when they have had a cardiac arrest," said Parrish.

Now that their first day is over, their next assignment is to recruit more volunteers from Nelson County to help answer the growing number of emergency calls.

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