October 30, 2008

People helping people

By Danielle Abbott

Many people do not plan on getting in a car accident, and most homeowners do not foresee a house fire or taking a nasty tumble down a flight of stairs. Most parents can’t expect their child to break a bone or get a deep gash. No one can expect to wake up in the middle of the night with difficulty breathing or unstoppable pain. Though accidents and illnesses occur with little or no warning, it is comforting to know that even in a small town such as Washburn there are people you can call when life takes its toll. Just a phone call away, the Washburn Volunteer Ambulance Service can be at your side within minutes. Whether a cut or wound needs to be mended, oxygen needs to be disbursed or broken bones need to be placed, the volunteer medical technicians will be there to help. Approximately 36 volunteers make up the ambulance service. Though that sounds like a lot of volunteers, the interest in volunteerism has steadily decreased over the past several years. EMTI Mary Devlin knows that volunteerism is down nation wide, and she said that there are several factors that stop people from volunteering with the ambulance squad. One main fear is having to deal with blood. Devlin said, "I’m not saying there’s never blood, because obviously there is. But we tend to do more medical than trauma, and not all trauma is bloody." The ambulance service estimates that they go on 100 runs per year, and of those runs, only four or five will involve blood. The volunteers credit their adrenaline for helping with difficult situations. "The other thing that is beneficial," Devlin said, "Is you get that surge of adrenaline and you can tolerate a whole lot more than you think you can."

The Weather Network