From the years 2001-2009, I was a volunteer paramedic in Ohio for the small city of Green Springs. The city had a population of approximately 1,200 people and most were farmers or factory working families. I considered my time as a volunteer to be a great outreach to the community. The community was blessed to have a group of volunteers who were always ready to help in times of panic or crisis. Also, I spent a lot of time interacting with the community by providing blood pressure checks, blood glucose level checks, and providing information and education on numerous medical conditions and treatments. I always prayed that the information we provided would allow people to evaluate different areas of their life and make improvements as a result.
The community respected and admired our work as volunteers. There were many times families would send our station thank you letters for the care we provided to a friend or loved one. Also, the community was very gracious to us when we lost a fellow volunteer to cancer. I also remember community members providing hot chocolate and soup for our EMS and fire personnel that were working a major structure fire on a very cold winter night. These were signs to me that my outreach as a volunteer paramedic was making an impact in the lives of our community.
Despite providing a great outreach and service to the community, our volunteer group struggled with providing adequate coverage during the weekdays and some weekends. It was not uncommon for our EMS unit to be out of service one or two days a week due to inadequate coverage. I was also guilty of not committing the time that was needed by all of us to keep the community covered. When our station was out of service, the community was forced to wait for another ambulance to come from a neighboring county or community. When this happened, the response time for help increased by an average of fifteen minutes. The community did look down on us as a group when were unable to respond. As a group, we all could have improved the response time by being more committed to the service and develop a plan to recruit more volunteers.
I enjoyed helping people in need and educating the community on health related matters. It was very rewarding to take care of someone and to play a small yet vital role in their life. It was also a blessing to see improvements that were made in the lives of people we cared for on more than one occasion. The most memorable and meaningful moment in my volunteer experience was when I was able to help deliver a healthy baby boy on a patient’s living room floor and transport them to the hospital. This experience strengthened my belief in Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
The most difficult part of my experience was working with individuals who had no desire to change their life for the better and continued to harm their body with drugs or alcohol. I had a desire to see improvement in people after I cared for them but many times this was not the case. It was also difficult to care for ill or