The Superior Express -

Lawrence EMT Squad has busy six months


Rural Nebraska is populated by small towns and farms. Medical service is not always just a couple of miles away.

However, rural Nebraska is also blessed by residents who know the meaning of the word “volunteer.”

A good number of these volunteers are also known as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). The amount of time these EMT’s volunteer each year depends greatly on just where they are located. The Lawrence EMT’s are probably not as busy as maybe an area that has a major highway in its boundaries.

However, the Lawrence EMT’s are a busy bunch. An “average” year may see anywhere from ten to 25 “runs” to area hospitals. (For 2019 there were 25 calls and for 2018, there were ten calls.) These runs may come any time of the day, or night and may take up from several to three or four hours of time depending on the situation. Add to that time for clean-up, paper-work and training and you have people who make volunteerism a way of life . . . almost.

2020 . . . The year will be remembered for many things, the pandemic of the corona-virus being the major item. However, the Lawrence EMT’s may also have reasons to remember it as a year that may exceed all others for the number of calls they responded to. For six months (well almost seven already) the crew has responded to 24 ambulance calls for help. (More than five months left in the year.)

The numbers can vary each year for a wide variety of reason, but the year 2020 will most likely be remembered as the year of Mutual Aid . . .

What is meant by Mutual Aid is that when one fire district has a need for help, a neighboring district will respond to help. It happens most often with the firefighting operations, but it extends to the “rescue” services as well.

The increase so far this year has come about primarily because the town of Blue Hill has often needed help to transport patients to the hospital in Hastings. It seems Blue Hill has few trained EMT’s and so often they are at work outside of the village. As such the dispatch center looks at surrounding services that can assist.

It seems over a third of the Lawrence calls for assistance in 2020 have come as a result of mutual aid calls from Blue Hill.

Lawrence EMT Captain Mitch Kathman noted a request has been made to the 911 dispatcher that an effort be made to share the mutual aid calls with other districts as the Lawrence district was concerned about its volunteers may be experiencing “burn-out” because of the extra time required.

Mr. Kathman expressed his appreciation for the support the Lawrence Fire and Rescue Service receives from the community, but was concerned about the extra time seemly required this year.

The Lawrence EMT squad has 11 members: Mitch Kathman, EMT Captain; Carolyn Kohmetscher, Samantha Nejezchleb, Blythe Herbek, David Theer, Peg Faimon, Adam Theer, Emily Kohmetscher, Sheryl Buescher, Brandi Smith and Amy Brockman.


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