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Volunteering as an EMT Everywhere I've Lived

by Jeff K.

I’m a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee. I grew up in small towns in Iowa and have lived in a series of small towns in Nevada and Colorado with my various USDA duty stations. I’ve been volunteering my whole life- scouting, my church, Lions Club and many other small local organizations.

I’ve done everything from coordinating search and rescue activities to cleaning up and neighborhood trash. After a transfer to Hugo, Colorado, my latest unique volunteer opportunity began.

The volunteer fire department was recruiting new members. I didn’t want to be a firefighter, but I told them if they held classes to become an emergency medical technician, I’d volunteer. The rest is history.

I went through a summer and fall of classes along with all the exams. I am now a nationally registered EMT Basic. My current volunteer position is with the Eyota, Minnesota Volunteer Ambulance Service.

I volunteer approximately 60 hours each month, usually covering a weekend overnight shift. It wasn’t easy locating a place to volunteer. My current USDA duty station is Rochester, Minnesota, a small city with a paid ambulance service. Because of this fact, I visited several of the small surrounding communities and found an ambulance service with great people just fifteen minutes from home.

The work is rewarding in just knowing that you are making a positive difference at a time when someone is having a very bad day. It’s even better when you hear from a patient or his family thanking you for the care you provided.

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