National EMS Week celebrated in Edmonson County
BROWNSVILLE, Ky.-It’s a new challenge every day for Emergency Medical Service workers. In Edmonson County, the 20-person EMS team takes on the added challenge of servicing Mammoth Cave National Park.
This week, during National EMS week, the lifesaving work that EMS workers perform is being celebrated. In Edmonson County that work has unique difficulties.
Edmonson County does not have a local hospital which means that emergency transport times can often take hours, where in other counties it might take only minutes.
“Transport times are generally longer, which results in our crews being tied up a lot longer. A run that would take Bowling Green EMS 15 to 20 minutes to turn around, may take us two hours,” said Keith Sanders, director at Edmonson County Ambulance Service.
Only 10 of the 20 EMS workers are full-time employees. They serve a population of a little over 12,000 people, plus any visitors to the area.
“If it gets busy, everybody drops what they’re doing and takes care of the emergency till it’s over. Holidays are usually feast or famine. You’re either busy or you’re dead. Very few times are holidays just normal pace,” said Sanders.
Edmonson County EMS services Mammoth Cave National Park, Nolin River Lake and Blue Holler Off Road Park, which can sometimes mean driving 25 miles to help someone in an emergency.
“Getting into the caves it gets into having to get people out of the caves. It’s not always easy getting in and out. Either having to carry them out or help them out. Tight quarters make it very difficult,” said Kyle Allen, paramedic at Edmonson County Ambulance Service.
Many EMS workers also volunteer at the local fire departments. All fire departments in the county are staffed by volunteers.
“Daytimes people are working so it’s hard. Typically, we wind up doing a lot of the rescue as well. If it’s carry outs in the park, or if it’s boating accidents. Whatever we have to do to get the patients taken care of,” said Sanders.
Tomorrow evening, Edmonson County EMS and Air Methods are getting together for a special cookout to celebrate their work.