Long-time Hardwick Rescue member Patty Meyer was awarded the State of Vermont’s EMS Lifetime Award this week! Please read below for an interview with Patty
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a brief interview I had the opportunity to conduct with Patty Meyer, one of our members. It doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of her involvement with the rescue squad, and I believe the rest of our membership would agree. Patty has been our scheduler for many years, and has filled remaining empty slots on our schedule with her time to keep us in full service. She has been a motivational person to all of us, and we’re proud to have her as a representative of our squad. –Tyler Molleur
Patty Meyer has been a member of Hardwick Rescue since the early 1970s. An interest in medicine and the desire to take an advanced first aid course were the foundation for what has been, up to this point, a 42-year experience in prehospital emergency care. When she started on the squad, the advanced first aid certification was the standard for members of the squad, with two members of the Urie family finishing one of the earliest EMT courses the same year Meyer joined.
Meyer herself completed the EMT certification and later went on to become an EMT-Intermediate (similar to the current-day Advanced EMT). Another responsibility which she has assumed is the role of scheduling, working to have a complete ambulance crew available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“It takes a good week,” she said of getting a monthly schedule arranged. “People are really good about taking time.”
Still, Meyer says additional members would be beneficial to add to the resource pool.
“We’ve always needed more people,” she said. “It would always be helpful to have more people to cover times.”
Part of the reason the rescue squad has coverage during the daytime is because of businesses which allow employees to leave during the day to take emergency calls. Meyer says the squad is very fortunate to have this support from local businesses. Within the squad, there is also an understanding of the occasional need for substitutes for scheduled crew members. Throughout her membership history, Meyer has worked on her family’s dairy farm, and as is the nature of a “home business”, there have been instances which have allowed her to be available to take calls, and times where she has needed to ask for other members to help her out while she tended to aspects of caring for the business.
“When I’ve had to be on the farm, people have been able to cover for me,” she said. Finding substitutes is a give-and-take process throughout the squad, as important events crop up in the lives of our members.
The relationships Meyer has built with other squad members goes beyond that of a business colleague. She said squad members assist not only with emergency calls, but step up when needed to help each other out in non-rescue squad functions.