Linda Horton holds an important role in our community. A small town with a population under 1,200, Rangeley, Maine offers many facilities, but a hospital is not one of them. This, and a 45-mile drive to the nearest hospital, increases the need for emergency medical care. Linda is an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), not to mention the other positions she holds in Rangeley: animal control officer, police matron, and an EMT executive committee chair. When asked which she felt was the most important, she immediately replied, "EMT, definitely." Like many working adults, Linda is also a parent of two teenage children. She thinks her work affects them in a positive way, teaching independence and the importance of volunteering.
She has held this position for five years, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. It is an occupation of dedication and commitment. Linda is a wonderful person for this line of work. Strong-willed, determined, kind, and caring are the ways Linda comes across. It takes a lot of devotion, but the victory of saving a patient's life makes it worthwhile. Linda describes saving a life as "the most incredible high a person could ever experience." She is continuing her medical education by attending classes to become a paramedic, which will help her provide more advanced patient care.
Linda feels that it is important to stay in contact with previous patients, and she almost always keeps in touch with those transported to the hospital in Farmington. The distance to the hospital does not discourage Linda or other ambulance members. They see the long ride as a chance to see life-threatening procedures work. In most cases, when they get the patient "on the board" (the procedure to load a patient into the ambulance), they are able to stabilize him/her.
We see that one can overcome difficult situations as a volunteer and make the best of the worst. After all, if Linda and her crew members can hold onto the lives of most patients for the hour's ride shows that we can do many things with confidence, training, and hope. fl
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.