January 27, 2014

Emergency workers don’t get snow days

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Certain cold and snowy mornings mean changes to anyone’s daily routine – an extra layer, maybe, or perhaps allowing a bit more time on the drive to work.

The same applies to Ambulance Inc., a company Laurel County depends on during emergencies. Snow days, however, require a little more tact and preparedness.

Morning workers typically show up at 7:45 a.m. Their snow duties require supplying rigs with gear to battle hypothermia – including extra sheets, blankets, and more of the everyday supplies that populate an ambulance’s medicine cabinet.

“You better show up ready to work right at 8 a.m.,” said Major Jamey Mills. “It starts that fast. We have to be more prepared.”

According to Mills, most staff eat breakfast while preparing the rigs. He also claims the early, on-the-go meal may be the only one they get to enjoy all day. Emergency personnel work what is referred to as 24/48, meaning they’ll work 24 straight hours before taking off for two days.

“It’s hard at first, but you get used to it,” said Will Bishop, an EMT at Ambulance Inc.

The 10 workers that cover each shift are instructed to wear extra layers – like any other civilian – but the constant in-and-outs makes the simple suggestion a required practice.

Of course, predicting when anyone will need an ambulance – on any given day, not just the snowy ones – is a lot easier said than done.

“There really isn’t a quiet period,” Mills said. “We’re very superstitious about using that word around here. Mornings tend to be a little more calm.”

Luckily, modern conveniences aid in keeping Ambulance Inc. on its toes and ready to help. The company always has 10 available vehicles, out of the 12 total it houses. Two-person crews man at least five on every shift.

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