Thank you, EMTs | Letters

I am writing this on the ferry as I take my wife, Lenore, to the hospital. She’s bundled up in the back seat with a broken ankle.

From the 911 call, to the ride they gave my son so he could come watch our dogs, we find ourselves gratefully astonished by the service we received. Patrick Shepler and his EMT crew arrived swiftly, splinted and stabilized Lenore, and arranged the ferry trip.

The 911 guy was like a magic genie. You hear stories about 911 calls gone bad; it’s nice to know we have top-drawer people answering those phones.

A few minutes later – on an island off the coast of America, mind you – the angels swooped in.

The first thing I noticed was Patrick’s broad smile. I mean, I noticed myself thinking “why is he smiling? and then thinking “I am glad that he’s smiling.” Then he gestures over to where a very focused and wise looking woman (I think her name was Roz) was gently working on my stricken wife, and he tells me not to worry because she is actually a world-class orthopedic surgeon. There was another man there (all business, mission-oriented, like an army medic) and another woman showed up and immediately dived in to make a team of four. They figured out how to get the patient out of the backyard and on our way to Anacortes. I wish I had written down all their names.

I have a background in leading people and teaching leadership skills. But there’s nothing I can teach them about that. They knew exactly what to do and did it as a team.

I have never been so happy to pay my taxes to support Orcas Island Fire & Rescue.

James Bach

Orcas Island