Working holiday: Paris EMS is on call today as always

On Thanksgiving, offices, shops and factories may be closed, but most city and state employees are still on the job, ready to respond if problems arise.

“Crime does not take a day off, fire does not take a day off, and illness and injury do not take a day off,” said Paris Emergency Medical Services Paramedic Jason Dyess, a first 19-year-old soldier. “There has to be someone to deal with it, to respond to a request for assistance.”

During each holiday celebration, first responders / paramedics are on the clock, ready to roll over to a medical emergency or emergency room. They work to make others feel comfortable with all the activities that take place on vacation, travel, food, and time to spend with friends and relatives. In Paris and Lamar County, they have been doing this since 1979.

Currently, Paris EMS has three staff members of eight trained and licensed communicators who work 24 hours a day and 48 hours a year, seven days a week, including major holidays.

“I have been with Paris EMS for two years,” said Paramedic Melissa Walker. “It’s my first Thanksgiving, and I’m going to work again for Christmas this year. This year, part of our family had dinner last night, and the other half will have lunch on the weekend. My kids are 6 and 4 years old, and They do not really know about the holidays, but they will come to see me today whenever they can. ”

Says Dyess: “I’ve been doing many holidays for years. “Most of the time I’ve been away. You and your family quickly learn to relax on vacation. My children are older, they are younger, so they grew up with them.”

As work progressed, Dyess said today “it will be a normal transition.” Work begins every day at 7 o’clock in the morning, and each change ends at 7 o’clock the next day. Among the calls are household chores, such as cleaning and maintaining the equipment they use for their work. The only difference between the holidays is the holiday meal that they will share with staff from other stations.

“The project will provide meat for food,” said Russell Thrasher, Paris EMS chief and long-time hospital owner in Paris. “We can eat anytime between 10am and 6pm on vacation, depending on how busy we are, and what machines are running. We are all accustomed to roasting food in the microwave.”

Each worker will bring side dishes and spices, cooked by relatives and picked up on the same day. Some of the food can be prepared at a designated location, located on Pine Mill Road, but Walker and Dyess said each medical patient is prepared to be distracted while cooking food.

“One person can start cooking, but another may need to finish,” Walker said. “One in eight people will not eat food in the morning. This happens more often than not.”

The Paris EMS will host three Thanksgiving meals, one today, one Friday and one Saturday, so any change can take a turn for the holiday pay at the station.

“Vacations are very busy, often,” Thrasher said. “Walking can mean car accidents, cooking large meals means overheating, spilled hot drinks or fuel. Often a family may not see each other for a whole year, and they worry when their relative is not doing well and call us to the hospital. It just depends.”

Dyess said the medical problem on vacation when the whole family is close could be very stressful for everyone, including surgeons.

“So are those who do not have families,” added Walker.

“The bad thing about the project is that you see the worst,” Dyess said. “But, it gives you the opportunity to help people, to be able to connect with those who have resources to help those who are most in need.”

Nowadays, in the midst of phone calls, health care providers also spend as much time as they do with their families and friends.

“We don’t care if relatives and friends come to eat and visit,” Thrasher said. “If we have a lot of leftovers, we usually take dishes from the senders. They don’t have a kitchen like the stations do.

All caregivers agree that working on vacation when they want to stay home with family is an important part of the job, and they all work together to take care of each other.

“When the children were younger, people would work with me to get me on vacation,” says Dyess. “As they get older, I work with other people to help them and allow them to live with their families. Everyone in the group, we are flexible. ”

“It is the city’s responsibility to provide police with fire protection and EMS is part of the care,” Thrasher said. “It is our responsibility to respond and provide that care whenever we need it. We are the first people to see treatment if someone is sick or injured. We are there to help and support them even before we take them to the hospital. Even on vacation. ”

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