From large cities to rural towns, the stretch of EMS knows no bounds. Recent Savvik 5.11 winner Angela Jones provides insight on what it is like to work in the public safety sector in the rural town of Bethany, Missouri, with the combining forces of emergency medical services (EMS) and rescue. Jones works at NTA EMS Rescue as a lieutenant/emergency medical technician (EMT) and a supply officer for her crew in the area. She worked as a firefighter previously for 17 years and continues to climb the ranks with receiving certifications as an EMT and first responder before venturing into new realms of public safety. Now, she has been with NTA for 16 years and counting.
NTA was founded as The Rev. Noel T. Adams Memorial Ambulance District, but the services’ long name has been abbreviated to NTA to keep it short. For NTA, the district consists of nine townships in the southeastern part of Harrison County, MO, and the three northwestern townships in Daviess County, MO. For rural areas, the vast scope of coverage is not uncommon, and NTA has been taking ambulance calls for service since May 1975.
Jones says, “We run anywhere from 1,300 calls a year in our world of EMS. What makes our service unique is that we have our own extrication, own dive team, as well as search and rescue and drone technology to name a few. We provide high and low rope rescue, water rescue and have specialties in helping others in trenches and confined spaces. We do it all.”
The need for rescue dated back to 1975 in NTA’s first call to a vehicle crash. At the time, none of the local fire departments had any extrication equipment, but NTA was quick to find a solution. Using its crew and a tow truck driver, they were able to extricate and transport the patient to safety. Shortly after, NTA purchased some of its own extrication tools, and the start of NTA Rescue was born in addition to its EMS services.
Today, NTA crew members strive to train extensively to be able to meet the need of any rescue situation. Also, NTA dedicates its funds each year to purchase and maintain quality rescue equipment and to further training in the advances of technology.
As a tip to keeping up in the field, Jones says, “There is a lot of responsibility in rural towns and education should always be the forefront in keeping up with new advances in our industry. Rural or not, the EMS and rescue environments are always changing, and anything can be thrown your way. You should always prepare yourself to be ready. Also, do not be afraid to advance your career, but always be sure to take care of yourself when you are young. It will have a lasting effect.”
In the industry, most public safety professionals work long hours that can be an entire day at a time, quite literally. At NTA, employees can choose to work either two (2) 24 -hour shifts a week, 6 a.m.-6 a.m. or (3-4) 12 hour shifts a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Off duty employees help to cover calls between 9 p.m. – 9 a.m. if the primary crew is already on calls. The area is limited on first responders, but the dedication and diverse specialties never hinder the team from getting the job done right. Their extensive specialties, unique capabilities, and unified team effort help them strive for success in saving lives.