EMT team stops to render assistance. Photo by Vivian Shipe

By Vivian Shipe

You are used to seeing them racing by, on their way to an emergency or flying to the hospital to deliver a patient in distress. Now, look closer, due to Covid-19,  the roads are mostly empty right now so its easy to see when they pull over on the road in a slow deliberate move.

You see them climb out of the ambulance, they have on their mask and their gloves; however, they are not moving to distance themselves away from the person they are approaching. They move closer, well past the six foot distance requirement, right into the personal space of the individual they are coming to help.

It does not matter the gender or race of the person who may be lying  crumbled on the ground or sitting and staring helplessly out into the landscape. the EMT person bends and speaks compassionately to them, actually touching them on the shoulder as others look on from a safe distance. 

Over and over, day in and day out, morning, and evening this scenario is played out; not only in Knoxville by emergency and rescue staff, but all over the country. Their resources are stretched, their personnel tired, the danger to themselves is real;  yet still they remain patient focused, true care givers in an unprecedented time in the history of the world.

As they stop to selflessly render assistance, we stop to acknowledge and say thank you for their selfless acts.