Collin Anderson
Volunteer EMTs of the Lincoln County Ambulance Service were honored at a banquet on May 21 at the Neldon C. Mathews Center in Panaca.

On Monday, May 21, Lincoln County took the opportunity to thank its emergency responders with a dinner and a recognition ceremony put on by the Ambulance Association.

A few familiar faces were in attendance like Sheriff Kerry Lee and commissioner Paul Donohue, as well as a handful of decorated EMTs.

The night started off with a dinner for past and present EMTs. Following the dinner, the EMTs were invited to a recognition ceremony at the Neldon C. Mathews auditorium, where representatives of the ambulance service, along with members of the community, thanked them for their help.

These proceedings began with a short speech from Donohue, who expressed his admiration for all the members of the community that volunteered time, strength, and in some cases, safety towards helping their fellow man.

“It’s humbling for those of us on the county commission,” he stated.

Donohue went on to tell a few stories about witnessing EMTs rescuing those in need, including his own sister. He described the explosion that rocked Panaca nearly two years ago, and remembered saying to an associate that no matter how loud he yelled to try and replicate the sound, he couldn’t do that terrifying noise justice. He then recalled how quickly the emergency responders reacted, and he was overcome with gratitude.

“I could yell thank you at the top of my lungs … and it would not be enough,” he said to close his emotional statement.

Following the commissioner’s speech, awards were given to all the EMTs present based off of time served and different events meriting recognition. These awards came in the form of ribbons adorned with pins representing key events in the careers of the specific EMTs; one example of this was the pin depicting a stork with a pink bundle carried in its beak that was attached to Stephanie Thornock’s ribbon, which served as a reminder of the infant she successfully delivered in an emergency situation eighteen years ago. Other pins depicted successful resuscitation (CPR) attempts. There were also MVP pins to denote the EMTs that had the most calls during the last year.

The night continued with the Ambulance Association recognizing previous EMTs that had served in the county, some of whom were in attendance. Their experience ranged from one decade to three, and Thornock, who was in charge of the recognition ceremony, said that they wished some of them would return to the service, if only to help guide those with less experience. Finally, the night ended with a raffle for a handful of first aid kits. Winners included Lee and Vern Shumway.