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Small Town Hero

April 9, 2011

Resting Between Fire Training Evolutions

His name is Michael Lee and her name is Angela Lee. Both husband and wife are Stafford County firefighters. And, Angela adds another role to her civic role list – EMT Emergency Medical Technician. It was this second role that took special meaning on April 2, 2011.

On this particular day Michael and Angela were clearing some trees from their property in Macksville. As the day progressed, it didn’t appear that it would be a day different than any other. But, that all changed.

Michael was cutting a tree that wasn’t of great size, but one that had a unique trunk and root system. That oddity was what caused the chain saw to make a sudden bounce out and away from the tree. Before Michael could blink an eye, the saw found a new resting point – Michael’s lower right leg.

It’s common for an EMT to treat a patient with a traumatic injury. What isn’t common is when the EMT knows the patient. And, what’s even more uncommon – when the patient is your spouse. Then, if you could possibly take it one rung higher on the ladder of stress, you the EMT are a part of the ambulance transport crew. That was the situation.

Angela quickly went to work as a medic – one who was treating a patient, not one overwhelmed with an injury to her spouse. The serious wound was dressed and bandaged expertly. And, the patient was prepared for transport.

Firefighters are a tough group. But, not all firefighters possess the mental toughness to suffer a traumatic injury to their body – and stay calm. Michael Lee does. This calmness certainly made things better for Angela and the other medics who cared for him.

Emergency providers in small communities face many challenges that those in a larger community rarely face. It’s these differences that make the small community providers stand out as true heroes. I’m sure that’s the way Michael sees it too.

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