For Sally Triplett, EMS duties don't seem like hard work


For most, the sound of a siren is an irritating, sometimes stress-inducing racket and an inconvenience on the streets or highways.
But for the person experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing, broken bones or a bleeding artery, that noise followed by flashing lights is a welcome sound and sight, meaning help is near.
Sally Triplett is often the help that is coming. She works for Mercy EMS and has spent 28 years as a paramedic and knows the rigors of the job and that they can be taxing for a new hire.
“If you love it, it doesn’t seem like hard work. It’s definitely a sink or swim job,” Triplett said.
Luckily for Triplett and the unknown number of patients she has taken to hospitals near and far, she loves her job.
And it is a job that keeps her hopping.
She has seen a huge increase in the number of ambulance calls over the years. In the days when Mercy Hospital was still Breech Medical Center, just one ambulance was staffed full-time with two people on call if the ambulance left the city limits.
“Now we have sometimes five trucks, and we can’t keep up. And we’re still calling in other counties for help. It’s changed that much,” Triplett said.
A lot of their calls are transfers taking patients who need a specialist to a hospital usually in Springfield but to other cities as well.
Staying physically strong is an important part of Triplett’s job. She said each cot weighs 117 pounds empty. If she and her partner for that shift loads a patient pushing 300 pounds, they have an over 400 pound load to lift up until the wheels have room to extend.

For more on this story, see Saturday's print or e-Edition of the LCR.


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