JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Many Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics have crossed state lines to serve the urgent needs of communities during the coronavirus outbreak.
One local EMT with American Medical Response traveled to the New York metropolitan area to help other medical workers treat patients.
Tim Shanks is no stranger to challenges, he is a former Clinton firefighter. Now, he works as a part-time EMT with American Medical Response in Mississippi.
Recently, he and several other medical workers volunteered to help with the coronavirus response up north for two weeks as part of the AMR/FEMA Disaster Response Team.
“I got stationed in New Jersey and we positioned all over the state depending on what the demand was. They mentioned to us was that 13 EMT’s had died of Covid. That is pretty profound.”
Shanks stayed busy working 12-hour shifts, and the demand was high with 911 calls flooding in from people in this hard hit areas.
“At one point, their system was in demand, they were having 911 calls the whole 24 hours. About the only thing that was surprising is the number people who were refusing to go to the hospital, they are scared up there and for good reason because it is such a densely-populated area and so many sick, dying people.”
During his deployment, the more than 20 year EMT recalls transporting Covid-19 patients, but he wasn’t afraid.
Instead, he focused on staying safe, wearing his protective gear at all times and helping those who needed it the most.
“I transported several ladies that reminded me of my sisters or mom. We transported best friends, that can be me and anybody. Working in field is a calling. It is not a job for everybody. A lot of people come and go, but it is rewarding job."
Now back home, Shanks is thankful he got to opportunity to assist the emergency crews in New Jersey during this pandemic. He says he would do it all over again.
“Mississippi has received a whole lot, it’s time that Mississippi takes advantage of and give back, this was a different kind of monster out there, it wasn’t a hurricane it wasn’t a tornado... but it was something that people were in need, so it was Mississippi’s chance to step up and assist some of our brothers up north."