ST. GEORGE – Pay It Forward for Dixie mixed a night of high emotion, gratitude and music as members of the community honored first responders who have served the community. Words expressing the gratitude people had for EMS personnel were shared, and some of the lives saved by first responders were reunited with those who took part in saving them.
“All of our EMS personnel are heroes,” said Ed Rogers, the event’s emcee. “Words spoken could never be enough.”
Much of the evening’s focus was centered on the Randall and Miller families, the owner-operators of Dixie Ambulance, which closed its doors the morning of April 14. Rogers said the families have made a difference in a great many lives through Dixie Ambulance. He also compared everyone who had worked for the ambulance company as a family in its own right.
“They are a family of servants – a family of service,” Rogers said.
Mike Miller, one of the owners of Dixie Ambulance, said the company’s success was due to its EMTs and paramedics, not the owners. The employees deserve all the credit, he said.
“Thank you for honoring our people tonight,” Miller said.
Tony Randall, also an owner and EMT with 20 years experience, said, “We gave the best patient care anywhere,” because of the people they staffed.
Stories were told throughout the night of people in need of emergency care and the medical professionals involved. The first was of Larry Anderson, a man Rogers referred to as the “Foremaster Miracle.”
Dr. Gordon Larson, an emergency room physician involved in the incident, relayed the story of a man who had been found by another doctor, collapsed and unconscious by his bike along Foremaster Drive. The ambulance was dispatched and Larson prepared this team to receive the patient. The man had gone into cardiac arrest and had no heartbeat.
Out of every 100 cardiac arrest patients that go to the hospital, Larson said, only one will walk out – that one was Larry Anderson.
Larry Anderson, Larson, and others who participated in the “Foremaster Miracle” were reunited that night on the stage.
Another reunion occurred after Stephanie Anderson, of Draper, took the stage. She recounted events surrounding an accident her son, Ryan Anderson, was in a year prior. Members of the Anderson family were visiting St. George when Ryan Anderson suffered severe head trauma at the St. George skate park. She said several miracles occurred in connection with her son’s accident, including his eventual full recovery.
Stephanie Anderson also thanked the ambulance personnel who had originally responded to her son’s accident; “It’s because of you that he’s still with us,” she said.
Having recovered from the incident, Ryan Anderson will soon be leaving on a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Orlando, Fla.
Though not all of the original responders were able to attend the event, those that were involved in Ryan Anderson’s case were recognized and thanked by the family personally.
While the service rendered by Dixie Ambulance was a main focus of the evening, EMS personnel from Enterprise and Hurricane were also honored.
Longtime EMT Verla Wilson was recognized by the City of Enterprise for her service. Adam Bowler, the city’s administrator, said Wilson has been an EMT for over 25 years.
“She has spent her life in service to her community and her fellow man,” Bowler said. “She is a dedicated and committed first responder.”
The paramedics of Hurricane City Fire and Ambulance were honored next by Hurricane Mayor Tom Hirschi and his daughter, Toni Imlay. Hirschi said his daughter’s heart condition has required many hospital visits.
In a recent incident in which paramedics transported Imlay to Dixie Regional Medical Center, ER doctors told Hirschi that if the paramedics hadn’t taken care of her the way they had, his daughter may not have survived.
“They are the angels on the ground,” Hirschi said. “We really appreciate them.”
Imlay also thanked the paramedics, “I seriously can’t tell them enough how grateful I am.”
Acres of diamonds
Radio commentator Bryan Hyde was the featured speaker at the event and told the story of a wealthy Persian farmer who sold everything he had in search of diamonds. Years later, the man who had bought the farm from the diamond hunter discovered a vast array of diamonds on his land – veritable “acres of diamonds.”
“There’s a lesson to be learned here,” Hyde said.
He said that if the man who went in search of diamonds was just a little more aware, he would have discovered the wealth the lay hidden on his land. Using this example, Hyde said the community needs to open its own awareness more and notice the diamonds within it.
“There are diamonds in our community,” he said. Referring to those who served as first responders, he said, “I would place their worth above diamonds.”
“Here is our challenge: To look more for the diamonds that are around us,” Hyde said.
Tammy Houchen, Mikalene Ipson, Dave Reber and Jadon Webster provided music throughout the event.
Among the attendees to Pay It Forward for Dixie were St. George Mayor Daniel McArthur and members of the St. George City Council.
At the conclusion of the event, Rogers said, “This has been an evening of pure emotion, pure gratitude and many miracles.”
- Pay It Forward for Dixie event to honor those in public safety
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- Ambulance war: State agency rules in favor of Gold Cross
- Ambulance War: City of St. George rebukes state agency, calls for time for Dixie Ambulance
- Ambulance war: Eyes on the St. George City Council
- Ambulance War: Dixie Ambulance speaks out; STGnews Videocast
- Ambulance War: Gold Cross recommended over Dixie Ambulance
- Ambulance war scapegoat? St. George Dispatch responds to hearing testimony
- Ambulance war: Broken system, dispatch delays? Decision pending
- Ambulance war: Contest for territory raises solvency, staffing issues at hearing
- Public support for Dixie Ambulance floods hearing
- Public hearing to discuss ambulance service in St. George; Dixie Ambulance receives negative audit
- Perspectives: Making sense of the ambulance war
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