It takes a lot of patients to make a career in emergency medical services meaningful. In the case of Georgetta Hudson, she has indeed seen a lot of patients since 1990. Today marked her final shift with Texas EMS. She started working on the ambulance when it was still Hood County EMS. And so much has happened since then. She has also served as a volunteer firefighter for some of that time period in Hood County as well.
Her colleagues are quick to note that “everyone knows Georgetta.” She got in the field years ago because she wanted to serve her neighbors. She thought to herself: “these people need me.” That was accurate an observation. Hood County would provide no shortage of patients that needed the compassionate care that Georgetta could provide. Of course they needed her.
I spent a few moments chatting with Georgetta today at Texas EMS. What is striking to me is that she still cares about people. The concern she has for her neighbors has remain unchanged. In all disciplines of emergency services, it is very difficult not to become cynical. Dealing with people in crisis can be draining as well as fulfilling. I heard no hint of cynicism in her comments today.
Georgetta described what it is like to go into people’s homes to care for them in a medical emergency. There are pictures on the walls. There are family members standing around in a state of anxiety. Serving them at such a vulnerable time in their lives became personal to her.
I was not surprised when she said quietly: “You come back from some calls and fall apart.” There were days when babies died….There were car crashes with several victims and not enough resources. And there were calls to homes that were barely inhabitable. I heard about blankets being anonymously left for people in need on their front porch. And I heard about the calls that will stay with her the rest of her life.
In June of 2013, Georgetta and her partner Sonya, were dispatched to a shots fired call. Sgt. Lance McLean with the Hood County Sheriff’s office had been shot in the head by an offender that had already been charged with criminal offenses in a neighboring county.
Lance passed away the next day on June 29th, 2013. She describes that as the most difficult moment in her 25 year career. It is an event that will continue to impact many of us for the rest of our lives.
But there were the good times as well. Georgetta is not one to speak negatively about the younger generation of medics. She said: “You see the spark in their eyes and it inspires you.” One of her young colleagues said in reference to Georgetta: “Every life I have touched is because of her.” And she talked of seeing family members of a patient she took care of at the hospital. Their words of appreciation were indeed meaningful. And of course she took care of generations of family members in this county.
It takes a lot of patients to make a 25 year career in emergency medical services meaningful. There are 5 people of various ages running around today, because Georgetta Hudson brought them into this world. She remembers all 5 of her baby deliveries! They were among those patients. And those that have served with Georgetta are equally grateful for her patience too, because it takes a lot of patience to stay in this field for 25 years and still love people!
Today I am thanking Georgetta on behalf of all the people whose lives were saved. And I am also thanking her for the families that lost loved ones on calls she was running. Her kindness carried them in the darkest minutes of their lives. And finally, I am thanking her on behalf of all of us that serve in any facet of emergency services. She is a rare gem. And we are grateful.