Mabel ambulance service welcomes new director

By Charlie Warner, Bluff Country Newspapers
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 11:24 AM

Article copied from Fillmore County News Reader – Read their article here.

The new Mabel Ambulance Service director, Sara Delany, is shown beside the service’s ambulance. CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER

The new Mabel Ambulance Service director, Sara Delany, is shown beside the service’s ambulance. CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER

Someone had to step up and take the reins of the Mabel Ambulance Service when longtime director Neil Folstad announced he was planning to retire. Sara Delany, who had been serving as an EMT for the local service for 10 years, talked to Folstad and some of her fellow members of the service. After some discussions, Delany agreed to assume the position.
“I’ve got some big shoes to fill,” she said last week. “Neil did an excellent job serving as our director. You really don’t know just how much he did until you start doing what he did. There is a lot of paperwork…reports to fill out, scheduling and keeping track of everything. It really is a lot.”

Delany started working with Folstad “learning the ropes” in January, several months before Folstad retired. While there isn’t any “official” training required to become the director of an ambulance service, there is a lot of on-the-job training, which Folstad helped Delany with the three months before he retired last month.

Delany became an EMT 10 years ago when Folstad’s daughter, Stephanie, who is a close friend of Delany’s, asked her if she would consider joining the ambulance service. So Delany took the training and became a member.

Delany, who had been working as a waitress at BBG’s in Mabel, always wanted to be a nurse. The medical training she took to earn her EMT degree prompted her to take the schooling to become an LPN. She has been immersed in the medical field ever since.

Delany comes by serving on the ambulance service naturally. Her mother, Sue, and stepfather, Gary Morken, have also served as EMTs.

Over the past 10 years, Delany has been called out to all kinds of situations. Some have resolved in the positive, while others have been quite tragic. While the tragedies can be difficult to deal with, knowing that she is there to help others and provide a very valuable service to her community are things that keep Delany going.

“The families are always so appreciative,” she said. “Even when things go bad, they thank us for being there and doing what we can do.”

At the present time, the Mabel Ambulance Service has seven EMTs, seven first responders and five drivers on the roster. When Delany first joined 10 years ago, there were about 20 on the roster.

“In a perfect world, it would be good to get back to that 20-member number or even more,” she said. “Then we wouldn’t have to be on call as much. It would make it a lot more tolerable.”

To hopefully recruit additional members, the Mabel Ambulance Service will be hosting an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. on May 2 at the fire hall. Anyone interested in serving their community is encouraged to attend.

“The ambulance service is an important part of the community. We really do need an ambulance service here in town. ” Delany opined.

“Sure, it’s time away from the family, like when the pager goes off during Christmas dinner, but it’s what we do,” she concluded.

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