Going beyond the call

Last Modified: 5/17/2022


As we observe EMS Week, it’s a great opportunity to highlight just some of the examples of frontline first responders going well beyond the call of duty to assist our community members’ needs. We are so proud of these co-workers and their servant hearts.

Furnishing a patient’s future

According to Jeff Helmuth, EMS supervisor, Parkview LaGrange Hospital, paramedic Charlyn “Char” Bishop, recently assisted a patient with more than she ever dreamed.

Earlier this year, Char and Heidi Jones, EMT, responded to a call at a woman’s home. After making sure the patient was safe, Char engaged her in a conversation, as she typically does, and learned that the woman was experiencing financial difficulties, as evidenced by the absence of furniture in her home. The only furniture she had was in her bedroom – just a bed, dresser and a few other items – and it was on contract from a local furniture rental company. The woman couldn’t afford both the payment plan and her medication, so she decided to stop taking her medication, leading to the 911 call.

As soon as Char left the woman’s house, she began devising a plan to furnish her home. Char found an extra mattress at her house and went to a local sale to purchase a couch and end tables. She then invited other co-workers to join the effort, including Danielle Beechy, her daughter and fellow paramedic, who donated a bedframe she had on hand. An anonymous co-worker volunteered to pick up a kitchen table and chairs at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and Heidi made sure the patient had some nice kitchen essentials.

A few weeks later, Char delivered the furniture to one happy patient, and she and the woman have been friends ever since. Thanks to the team’s gifts, the woman has been able to return the majority of the rental items and now has room in her budget for her medication.

“Char is the epitome of a great person and great employee,” Jeff said. “She’s always thinking about everybody else and helping people in need. It just warms my heart to see.”

Easing the ride

A family member shared that Alisa Rozzi, Parkview Wabash EMS, made her niece’s first medical experience a little smoother. “My niece was admitted in February to have her appendix removed. Dr. [Hilton] Sparks felt she needed to go to Parkview Regional Medical Center. Before she left Parkview Wabash Hospital, and even after, two of her nurses and a paramedic stood out to my family.

“My niece is 17, and at the time of her surgery, she had never even had her blood drawn. The care and concern shown for my niece will never be forgotten. The transporting paramedic, Alisa Rozzi, knew my niece was terrified and she made her ride seem like it was a 10-minute drive. Alisa took extra steps to make Carley comfortable, so she was able to calm down. This has been a very emotional time for my family, but Parkview Health family made it a little less stressful. Thank you to all involved!”

Roadside assistance

Mike Oberg, paramedic, Parkview Wabash Hospital, sang the praises of co-worker Martin (Marty) Sieberns, an EMT for Parkview Huntington Hospital EMS. “This morning, Marty and I were driving from Huntington to Manchester for post. At an intersection, we came upon a young girl who was stranded on the side of the road. She is a college student and was heading to Manchester University. Marty being smart with automobiles and motors was able to assist the girl.

“We decided to follow her the rest of the way into Manchester and to the university to make sure that she got there safely. She arrived at her class on time and with no problems.”

Dodging late fees

We received a touching story from a co-worker at Parkview DeKalb Hospital, that occurred at a library near the hospital.

A gentleman was on his way to the public library when he fell and hurt himself. EMS was called to assist. When paramedic Joy Williamson arrived, she quickly realized that one of his biggest concerns wasn't his fall. Instead, he was fretting about how to get his books back to the library without incurring late fees – and he had quite a few books!

After attending to the man, Joy loaded all of his books into the ambulance and assured him she'd take care of this important task. As soon as Joy transported him to the hospital, she returned to the library and turned in the books – all on time!

Joy's thoughtful act didn't surprise Drew. "It's normal for her to take an extra step and help somebody out," Drew said. "Joy loves her job and taking care of people. It's what she lives for."


Planting peace of mind

Community Hospital EMS Manager Carla Gebert offered a moving gesture by paramedic Mike Oberg and EMT Issac Willits, members of the Parkview Wabash Hospital EMS team.

One day, when this crew was assisting in Whitley County, they came to the aid of a Columbia City woman in her 90s. She'd fallen while planting flowers in several pots outside her home.

When Mike and Issac arrived, they determined the patient had only a minor injury, so she decided to have her son drive her to the ER to be checked out.

Waiting outside for her son with the EMS crew, the patient fretted about her last unfinished flowerpot. Issac could tell it was troubling her, and he said to Mike: "You stay here with the patient. I'll be right back."

He grabbed the spade and planted her final pot, bringing a big smile to her face – and, more important – putting her mind at ease.

Delivering a Christmas miracle

Giving to others is a hallmark of the Christmas season, and in the spirit of the holidays, Jordi Disler, president, Parkview LaGrange Hospital (PLH), circulated a story about three EMS co-workers who surprised a patient with a much-needed gift this past Christmas.

Bryan Peterson, paramedic, and Charlyn "Char" Bishop, EMT, responded to a dispatch call, and, on their way to the patient's home, they recognized her name. The woman contacted EMS for assistance after a fall several times in the past. As Bryan and Char attended to the patient, they noticed she didn't have a chair that would be safe for her to use without the possibility of falling.

After they helped the woman get situated and ensured she wasn't injured or needing additional assistance, they returned to the ambulance. However, they realized that without a safe chair, the woman would continue to be at risk of falling.

Then they did something remarkable. The two began researching options and arranged for a new chair for the woman. When Jeff Helmuth, EMS supervisor, learned of the situation, he offered to help with the delivery and also spoke with the Parkview LaGrange Foundation about assistance.

On the day they delivered the chair, Bryan, Char and Jeff shared the joy as the woman realized why they had come. She was speechless as the team removed two broken chairs from her living room and moved in the new one. She was thrilled, and when her husband arrived, he was astonished and grateful, too.



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