Selfless attitude, work ethic earn EMS responder award
Dave Sutton didn't become a Eudora Community EMS Responder to take the path of least resistance. Fortunately for those in need, he musters the energy -- day and night -- to be there.
"I didn't join this for it to be convenient for me," Sutton said. "Sometimes the alert goes off at three in the morning -- and it may not be the first one of the night -- and you're just getting ready to lay down, but you just can't be that selfish and be in this kind of a business."
Sutton's selfless attitude and work have earned him the Eudora Community EMS 2007 EMS Responder of the Year award.
Sutton is a newcomer to the organization, having just completed his EMS First Responder training earlier this year.
"He's an example of the great dedication that we have with our volunteers," city of Eudora Fire Department Chief Randy Ates said. "The award is given based on the votes of his peers. I asked them to vote for someone that went above and beyond and just really sunk themselves heart and soul into the organization, and he's the one that they voted for."
Ates said Sutton has volunteered to cover extra shifts on call, created new district map books for the response vehicles and fire trucks, researched and applied for a grant for EMS and recently completed his certification as an American Heart Association CPR instructor.
Sutton, who is a software development manager and father of two, has lived in Eudora a little more than two years and he is originally from Chicago. However, he has lived in cities throughout the Midwest. And though he works full time, he makes himself available to the city of Eudora 12 hours a day, five days a week.
"The time just seems to come," he said. "We need to be ready to respond whenever people need us, and people don't need us on a schedule; they need us anytime day or night."
Sutton had been a volunteer firefighter, but this is his first time working as an EMS responder.
"I saw an article last December that EMS needed help and they were willing to train, and I'd always been fascinated by first aid and the early care concept," he said. "In a way, this is paying back the privilege of having that education given to me."
When talking about the award, he is somewhat speechless, as he believes he is part of something bigger than just one person.
"I'm grateful for the award but it's not just me," Sutton said. "It's everybody that responds, and it's great to be working with this family. It's hard to put into words, because I don't do this alone. It's a team effort."
He said he also derives a great deal of strength from his fiancee, Catie Varenhorst.
Sutton will continue to lend his support to the community, believing that volunteering makes a close-knit community all the more close.
"I think that it's an important thing for everybody to understand that a city can only grow by everybody coming together and volunteering and sharing their experience with the community at large," he said.