Dorothy Nelson trained and became certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in 1985. Since that time she has volunteered countless hours towards supporting and strengthening the EMT services of the rural, isolated community of Green River, Utah. Nelson became EMT Supervisor in 1993 and took over the daunting task of managing up to 20 volunteers – EMT’s and drivers. She was responsible for maintaining mandatory duty and training schedules, which is a huge task within itself. This supervisory position was an unpaid volunteer position for more than 10 years.
Emergency Medical Services in Southeastern Utah is a balance between limited personnel and equipment to cover monumental distances. Green River Ambulance Association covers nearly 45,000 square miles of Interstate freeways and desolate desert. The precious “golden hour” of urban EMS is only a wish to these EMT’s as they respond to emergencies along I-70 from Crescent Junction half way to Salina, Utah, along Highway 6 and 191 between Price and Moab. They also cover all of the desert in between these areas. During 2002, Green River Ambulance crews responded to more than 200 calls.
In addition to her supervisory work with the EMT’s, Nelson identified health and public safety issues that could be met with stronger training programs. For 18 years, she organized and offered classes for adults and youth of Green River. She teaches monthly EMT training classes, a First Aid Baby Sitting Clinic for 1st – 8th graders and a “What to do until the ambulance arrives” class for staff and students at area schools. In addition to this, Nelson teaches Community CPR training and First Aid for Boy and Girl Scouts as well as church affiliated organizations.
Because of her tireless efforts for the past 18 years, they have a safer and more highly trained community. When there is a need, Nelson finds a way to meet that need. Sometimes that means she is quilting for fundraisers to raise money for needed training equipment or an ambulance defibrillator. Nelson has successfully established a solid program which helps meet the needs of the community and has developed a high standard for all other EMT’s to follow.
In addition to volunteering with Green River Ambulance Association, Nelson is the mother of eight children and grandmother to many more. She is active in her church as an adult and youth teacher and a leader in the presidency.