Longtime EMT feels young at heart

Eighty-five-year-old Josephine Burkey thought she was on her way to CPR training Thursday morning. It turns out she was walking into a room full of EMS workers that were thanking her for her service.

A Brown County EMT, Jo says she has always wanted to be in the medical field.

"When I was in high school, I wanted to be a nurse. I took the EMS training as somebody who came out of the service was teaching it. I learned it at this hospital I was working at and I just end enjoy it. I have always enjoyed it," Burkey said.

Miss Burkey said she got into the medical field in 1968 then shortly after became EMS certified.

"Brown County Ambulance started in 1974 and she was actually on the very first ambulance run that they ever had and she is still active today," EMS System Coordinator Randy Faxon said.

On call for more than 90 hours a week, Miss Jo says its not just a job to her.

"Satisfaction of taking care of a patient that needs me," Burkey said.

Being in the field nearly 50 years, Burkey says she is still adapting to evolving medical technology.

"I don't use a computer at home and don't have one and the ambulance went to the computer so thats been my hardest thing," Burkey said.

Randy Faxon acknowledges Josephine Burkey's quality of her work and says he only hopes to be doing half of what she is doing when he reaches 85.

"She actually does like 90 hours of call time every week and the comment I've made to some people is that I just hope I can stay awake for 80 hours a week at her age," Faxon said.

Being honored for her years of service as well as being the oldest EMT in the state of Illinois, Burkey says she doesn't plan on slowing down any time soon.

"I have always said as long as I can hear to take blood pressures and can climb into the ambulance," Burkey said.

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