MT. STERLING, Ill. (KHQA) — Life can change in an instant and before you know it, you could be relying on first responders to save it. Just seeing a familiar face can bring comfort to those in crisis.
Amy Newton has been a paramedic at the Brown County Ambulance Department for over 20 years. She started as a volunteer and eventually was asked to come on staff full time.
“She worked for us part-time for a little while as a paramedic," said Brian Gallaher, paramedic and director of Brown County Emergency Service. "She was hired her full time, she’s been a paramedic for 26 years. She’s worked for us full time for 24 years.”
Brown County is home to a little over 6,500 people, so it’s not uncommon for paramedics to respond to a call with someone they know.
“It’s nice that I work in my community, because people feel comfortable," said Newton. "They know you; they recognize you. They know my family. It just makes them more comfortable, and it helps make me more comfortable too.”
That comfort is what Amy provided seven years ago when Layton Farrow was in an accident where she was ejected from the vehicle and severely injured.
“She was the person that was by my side the whole time," said Farrow "She never left me.”
In September, Laykon’s mother, Lori Norvell, found herself being comforted in the same way after losing nearly a liter of blood. This time Amy was the ER tech at the hospital.
“I was already scared anyway, and I’ve known Amy my whole life so having her there to hold my hand and when they told me I was being life-flighted I got scared," said Norvell. "I don’t know how I would’ve been, because I didn’t have anyone there with me except for her.”
Newton checked on both patients in the days and weeks following having them in her care.
“She came and checked on me after my surgeries, [and] after I was out of the hospital,” said Farrow
Her compassion for her patients is commendable, but of course, to Amy, it’s all part of the job.
“I get paid for doing this job, so it seems like I’m just like anyone else, going in a doing their job." said Newton. "I get paid for doing this, so I just did my job.”
“She’s always been a patient advocate and looking out for her patient’s best interest." said Gallaher. "That we’re trained to do, but she takes that up another notch, I think. I think it’s very evident how much she cares about the people she’s called to care for.”
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