People Matter: Frontline EMS in Our Community

Winner 6

Matthew is originally from Rocky Mountain, NC. He moved to Lancaster in 2010 and graduated from Buford High School. After high school, Matthew went straight into the work force at Charlotte Pipe in Monroe, NC. In 2014, Matthew and his wife were involved in a horrific car accident that took a year to recovery from. Matthew said this is when he first discovered he wanted to be doing more to help people as EMS had helped him and his wife during such a difficult time in their lives. While working full time as a diesel mechanic after his accident, Matthew attended a six-month York Tech program, at night, to become an Emergency Medical Service worker. Mathew has been employed for Lancaster County EMS for seven months now.

Matthew says his favorite part of the job is being on the front lines when people need him most. After his own accident, he worked to be there for people in the community the same way he was helped after his wreck. He has been married to Brittaney for two years now and they are expecting their first child, a son, anytime this week.

Week 6 Winner

The most difficult part of working on the front lines during the pandemic has been his concern for the safety of his wife and unborn child. Matthew says he comes into contact with numerous people every day who need emergency medical attention, and the unknown of who is a carrier or who has come in contact with the virus is what worries him most. Every day he disinfects his car and takes the necessary protocols like washing his hands, stripping clothes, and showering as soon as he enters their house before he has contact with his wife. He also hasn’t been able to go to his wife’s doctor’s appointments during this time and hates not being able to share those special moments.

As far as the changes he has made while he’s on the job, Matthew says they have always kept clean facilities between every call, but now they are taking more precautions than ever before. He tends to be more cautious when arriving on the scene. They do a full PPE for every call including wearing gowns, gloves, and goggles, if a patient has been tested positive for the virus. They are also working closely with the hospital to immediately inform them ahead of time that they are sending a patient that has tested positive. Dispatch has also added questions to prepare EMS when arriving on the scene and that takes some of the stress away of not knowing what to expect upon arrival.

Matthew is thankful for being recognized but simply wants to continue to be a safety net for people of this community, especially in these difficult times. He would like to encourage people to always take every safety precaution available, not only for their own health, but for the health of others in our community as well.