Letter to the Editor

EMS pioneer lost

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dear Editor,

Southwest Nebraska lost a pioneer in Emergency Medical Services this month.

Orville Fritsch partnered with Herman Funeral Home in Trenton to help transport local residents to area hospitals in the early '50s. The hearse was equipped with a changeable floor that had rollers for caskets or turned over, a flat area for a medical cot. The passenger seat would turn around to act as a jump seat for a medic on board.

Most of the smaller communities had services like this, later served by the local fire departments. Later, Orville was a key player in organizing the Trenton Rescue Squad. He was a member of the first EMT class in Trenton and longtime member of the squad.

Some of us "old timers" can relate "Orville stories" especially when it came to replenishing supplies. EMS has changed a lot since Orville's time with modern ambulances, well-trained local volunteers and great relationships with McCook Rescue and Community Hospital.

Thanks, old friend.

Cliff Johnson


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