honors former Milan EMT
English Burnett, Editor
A chance meeting between a former Milan
EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and a member of the State Emergency
Medical Services Commission, set the wheels in motion for the
EMT to receive recognition she never expected.
Irene Godsey was honored Friday, July 17 in Batesville at a meeting
of the State Emergency Medical Services Commission for her years
of dedicated service as an EMT in Milan.
The plaque read, The State of Indiana Emergency Medical
Service Commission hereby awards honorary lifetime EMT to Mary
Irene Godsey in recognition of your service to the EMS community
and the citizens of Milan, Indiana. We salute and honor your dedication
to excellence and commitment.
Godsey had met Myron Mackey, EMS commission member in Bicknell
while attending a funeral. We had never met before,
she told The Versailles Republican. But, when they met and she
found out about his involvement with emergency medical services,
there was an immediate bond. Godsey told him her story. Mackey
listened and then he acted by nominating her for the award.
Godsey lost her 16-year-old son, Bobby, in a vehicle accident
in 1963. Remembering the night like it was yesterday, Godsey said
everyone was so excited about winning the sectional. The kids
were going to a celebration when the roadway, which had been snow
covered earlier, froze over. Her son and his friend, John Thompson,
were killed when their vehicle hit a patch of ice and one lone
tree on that roadway.
The tragic loss of her son and his friend, began Godseys
journey in the world of EMS. Charlie Moore of Laws-Carr-Moore
Funeral Home in Milan knows the story well. She came to
me and said, Hey, Charlie, if I can ever do anything to
help you, let me know.
As was the practice in the early 60s, Moore used his hearse
for dual purpose - for funerals, and for emergency medical runs.
But, things were changing, Moore told The Versailles
Republican, saying the state was bringing new rules about transports
and how medical services should be handled.
Godsey felt if the service we have today with EMTs and paramedics
was in place at the time of her sons accident, he might
not have died. She felt she had to do something to prevent other
parents from feeling her loss.
Together, Charlie and wife Janet Moore and Godsey formed the first
rescue squad in Milan in 1976. The three went through the training
to become EMTs. Moore remembers the first meeting where Godsey
rounded up 30 people to help make the squad a vital part of the
community she had been born and raised in.
According to Moore, Godsey worked tirelessly, never losing sight
of the goal - to make sure the best possible emergency medical
care was given.
Godsey worked at Steinmetz Insurance in Milan. That was
back in the day before there were pagers and cell phones,
laughed Moore. The insurance company had a private phone for Godsey
to take emergency calls. She was allowed to leave at a moments
notice and she did. Moore said when he and his wife had a funeral
or had to leave town, Godsey was the lone ranger. She is
an outstanding person, he noted, someone you could
always depend on.
In a letter read by Jason Smith, EMS District Manager for Homeland
Security, Mackey had written that Godsey embodied the true
spirit of why people become EMTs. This was written by Mackey
when nominating Godsey for the award. She was honored for unselfishly
serving her community.
I was so excited (about the award), Godsey told The
Versailles Republican. She said this was definitely the highlight
of her EMT career. Its something I never expected.
Godsey and husband John now live in Lawrenceburg.
Although Godsey has long shelved her EMT hat, the
80-year-old is still active - volunteering at the Dearborn County
Hospital. The couple has a daughter, Dottie Blackwell, two grandsons,
Rob and John Blackwell and now a great grandson, Nolan Blackwell.
We moved to Lawrenceburg 20 years ago to help our daughter
with her children, Godsey noted, Theyre both
grown up now, she laughed.
Godsey received a standing ovation from the group of over 100
at the Batesville Primary School on Friday as she tearfully accepted
the framed certificate giving her honorary lifetime EMT status.
Ripley County and in particular, Milan, is fortunate to have volunteers
such as Godsey and the Moores. Through the dedication and perseverance
of volunteers the county has a system in place that saves lives.
Irene Godsey is pictured with the plaque
honoring her service to the EMT community by Jason Smith,
EMS District Manager, Homeland Security, on Friday, July
17 at the Batesville Primary School. She received a standing
ovation with over 100 in attendance at the state meeting.
The former Milan native now resides with husband, John,
in Lawrenceburg and still volunteers at the Dearborn County