Nebraska paramedic saving lives in New York

Ethan Studebaker volunteered with Midwest Medical Transport

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is “going through hell” as it fights against COVID-19. One Nebraska paramedic is on the front lines in the Empire state.

It’s been nine long days for Ethan Studebaker as he saves lives in New York.

“It’s 12-hour shifts is what our teams are working,” Studebaker said. “So 12 on, 12 off every day, but it kind of turns into 15, 16, 17-hour shifts sometimes, but it’s get up and go back at it the next day.”

The Waverly, Nebraska medic volunteered with Midwest Medical.

“We’re just trying to help support the system that’s already here and give some of those guys on the front lines a break,” Studebaker said. “They were running their tails off before we got here and just being able to let them decompress.”

Now, reinforcements for the reinforcements are on the way.

“It’s very satisfying for us as a company, particularly a company of our size, to be able to lend our support,” Rick Sheehy with Midwest Medical said.

The company sent an additional 25 medics to New York and New Jersey this weekend, bringing the total to more than 100.

“Some of them are doing inter-facility transfers, hospital to hospital, nursing care facilities to hospitals,” Sheehy said. “In New Jersey we’re doing some assistance with the 911 system which has become overwhelmed.”

Studebaker said he’s being extra cautious with his protective equipment and when cleaning his truck. He said it’s been difficult to see emergency rooms overwhelmed, but it’s powerful to see people leave the hospital too.

“We’ve also gotten to take some people, discharges,” Studebaker said. “We’ve gotten to take people home and it gets pretty emotional sometimes.”

Studebaker is in the midst of a 14-day contract to help those in New York, but that contract may be extended.

Sheehy said Midwest Medical has not had their normal services impacted while their medics are assisting in New York.

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