It was a sad day for all of us in Tucker County when we recently lost our EMS Director and Assistant Director after many years of dedicated service! The unfortunate reasons will remain unspoken at this time.
Rather, it is my pleasure to be able to offer these few words for and about Sheila Marsh, who has tirelessly served the residents and visitors of Tucker County as a dedicated paramedic and EMS Director.
Her leaving marks the end of an era at Tucker County EMS. I know we will all come to appreciate her much more when we try to fill the void she’s leaving. In her 44 years of service to the people of Tucker County, she has been an exceptional leader and mentor to many EMT’s and Medics.
She has been a skilled technician and caregiver to so many sick and injured people. She led with conviction, passion, and purpose over an extended period of time with limited resources in a geographic area that provides its own unique challenges.
During her 15 years as Director, she has taken Tucker EMS from a part-time volunteer organization with minimal equipment and services, to a modern professional operation able to cover the entire county with two stations, four ambulances and two crews with medics on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
She possesses a rare combination of vision, fairness, firmness and understanding – crucial qualities for an effective Director. This success didn’t happen overnight; it took many years of education, experience, continuing education and tireless effort.
Frequently we don’t realize the job of a first responder is filled with overwhelming stress for all personnel; when a call comes in, no matter the time of day or weather, they proceed to the scene not knowing in advance how serious the situation might be – accident, sickness, drug overdose, sometimes with attendant violence requiring a call for police backup. The point being, it takes very special people to face the unknown day after day, week after week! All our first responders are heroes!
Recently I came across the lyrics of a piece of music that clearly expresses the commitment and dedication of our departing Director, Sheila Marsh; I hope you’ll agree with me…….. it goes like this……..
“If you want more happy than your heart will hold,
If you want to stand taller if the truth were told,
Take whatever you have, and give it away.
If you want less lonely and a lot more fun,
And deep satisfaction when the day is done,
Then throw your heart wide open and give it away.”
These words define & describe the manner in which Sheila has lived and worked for us all these years —— She HAS “thrown her heart wide open, and given it away”, over and over again for the ultimate benefit of the Citizens of Tucker County. May her future be filled with happiness and peace.
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