#114 Rebecca Horner and Karen Pardini “Marbletown First Aid Unit”

I’m BACK for a full episode! Speaking today with Rebecca Horner and Karen Pardini of the Marbletown First Aid Unit. Rebecca is a retired IBM software engineer, MFAU’s Board Chair and an EMS Volunteer. Karen is the Chief who on the side raises and deploys search and rescue dogs. Important fact, in 1961 Harriet Weber founded Marbletown First Aid, the first ambulance squad in Ulster County. Sixty years ago there was no 911, nobody trained in emergency medical care and ready to respond, no specially designed vehicles fully stocked with medical and rescue equipment; folks were largely on their own. With incredible grit and determination, Harriet Weber organized funding, a training program, an ambulance and volunteers. She put her intellect and love for community to work to create something that has saved countless lives. Today she is considered the mother of emergency medical service in all of New York State.

These ladies explain the nature of this type of work, how they got into it – Rebecca looking for ways to volunteer and Karen coming at it from a Midwife’s perspective of wanting to better serve her clients – the challenges of continuing these vital services that are severely underfunded, and how COVID19 is affecting how they do their work. We get to peek a little into the personal side of who they are and how they take care of themselves too. I have tremendous respect for all EMS workers. Thank you for your service Ladies!

Midway through I sink into a deep thought about finding gratitude amidst the pain with a little help from Alanis Morrisette’s song “Thank U.” Here’s the quote I shared on air about the song. In her VH1 Storytellers appearance, she explained: “I felt that I lived in a culture that told me that I had to consistently and constantly look outside myself to feel this elusive bliss. And I achieved a lot of what society had told me to achieve and I still didn’t feel peaceful. I started questioning everything, and I realized that actually everything was an illusion and it was scary for me because everything I had believed in was dissolving in front of me and there was a death of sorts, a really beautiful one ultimately, but at first a very scary one, and so I stopped. I stopped for the first time and I was overcome with a huge sense of compassion for myself first, and then naturally that translated into my feeling and compassion for everyone around me and a huge amount of gratitude that I had never felt before to this extent. And that’s why I had to write this song, ‘Thank U,’ because I had to express how exciting this was and how scary it was and all of these opportunities for us to define who we are.

And we finish up with with Erika Wennerstrom’s message to “Be Good To Yourself.”

Today’s show was engineered by Ida Hakkila of Radio Kingston, www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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