The Hartley Emergency Services and Ambulance department was formed in 1978.
Three of its members have been there almost the entire 40-year history.
"A friend of mine taught a CPR class and she was a member of the early ambulance team," said Pam Sease. "She kind of talked me into riding with the team."
"When the opportunity came to join the ambulance team, I did," said Rosalie Kluch.
Pam Sease, Rosalie Kluch, and Rod Ahrenstorff serve as EMTs in the Hartley area.
They have 84 years of service to their names.
"I started in 1997, so I'm kind of the young one of this group," said Rod Ahrenstorff.
As the number of first responders diminishes in rural Northwest Iowa, the trio are a mainstay.
"My teammates are like family," said Sease. "We're a tight-knit group."
They've stuck together and seen it all.
"We're 24/7, 365 days of the year," said Ahrenstorff.
From the local Hartley hospital closing, to an update for modern, efficient equipment.
"Our response time and our transport time is crucial," said Sease.
Hartley EMTs used to have to use their own strength to raise a patient in a cot, but now the stretcher does it for them.
"We had to lift, push, and no we have power lifts, we have power cots, so it's saving our backs," said Ahrenstorff.
But 90 years of first response couldn't prepare them for an incident this past Fall.
"We'd never had that happen to us at all," said Ahrenstorff.
September 19th, 2017, they were called to a cardiac arrest at the home of Jeff Filkins.
A fellow Hartley EMT.
"On that Wednesday, he said, 'Well, if I don't see you again, I've had a nice run," said Ahrenstorff.
Filkins had a heart procedure the day prior to the call...
"Lo and behold it came true, so that's, that's what sets you apart, you know," said Ahrenstorff.
But the trio came to Filkins' ten years of service in stride...and are living out his lost years in the ambulance.
'Til the next generation of Hartley EMT can carry on its legacy.
"I'm hopeful for the future," said Kluch.
Sease is the longest-serving member of Hartley E-M-T with 33 years on the team.
Kluch has 30 years under her belt and Ahrenstorff has served for 21 years.
2929 Signal Hill Drive Sioux City, IA 51108
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