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Weekly set to retire June 1 as Ambulance Director
April 27, 2018

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In his 20 years as Ambulance Director in Dysart, Steve Weekly has been in nearly every house in the community for various reasons. Maybe a senior citizen has fallen and needs help getting up. Perhaps someone doesn't know how their medical supplies works and requires instruction. Whatever has been requested in his 3,600 calls as an emergency responder over the last 33 years, Weekly has been there to help.

"It gives you satisfaction to help people when they are sick or hurt," Weekly said. I'm proud that people respect and trust me with their health concerns. Knowing they trust me and my position, it's not something i can put into words."

On June 1, Weekly will officially retire as Ambulance Director and ride off into retirement.

"I wanted to be able to spend so time with myself doing what I want to do and when I want to do it," Weekly said. "You aren't able to do so when you're a paramedic. I've missed a lot of family events and graduations because I have to be on call. Holidays are the same way."

Originally a worker in a steel supply plant, Weekly's life took a turn when he witnessed a terrible moped accident in Waterloo that cost the life of a young boy.

"I was one of the first people out there and I felt helpless," Weekly said. "It was then I thought I needed to learn first aid beyond what you learn in boy scouts."

Weekly began volunteering as a paramedic and later went on to become a training officer for others. In 1998, he retired from his job and became the Ambulance Director in Dysart full-time.

"It takes commitment and sacrifice for this position," Weekly said. "You have to be committed to be on call all the time and be able to continue your education. That goes into sacrifice by giving up free time to be on call and be there for your community."

In the EMS office on Main Street, Weekly has a list of family names of which he has worked with or transported three or four generations of during his time a paramedic and Ambulance Director.

"I feel like I've had good repore with the people of Dysart," Weekly said, "I've gotten to know a lot of people. There's not too many towns I haven't been in. I'll get up in the middle night to help people when they ask."

But among the most enjoyable parts of his position is working with children. Over the years, Weekly has given kids tours of the ambulance in an effort to get them excited, not afraid, of the vehicle. The "Ambulance Guy" as he's known to a lot of area children has had many good experience, bad experiences, and one particular encounter he's remembered over the years.

"One day I see this boy I've seen a couple of times, probably about seven or eight years old, and he comes up to me as I'm washing the ambulance," Weekly said. "He says 'Steve, somebody died" and asked him how he knew. He tells me 'I've just seen the car that takes people to heaven.' It about broke my heart.I remember writing a letter to the editor about that experience. Then I found out later some of the churches were using that letter in their sermon about the innocence of a child."

As he prepares for the end of his career, Weekly remain optimistic about the ambulance service he leaves behind. He recommends people join the service as a way to give back to their communities

"I think everyone should join," Weekly said. "I feel it's a civic duty to be able to contribute back to your community, even if you haven't volunteered in the past."

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