LIBERTY, Maine – If you need emergency medical care in southern Maine, there’s a good chance you’ll be tended to by Edna Mitchell. At age 87, Mitchell is the state’s oldest ambulance driver and EMT – and according to her colleagues, one of the best.
A volunteer for the Liberty Fire Department, Mitchell covers some 400 square miles of coastal Maine, handling more than 100 calls a year. In 37 years on the job, that’s meant nearly 4,000 calls.
“Basically, when the pager goes off, I’m ready,” she said. “All I have to do is just tell them that Liberty 202’s responding.”
Mitchell is a pioneer. Her interest in emergency medical care goes back to World War II – a time when women in jobs like EMT, firefighter or police officer were rare. Even when she’s had other jobs as a teacher or a farmer, being an EMT has always been her true calling, carrying her radio with her at all times.