EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of monthly posts about our local first responders, giving our readers a chance to get to know the people who volunteer in emergency services for the good of our community.
MEEKER | Ronda (Taussig) Morgan is a Meeker native. Her interest in healthcare (all four of her siblings are also in healthcare) started right after high school, working as a certified nursing assistant at Pioneers Hospital, and then in Vernal, Utah. Later she worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction and Gråand River Medical in Rifle.
“It was a lot of emergency room stuff,” she said.
She met her husband in Rifle, and after a 15 year absence, returned to her hometown with him. He owns his own business and Morgan works with him on her days off.
Two years ago in August Morgan decided to pursue a different aspect of healthcare: emergency medical services.
“I wanted to do something different. My brother (David) has been on the department for about 16 years. It’s in his blood. He loves it. I knew a lot of the terminology, and thought it would be an easy transition.”
It wasn’t as easy as she’d expected, but Morgan persevered. She spent six months or so immersed in classes and training while volunteering, and received her certification about a year and a half ago.
“It’s been challenging, but I do like it.”
Morgan works part-time at Watt’s Ranch Market, and is on call for the ambulance crew two days a week. Sometimes her work hours at the grocery and her on call hours coincide.
“I’m really fortunate to have a good boss (J.C. Watt) who lets me be on call during my work hours. He’s a great boss. It shows his concern for the community and I’d like to thank him for that,” Morgan said.
Seeing folks at the grocery story and knowing she might see them later that same day in an emergency situation is one of the challenges of working the ambulance in a small community, she said. Pediatric cases are another challenging situation.
Morgan appreciates the continual process of learning that goes with the job. “There’s a lot of changing technology, and there’s always a lot to learn. It’s very rewarding because you’re always learning something.”
As a volunteer, Morgan has two 12-hour shifts each week, and three nights each month participates in a work night, a business meeting night and a training night of about an hour and a half each.
Juggling that busy schedule between work and volunteering—she also works at home with her husband—can be a challenge. But the rewards outweigh the difficulties.
“Last year at the Cattledog Trials a guy was rolled on by a horse. He could have died if we hadn’t been there to help. It’s good knowing that if you’re there you can make a difference. It gives you a sense of well-being knowing you can help someone and make a difference for them and their family.”