SPENCERVILLE — Barb Coil has logged a lot of hours behind the wheel of an ambulance.
As one of the original charter members of the Spencerville EMS, Coil has been involved with the town’s ambulance services since 1974, and she’s not slowing down despite the white hairs.
Sitting in the front office of the ambulance garage in uniform, Coil fields phone calls and juggles her many duties simply and directly without a whole lot of fuss. That’s just how she operates.
“You hop in and do what you have to do,” Coil said.
It’s a philosophy she’s practiced for almost 50 years, which continues unabridged today.
Just this past week, Coil said, five calls came into the organization. She made all five runs.
Fellow emergency medical technician Mary Roberts estimates that out of the 500 runs in 2019, Coil made somewhere around 475 because of her dedication. In fact, Coil has effectively been on call with the EMT service for roughly half of her entire adult life, signing up for the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. shift at Spencerville EMS consistently for decades.
“She’s very dedicated,” Spencerville EMS President LuAnn Youngpeter said. “When the call drops, she’s very willing to drop whatever she’s doing and serve.”
Consequently, she’s a well-known face in the community. Coil said she’s had strangers approach her who know her name and reputation as the town’s primary EMT.
But that’s not all that Coil does. Outside of runs, she also works as the treasurer at Spencerville EMS — a part-time job in its own right — and sometimes dispatcher. When there are problems, EMT volunteers often give her a call due to her lengthy experiences.
And then there’s all the other volunteering she has done outside of the ambulance. Coil has also volunteered at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital, Spencerville schools, Spencerville Friends Church as well as the American Red Cross.
Coil said she’s given 16 gallons of blood — a volume that weighs more than the experienced EMT — to the organization.
“It’s very hard to separate her from her volunteerism, because that’s what she is,” Youngpeter said. “Her life has been giving to others.”
“She knows what needs to be done. She’s Barb,” Roberts said.
Coil explained her dedication toward volunteerism just as simply.
“I love to take care of people,” Coil said. “If you find something you like, you keep doing it.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.