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THE JEFFERSON AWARDS: Our September winner teaches others to save lives

Every month FOX 47 features someone in our community who is making a difference and we honor them with a Jefferson Award. 

Our September winner has spent more than three decades saving lives, and teaching others to do the same.

For Sue Kester, the Chatfield Ambulance is a home away from home.

Her interest in saving lives stemmed from a scary moment.

"In the early 80s my husband and I were on our way to my grandmother’s funeral in Arkansas and we came upon a crash and we did not know what to do," she said. 

She became a volunteer EMT, then alter worked for the department as an EMT teacher, as well as the city’s Safety Coordinator, and then as Director of Chatfield Ambulance Services. 

Now, she wears many hats, doing administrative work, teaching classes, and maintaining equipment. 

But she hasn’t lost touch with what originally drew her in: saving lives. 

"I run on calls daily, I always have a pager on and I don’t just run during work hours," Sue said. "I do a number of volunteer hours still but we always have our pager on, if that pager goes off, out the door to the truck. Whether it’s medical or trauma or someone’s fallen and needs help getting off the ground."

Sue’s son-in-law, Al Jobes, also a former EMT student of hers, nominated her for the Jefferson Award.

"I felt that she has more of the, what some students may call a ‘mom approach’ to her teaching," Jobes said. "So professional but she seems to capture those people who truly have it in their heart to serve and take care of others. She’s very detail oriented."

Sue says it’s just all in a day’s work.

"I live with a theory that the Lord is always with us and I feel that it is something I was put on this earth to do. I don’t know anything else other than taking care of people."

Sue plans to retire in a few months.

She says she’ll spend her retirement with family.

She has nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

But she still plans to volunteer for Chatfield Ambulance whenever she can.

If you know someone who’s also making a difference, you can nominate them for a Jefferson Award here


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