Paul Creel – Helping in emergencies, even in retirement

Published 4:38 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

By: Kris Harrell

 Paul Creel, a retired emergency medical technician (EMT), continues to help his community after more than twenty years of service. 

Creel started with the Luverne Rescue Squad when their workforce was strictly volunteers. As time passed there came a need for full-time employees and Creel knew he was ready to join the team.

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“I had thought I was always squeamish. Carrying the jaws [of life], I was seeing the worst of the worst anyway,” Creel said. “So I joined; me and four others joined at the same time.”

Creel joined the Luverne Rescue Squad in 1993, receiving his paramedic license two years later after the Luverne Rescue Squad paid for his and the four other member’s first EMT course. 

“Well, me and him [Creel] actually started in this together,” said Luverne Rescue Squad’s paramedic supervisor Floyd Wright. “We were all volunteers. It got to where he was hired during the week, Monday through Friday from 6 to 4. Because we didn’t have anybody that could leave work anymore.”

After being hired, Creel dedicated over twenty years to the Luverne Rescue Squad and helping the community. 

“In the rescue as a whole, everybody here is from here, so we care a lot about the people in the community because it’s our community, it’s the one we live in,” Wright said. “That’s one of the things about Luverne that’s different from some other private services.” 

As an EMT, Creel serviced the Luverne area; alongside Brantley Rescue, the team also provided help up to the Montgomery County line and out to the Pike and Butler county lines. 

“Our first instructor that we had, he told us that ‘if you stay in this business long enough, you’re going to do something that’s either gonna cause somebody to lose their life, or you’re not going to do something – you’re going to miss something,’” Creel said. 

After every run, Creel critiques himself on what he has done, and what he could have done differently. 

“You’re human,” Creel reflected. “You make mistakes. [The instructor] said, ‘How do you deal with it? [You] Learn from it and go home.”

Creel retired from the field in 2018, citing shoulder pain and age as factors towards his retirement. 

“My shoulders’ shot from picking up people for twenty years,” Creel said. “We had the electric stretchers, but  you still gotta carry it down the stairs and sets of steps, you still got to put the people on. It got to bothering me quite a bit.”

Despite retiring in 2018, Creel is still dedicated to helping his community through the Luverne Rescue Squad as a volunteer and instructor.

“I don’t consider myself the best,” Creel said. “I might be one of the best, but I consider every one of them in this county – there’s several paramedics, several EMTs, the fire department – wonderful first responders.”