At first glance, Eleanor Scully may look like a lonely woman, perhaps at the senior center. But the truth is she's learning about something that's her life-- saving others.
"I have to know this because I'm an advanced EMT and crew chief," she said.
For the last 23 years, Eleanor has been on the Bristol Rescue squad.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Is this a rewarding job?
Eleanor Scully: A very rewarding job, yes.
It's the responsibility of every crew member to restock the ambulance. Eleanor makes sure all three of the trucks are in working order.
"We have to make sure that we have everything we need in here, which we apparently do," Eleanor said.
The ambulance is fully stocked up, but there is a problem-- it won't start.
"Well, I think that indicates we have a dead battery," she said.
Rescue 1 is, for now, immobile.
"I'm not a mechanic!" Eleanor said.
Not a mechanic, but a valuable asset to the squad. The crew chief most likely will be the one on rescue calls in the six towns they serve in Addison County.
Joe Carroll: How many hours a week are you here?
Eleanor Scully: Me?
Joe Carroll: Yeah.
Eleanor Scully: Fifty to 60.
Joe Carroll: Fifty to 60??!!
Eleanor Scully: Yes.
She does five shifts a week and what's remarkable is she's 84.
Joe Carroll: Some might say what's an 84-year-old doing going out on calls?
Eleanor Scully: My own children tell me that.
"I mean, she's an asset to us," office manager Shelby Brutkoski said. "Without her we wouldn't have a rig out every single day."
"I think I feel blessed that I'm in good health and I don't feel my age," Eleanor said.
The reality for Bristol Rescue is fewer volunteers. They have the equipment, but not the people.
"We are so short of help that we would never get a third crew together," Eleanor noted.
The problem isn't confined to Bristol, but all over Vermont.
"It's difficult," Eleanor said. "They are requiring more and more training and more hours of training."
Not only does she put in 50-60 hours in Bristol, in her hometown of Lincoln she is on the medical first response; she's even the town health officer.
After raising six kids, Eleanor and her husband, Bud, came to Vermont to "retire."
"Yeah, he spent many, many hours here, too," Eleanor said.
He was also on the rescue squad, serving as president. Bud died six years ago. After his passing, Eleanor never thought of giving up her passion.
"It is a dedication," she said. "It's something you have to enjoy doing it."
"Everybody here will tell you she's gram!" Brutkoski said.
As a little girl all she wanted to be was a nurse. Eleanor set that goal, but offered so much more. A seemingly ageless Super Senior who's helping others.
Once a week, Eleanor even bunks in the building. Recently she was awarded the "Above and Beyond" Award from the Bristol American Legion for her service to the people of the area.
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