CAROLINE, Va. -- Macine Williams takes a lot of pride in her job. The volunteer with Ladysmith Rescue Squad lives for helping people.
“Oh yes, we’re a family. We take care of each other,” says Williams.
It’s a feeling shared by all of her colleagues. But these days Ladysmith first responders are watching out for one of their own too. 1st Lt. Anna Harmon is called the heart and soul of the squad.
“She is a good friend and you couldn’t ask for a better officer for this organization,” says Capt. Lisa Street with the Ladysmith Rescue Squad.
Lt. Harmon has dedicated 27 years of her life to volunteering as a first responder. From scheduling and certification to teaching CPR, Anna runs a tight ship at this squad in Caroline County.
“Anna means everything to this organization,” says volunteer Kevin Rickens. “If it weren’t for Anna a lot of things wouldn’t get done.”
But the 42 year old’s huge presence is missing. Anna is battling an aggressive and painful form of cancer, forcing her to stay away from headquarters and in and out of hospitals.
“A lot of times people come and people go and they say one person doesn’t make or break an organization, but she is one of the people that does,” says volunteer John Green.
Despite her illness, the third generation first responder’s passion for her job is not waning.
“She just called me today,” says co-worker Jeannette Allen. “She just got out of the hospital and she is worried about the Christmas parade this weekend.”
Volunteers say the huge void at the squad is palpable.
“If she was strong enough she would be running calls,” says Capt. Street.
Lt. Harmon’s dedication is not going unnoticed. In November, Anna earned the Governor’s Award for top EMT in Virginia.
“When she was nominated we knew she was going to get it because there is nobody like her,” says co-worker Jeannette Allen.
First responders in Ladysmith say Anna’s commitment is contagious.
“She puts it together and she is such an inspiration for so many people here. So many people,” says volunteer John Green.
Colleagues are holding out hope their beloved colleague can make a full recovery.
“It hurts. It hurts. I pray to god for a healing on earth,” says Capt. Street. “It might not come but that is what we pray for.”
The volunteers with Ladysmith Volunteer Rescue Squad are counting the days till their backbone returns to the place where Lt. Harmon belongs.
“We are at a loss when she is down,” says volunteer Bob Carlson. “We know she is a fighter and she is going to get back.”
If you know of a “Hero Among Us” reach out to me at Heroes@WTVR.com. I hope to hear from you.