URBANDALE, Iowa -- One of Urbandale’s first responders was honored for her service on Saturday when she was inducted into the Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association Hall of Fame
Paula Merfeld has served the City of Urbandale as a paramedic since 1988; she never imagined a hall of fame career.
“Who would have thought?” Merfeld laughed. “I was surprised, shocked, I guess kindness goes a long way,” she said.
Co-workers say the retired paramedic’s kindness was what set her apart.
“Paula has so much empathy and compassion when she's taking care of a patient which is so important, especially at three o’clock in the morning when you were asleep a little while ago and now you're at their bedside and they're sick and having the worst day of their life” said Urbandale Fire Chief Jerry Holt.
“They're going to remember how you made them feel a lot longer than they're going to remember that you started an IV or whatever,” said Merfeld.
However, just because Paula has retired from being a paramedic doesn't mean she's kicking her feet up.
“I couldn't leave those guys, I couldn't leave the camaraderie. I was retired for a year and I hated it, and I went back, I just work two days a week just in the office. I love it, it's just being with them every day, reading the reports, pretending like I'm still there,” she laughed.
Merfeld says she shares this award with her co-workers.
“I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. Always, every call, if you had a question about patient care, if you needed support after a sad horrible call, you always had them; they always had your back.
Paula is just one of five first responders inducted into the Iowa EMS Hall of Fame this year.