At 93, North Carolina EMT Still Saving Lives
Nov. 19--ICARD -- The pager goes off and Clinton Lowman drops what he is doing to rush to his black pickup.
There's an emergency in Icard and Lowman, an Emergency Medical Technician, heads to the scene ready to help the person in need.
When he arrives, he is used to folks doing a double take when they see who hops out of the truck to help them.
That's because Lowman is 93.
"(A nursing home facility) had a call about 10 or 12 years ago, the first call we ran up there, one of the nurses turned around to him and asked (Lowman) if he was where he was supposed to be," said Brand Lingerfelt, fire chief at Icard Township Fire Department. "It's highly unusual seeing someone in their 80s and 90s working as a volunteer, out there responding to help folks."
Helping people is why Lowman keeps doing what he does.
"It gives you an awful good feeling if you help someone," he said.
Lowman got his start as an EMT after he retired from his other position at a local mill in 1982.
"I was over the hosiery mill, I was over the knitting room," he said.
Lowman was born Jan. 22, 1919 in Caldwell County. He came to Burke County when his parents wanted to find a home and settled in the area. He worked throughout his life and married his wife, Sally, in 1937.
Lowman began serving the community as a firefighter in 1962. He joined the Icard Township Fire Rescue as a volunteer firefighter.
At the Icard Township Fire Rescue, volunteers must have at least two years experience as a firefighter before being able to answer a medical call, Lingerfelt said.
Lowman said he can still put out a fire today.
"As long as the hose has water in it," he said.
He worked as the assistant chief over traffic control, a position he continues to hold in the department.
He became an EMT in 1982 just because the class needed participants.
"They started the class and didn't have enough (participants) to do that particular class," he said.
So Lowman joined the class and received his certification to be an EMT.
Despite being an active member of Henry River Baptist Church and having six children and 12 grand and great-grand children, Lowman answers every call he gets.
He drops what he is doing and hops into his black GMC pick-up truck filled with gear.
"The back of it's full," he said.
Lowman comes in everyday despite his age because of his commitment, friends said.
"His brotherhood," Brand Lingerfelt said. "We're a big family here."
Lingerfelt and Lowman are proof of that, as the two have been friends for 35 years.
"He sets the example for present and past members of the department on how this community is served," Lingerfelt said.
While Lowman has no plans of stopping, he says even when he can no longer volunteer as an EMT, he will still swing by the department.
"I'll stop by for a cup of coffee," Lowman said.
Copyright 2012 - The News Herald, Morganton, N.C.