SPCC Donor Encourages Graduating Class of Union County EMTs with His Harrowing Personal Story

Walter Sprouse and his wife were traveling from their home in Asheboro, NC to Monroe last July when a truck crossed the solid yellow line and hit their vehicle head on. Their vehicle was wrecked and they were greviously wounded, but this story has a happy ending. 

Thanks to the quick thinking of two Union County EMS personnel, Mr. Sprouse and his wife were given lifesaving care and transported to a nearby hospital. Both of them were able to recover and Mr. Sprouse is nothing if not grateful. At the graduation ceremony for the inaugural class of the Union County EMS Academy, he shared this story and a message of encouragement for the cohort of EMT graduates.

“I know at some point, you have asked yourself this question: can I do this [work] when it counts? When someone’s life is on the line.” Mr. Sprouse said during his remarks. “The answer is yes… just like the EMTs that worked on us, they knew exactly what to do. Their training took over. These emergency situations will be varied, but so is your training… when the time comes, you’ll know what to do.”

The Emergency Medical Technician Basic Certification program is an intense 5 week program that provides 244 hours of life-saving paramedics training. Each student who completed the program was employed by the Union County EMS department.

Mr. Sprouse did not know who the EMTs were that saved his life in that car accident in July, but he was given the opportunity to meet them during the graduation ceremony. The SPCC Foundation and Union County EMS worked together to identify the two paramedics who responded to the accident. As part of the graduation ceremony, these two Union County EMS personnel were reunited with the Sprouse family and formally honored for their life-saving work.

During the accident, Mr. Sprouse’s femoral artery was punctured and he risked bleeding out at the scene of the accident, if not for these two Union County EMTs. As a thank you for their work, he graciously made a donation to the SPCC Foundation which will allow the college to purchase femoral artery training kits for SPCC paramedic programs.

“This wonderful gift from Walter and his family will go a long way in helping our college train and support emergency personnel in Union County,” Dr. Maria Pharr said. “We are grateful for his gift and especially grateful that he shared his story to inspire our first responders.”

As he concluded his remarks, Mr. Sprouse reminded graduates that they are tasked with the job of saving lives, but that the job is also rewarding and powerful.

“One day, you’ll go home and someone will ask you: what did you do today?” Mr. Sprouse said. “You’ll say: I saved somebody’s life. I saved a life today.”

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