Lindsay Carrier – Paramedic

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Steve and Lindsay Carrier

Lindsay Carrier of Piney Creek laughs when she describes her childhood as the daughter of Sparta Elementary teacher, Kathy Vaught.  “It was hard to get by with much,” Lindsay said recently.  “If I had a bad test score or didn’t eat my lunch, my mom knew it before I got home.”  But while some might consider those high expectations a curse, for those who fall under Lindsay’s care these days, it is definitely a blessing.

Ever the high achiever, Lindsay graduated from Alleghany High School a semester early in 1998.  After high school, she enrolled in the criminal justice program at Surry Community College (SCC).  Her criminal justice degree led to a job as a telecommunicator with the Elkin Police Department.

Telecommunicators are the lifeline between the public and emergency responders, and between those responders and those coming to their assistance.  The telecommunicators develop the ability to fill in the gaps between what a caller in distress needs and how to meet those needs.  They learn to juggle a caller on the phone, entering data into a computer, and talking on the radio with responders.  Oftentimes they handle multiple calls at once.  It is a high stress occupation that is often underappreciated.

After a stint in Elkin, Lindsay took a similar job in Iredell County and then came back home to the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office.  She had one daughter and was pregnant with her second child.  She went into labor at 28 weeks and found herself at Hugh Chatham Hospital in Elkin.

Lindsay recalls those hours as extremely difficult.  Her daughter, Tori, was born and immediately whisked away to Brenners Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care unit.  Lindsay didn’t get to hold Tori after the birth and instead was simply given a telephone number to call to check on Tori’s status.  Lindsay called that number later that day.  The call was answered by a cheery nurse who identified herself as Lori.  After giving an update on Tori’s condition, Lori offered to bring some things from Breeners.  That evening Lori drove from Winston Salem to Elkin with photos of Tori and a blanket that she had been using.  Lindsay said that at that moment she and Lori clicked.  They have been best friends ever since that first visit.

After Tori’s birth, Lindsay went back to work in Iredell County as a detention officer in the county jail.  She quickly grew tired of dealing with so much negatively and found herself growing increasingly cynical.  Hoping to tap back into a greater sense of public service, she left the sheriff’s office and enrolled in the emergency medical technician (EMT) program at SCC.

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High angle rescue training

Prior to Tori’s birth, Lindsay had completed her basic emergency medical technician course and was working on the advanced level.  She dropped out of the program to focus her energy on Tori.  Now, years later, she found herself making the commute from Piney Creek to Mt. Airy each day.  Her previous EMT certification had lapsed so she had to go back through the six month basic program.  She then entered the paramedic program.

The paramedic program is 13 months of intense, stress filled training.  There is little room for error and perfection is expected of the students.  The course combines 1200 hours of classroom instruction with 700 hours of clinical work in the hospital or “ride time” in an ambulance.  This structure allows the students to take classroom theory and put it into practice in real-life situations.  Those clinical hours are closely monitored by a preceptor who constantly evaluates the students.  Those years of her mom’s close oversight and the stress inoculation from her time as a telecommuniactor made Lindsay a natural for this work.

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Surry Community College Paramedic graduates

After completing the program, Lindsay chose a job with the Yadkin County Emergency Medical Services.  She viewed the high call volume in Yadkin County as a way to quickly develop her skills.  It also gave her access to a part-time job with the Miller Ambulance Service which handles ambulatory transports.

The two jobs stretch into one long 36 hour shift which Lindsay completes twice a week.  She is quick to point out the she couldn’t have completed her education or taken this job without the assistance of her husband, Alleghany deputy Steve Carrier, or her mom.  Both daughters are involved in sports and church activities.  It takes the whole extended family to make it all work.

An obvious question in response to this hectic schedule is, “Why live here?”  It would seem to be easier to live “off the mountain” or to relocate in the county to lessen the commute.  Lindsay has a quick response to that question.  “We make those sacrifices to live in Alleghany County.  This is our home.  We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

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5 Reasons You Should Attend the Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention

Looking for an enjoyable way to spend a summer afternoon and evening?  At the top of that list of possibilities should be attending the Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention. This family oriented event is scheduled for July 21st and 22nd in Sparta, North Carolina at the Alleghany County Fairgrounds.  Here are five reasons you should plan to attend:

#1 Be a part of a longstanding mountain tradition.  String music and fiddlers’ conventions are an integral part of Appalachian culture.  These gatherings give neighbors opportunities to get together to share tunes and reestablish old friendships.  Toss in some friendly competition and you have a fiddlers convention.  As you wander through the campground, you will be treated to a variety of very fine old-time and bluegrass music.  Do you play or are you a budding musician? Most jams are welcoming to newcomers.  Keep in mind there is usually informal etiquette that may vary from group to group.  General jam etiquette can be found here.

#2  This is a fundraising event.  The proceeds raised benefit our community.  This event is one of the primary fundraisers for the Sparta-Alleghany Volunteer Fire Department. Entrance fees go to help this group of dedicated volunteers keep our community safe.  Once inside the gates, the Sparta Lions Club offers delicious hamburgers and hotdogs.  And there are a host of other vendors who pour their resources back into the community.

#3  Enjoy a cool mountain evening.  While much of the south is simmering in oven-like temperatures in mid-July, Alleghany County evenings can be quite cool, averaging in the low 60s.  You may consider bring a sweatshirt or light jacket just in case!

#4  You will feel welcomed.  From the volunteer firefighter who helps you with parking to the lady serving a made to order funnel cake, you will experience a sense of belonging to our community.  In fact, this welcoming atmosphere is often given as the number one reason people return year after year.

#5  It’s fun!  The stage show gives musicians of all skill levels a chance to perform.  There is a dance area where everyone is welcome to practice their favorite steps.  If you don’t know how to dance, there are folks who are always looking for a partner and will be more than happy to lend you a hand.

The Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention is more than a music event.  Music and dance help balance culture and erase class boundaries.  This event is a place where new friendships are formed and old ones strengthened.  It has a “come as you are” air that is a unique part of mountain life.  Who would want to miss that?

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For complete information about the Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention, visit their website here.  Photos were retrieved from this site.

For information on lodging, restaurants, and other retail needs, visit the Alleghany County Chamber of Commerce’s website here or call them at 336-372-5473.

The videos were retrieved from the YouTube channel, Lovin’ Bluegrass by Carol McDuffie.  Visit her channel for more great videos.