Community Heroes: Big Stone Gap emergency medical technician answering the tough calls

Community Heroes

BIG STONE GAP, Va. (WJHL) Each week, we introduce you to someone who makes our region a better place to live. We call them Community Heroes.

This week, Pheben Kassahun traveled to Big Stone Gap to introduce you to Sue Sturgill, this week’s community hero.

She is a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother.

“I think my mom is an incredible person,” Big Stone Rescue Squad second lieutenant, MaDonna Strugill said.

However, she is widely known as being a phone call away when the community of Big Stone Gap calls.

“She’s a loving and caring person and she doesn’t draw a line of who she chooses to help. She just jumps in right in,” Sturgill said.

Even with excessive visits to the hospital, this 70-year-old makes herself available, no matter the circumstance.

“She’s had both knees replaced. She’s had cancer. She’s had her eye surgeries – the retina replaced in it,” Sturgill said. “She’s still out here and she’s going better than any 20-year-old that I know, even in the COVID-19 suits that we have to wear. She volunteers, she goes in. She doesn’t question nothing that she does.”

Sue Sturgill has been a volunteer and paid personnel at Big Stone Gap Rescue squad for nearly three decades. She said she started right before the Gulf War took place, also known as Operation Desert Storm, and nothing is stopping her now; not even a pandemic.

Big Stone Gape Rescue Squad Enhanced Emergency Medical Technician, Sue Sturgill said, “It’s been a big, big change. If they warn you before you get there, you know, you know you’re suited up and ready and have your gear and the ambulance that you rode for it. You know, if they tell you that.”

Sue Sturgill has worked overtime for the department, even helping out neighboring towns, if needed.

“She’s enhanced, she’s ALS here and if any other agency like Pennington [Gap] or anybody needs ALS backup, no matter where she’s home or where she’s at, she comes and goes and helps,” MaDonna Sturgill said.

Sue Sturgill said, “I want to do everything I can to help people and if there’s anybody out there that I can do anything for them, I want to do the best that I can.”

And that is why she’s our community hero.

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

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