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ANSONIA – Two female emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are retiring from Ansonia Rescue Service, effective Oct. 9.Gayle Rismiller, with 43 years, and Pam Snyder with 38, were honored early Sunday evening at the Ansonia First Church of God in a small reception with co-workers and family and friends attending. The two women have been working together on squad for 35 years on the same shift.
The duo indicated they decided not to recertify this year to remain in emergency work. Thus, they’re retiring. However, they’re both going to continue working at their respective jobs; Rismiller at the Darke County Courthouse in municipal court with Judge Julie Monnin, a job she’s held for 22 years, and Snyder, who has worked at Wayne Hospital, now known as Wayne HealthCare, as a unit clerk for 36 years.
“I am planning on attending grandkids’ sporting events and relaxing, and maybe a little camping when possible,” said Rismiller, who with husband Jim have four sons, Darren, Craig, Mark and Justin; four daughters-in-law and 11 grandchildren.
Rismiller joined the squad in 1978 because her parents, Nancy and Jim Dunwoody, were involved with it for many years. Snyder said she was taking CPR classes at the squadhouse when she realized that is what she wanted to do.
Rismiller, who was a stay-at-home mom for 15 of those years, was not married at the time she joined the squad. She met her intended while attending class with his sister, Linda.
“Jim came to the squadhouse and met me,” Gayle recalled. “I graduated from Ansonia 1978 and Jim and I were married in 1980.”
Snyder, the former Pam Eley, graduated from Westmont High School in 1971, and is the mother of two sons, Ryan Baker and the late Brook Baker, whom she had in a previous marriage, and three grandchildren. She has been married to John Snyder for 30 years, and, he too, is active in the Ansonia community, including the rescue squad.
The two women, when on duty with the squad, usually spent once a week in the evening until 11 at work. “It was my girlfriend night,” Snyder said. Both of them agree that the most memorable run they went on was a fatality in a two-vehicle accident on U.S. 127 east of Ansonia in the Dawn area.
“While going there, we could see a ball of fire,” Rismiller said.
“It was just like a movie,” Snyder added. Despite the negative things that can occur with a job like they were doing, they both said they would do it all over again.
“I have truly enjoyed my years on squad and all the great people I’ve had the opportunity to meet, both members and patients. I’ve been blessed by many,” Rismiller said. “Some of past women with lots of years included my mom, Nancy Dunwoody, Chris Eby, and Patty. I admire them all as well as anyone who does this job.”
If the weather was not cooperative and nasty, she said there were other EMTs who were willing to run for them. Both of them have been active in their respective communities; Rismiller was a 4-H adviser and Snyder had served as president of the Ansonia Parents Association, Cub Scouts and was a member of TWIGS and now serves on the Core Outreach Team at her church.
Together, they like to shop and do crafts. And, they will probably do that in the future as well. They also attend church; Rismiller at St. Paul’s Lutheran in North Star and Snyder at the EUM Church in Greenville.
“You could say they’re the crafty club,” said Chris Widener, president of the squad and Ansonia’s fire chief.
“Pam and I want to thank the community and fellow emergency workers for their support,” Rismiller said.
I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.
Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ email@example.com or 937-337-1955.