Absarokee hopes to boost ambulance volunteers by hiring its first full-time paramedic

ABSAROKEE — It was early in his paramedic career, but Aaron McDowell still remembers the four-hour ambulance ride, rushing through the fog, to hospitalize a newborn girl with a life-threatening heart condition.

“We got her there. She had heart surgery. She lived,” McDowell said. “Last time I knew, she was 10 years old. What has she gone on to do? How many lives did she improve?”

That ripple effect is what motivated McDowell to begin a career in the EMS field, one that’s brought him to Absarokee to become the first-ever full-time emergency medical technician for a fire district that spans more than 250 square miles in rural Stillwater County. And he hopes that embrace of public service can translate to more local recruits for an ambulance service that has been chronically understaffed in recent years.

Since joining the town’s rural ambulance service

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