GALLIPOLIS — In a joint effort to recognize community members who have supported the region through good will and volunteerism, the Gallipolis Daily Tribune and the American Red Cross will sponsor a breakfast ceremony beginning at 7:30 a.m. Friday, June 22, at the Gallia County Senior Center located on Ohio 160 — the fourth annual ceremony of its kind. The breakfast is being held in honor of the recently named recipients of the 2012 Everyday Hero awards.
One recipient of the Everyday Hero award for 2012 is Meigs County native Dot Neutzling. Neutzling was named this year’s Blood Volunteer Hero.
Neutzling has made saving lives her life’s work. To call her a hero is an understatement.
Neutzling was born and raised in Pomeroy, Ohio. She came to Gallia County to attend the University of Rio Grande and graduated from the Holzer School of Nursing in 1973. Her first job as a pediatric nurse at Holzer Hospital was just the beginning of many more titles to come.
During her 19-year stint as a pediatric nurse, Neutzling was devoted to continuing her education, specifically in the emergency field, becoming an EMT in 1976 and a paramedic in 1977, both for the Southeast Ohio EMS. For many years, she was a Holzer ER nurse, and in 1991, her advanced emergency experience allowed her to work as a flight nurse for Columbus’ Grant Medical Center out of their second unit in Wellston. She held this position for two years.
Neutzling has also committed herself, and her time, to ensuring that health care professionals are properly educated in emergency care. For 13 years, she was the Basic Cardiac Life Support County Coordinator, Instructor, and Trainer for the American Heart Association, teaching weekly classes in Basic Life Support and annual classes in both Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advance Life Support. Over the years, the courses developed a reputation as being one of the area’s most informed and professional programs, attracting health care professionals from all over the state and surrounding area. This is partly due to continual efforts to update and improve emergency protocols, so that providers can offer the best life saving care possible.
“I think it [the training] made nurses better at what they were doing. The minutes you save knowing what you’re dealing with can mean the difference between life or death. Our ultimate goal was always saving lives,” she said.
After years spent as Director of Health Services for University of Rio Grande, Neutzling began volunteering with the American Red Cross, managing and organizing volunteer participation and activities for the blood drives. She also regularly attends meetings and drills with the Gallia County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
“We need to be able to help each other get prepared for disasters like flooding or tornadoes,” said Neutzling. “We need to know how to take care of ourselves and each other for days, if needed.”
When discussing why volunteerism is so important, she explains it’s simply part of being a good neighbor, and Neutzling is one of the best out there.
For more information about disaster preparedness, contact the Gallia County American Red Cross for information booklets on how to organize your household in an emergency or disaster situation.
Other recipients of the award for 2012 are Billy C. Campbell, Military Hero; Polly Wetherholt, Senior Hero; Cliff and Fran Richie, Community Heroes; Jim Eutsler, Fire Hero; Dot Neutzling, Blood Volunteer Hero; David Clay, Blood Donor Hero; Lisa Richie, Education Hero; Kody Lambert, Good Samaritan Hero; and Tommy Wright, Law Enforcement Hero.
Tickets for the breakfast are $10 and can be purchased by contacting the American Red Cross at (740) 446-8555 or emailing: email@example.com. Tickets can also be picked up at the Gallipolis Red Cross office located at 417 Second Avenue. Those interested in attending are urged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible, as the event has sold out in past years.