LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT)1 Would you leave your home in Kentucky and go fight on the frontlines of COVID-19 in the heart of a hot zone?
That question was asked of a Grant County EMT and one she accepted because of her calling to help others.
Wanda Hammons spent 35 days in New York City running an ambulance for some of the sickest patients.
As we celebrate National EMS Week, Hammons has returned home to Kentucky and has a serious warning for others about the battle she witnessed firsthand.
As a seasoned EMT in Dry Ridge, Wanda Hammons has seen it all.
"Being an EMT is like a calling," said Wanda Hammons.
Working for AMR, American Medical Response, a private ambulance company Hammons spends her days transporting patients.
In Late March she was called upon to take her duties out of state and to New York City and to the front-lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Of all the 20 years I have had in EMS it's the most challenging experience I've ever had in my life and I did 911 and it was a mission I'll never forget," said Hammons.
A hot zone with thousands of cases of COVID-19, the ambulance system there Hammons says was overwhelmed and she was deployed out to what she now says was like a war zone.
"I've never been to war, but this kind of war, it was the invisible war," said Hammons.
Hammons spent 35 days assigned to areas like Queens and the Bronx, working 12 hour shifts running an ambulance.
She says prayer helped her make the decision to go on the deployment.
"My first initial thought was am I willing to put my life on the line to help others, that was your main concern because this was not like any other deployment I had been on," said Hammons.
Hammons would hit the streets going into battle everyday with COVID-19 the likely enemy around every corner.
She says 95% of her patients were positive for the virus.
"Your armor was your PPE, your armor was also your faith," said Hammons.
Hammons now back home in Kentucky has had time to reflect on the crisis she was in the middle of, the people she served and about the war that still rages on.
"It's real, it's scary every patient I laid my hands on ask me the question am I going to die," said Hammons.
Hammons returned to Dry Ridge, was under a 14-day quarantine and is now back to her job.
For her work and being willing to be on the front-ines of this pandemic Hammons was recently selected a winner in a national contest recognizing local heroes for their outstanding work.