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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
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Berkshire Profile: Calli Yorke

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Sunday, February 19, 2006

Calli Yorke is a full-time emergency medical technician with the North Adams Ambulance Service.
Welcome to Berkshire Profile, an iberkshires weekly feature appearing on Sunday. Each week, iberkshires will highlight a Berkshires resident whose actions contribute to the Berkshires way of life.

North Adams - It's been said that familiarity breeds contempt, but when it comes to life in the Northern Berkshires, 20-year-old Calli Yorke of State Road disagrees.

Friendly Faces

"I like the friendliness that happens when people know each other," she said during a Feb. 17 interview. "I like that when I go to get breakfast at Linda's [restaurant], they remember how I like my coffee. I like that no matter where you go around here, you see people that you know."

Yorke is a certified emergency medical technician working full-time with the North Adams Ambulance Service. People are often very appreciative of the service and the efforts of the EMTs, she said.

"When you are out at the stores and people come up and thank you, well, it makes you want to keep going and doing what you are doing," she said. "And you don't get that kind of appreciation in big cities."

Yorke spent most of her childhood living on East Main Street with her parents David and Connie Yorke. The family moved to Stamford, Vt. when Calli Yorke was a student at Drury High School. She graduated in 2002 at age 16.

One Thing Led to Another


Yorke during a previous Stamford Volunteer Fire Department drill focused on extinguishing propane gas fires.
When she was 18 years old, Yorke became a volunteer firefighter with the Stamford Volunteer Fire Department and the work piqued her interest in other emergency services.

"I joined the fire department, which led me to my first EMT class," she said. "When I was taking that class, I knew that being an EMT was what I wanted to do."

During 2004, Yorke enrolled at a basic level emergency medical technician class offered at the Berkshire Medical Center and earned state certification in March 2005. She began working at the NAAS in 2005. She remains a member of the SVFD.

A Part of Something

Working with an experienced team of emergency medical professionals and delivering potentially life-saving assistance to people in emergency situations has increased her passion for the work, Yorke said.

"This is a very fulfilling job," she said. "I feel like I am part of something, and the whole [ambulance service] crew is great. I am definitely looking at going to medic school [to become a paramedic]. Once I realized how much you can actually do in the back of an ambulance to save someone's life - it makes you want to get more into it, dig into it that much farther."

The excitement surrounding downtown business and housing strategies coupled with the art buzz generated by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and smaller venues such as Main Street's Gallery 51 may entice younger adults to remain in the region and lure fresh new faces to the area, Yorke said.

"The city has potential," she said. "There are stores popping up, coffeehouses are opening, and you see more people on the street. It could be nice to get some young minds working on ideas."

She is in no hurry to leave the area, she said.

"I love working with the ambulance and I don't see myself giving that up," she said.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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