By Nikki McKim
Chip Ebel has done many things for his community in his 29 years. He has spent the past nine years on the Falls City Volunteer Ambulance Squad as a driver; he’s been a volunteer storm spotter for Richardson County Emergency Management Agency for nearly a decade; he’s part of the Decontamination Team, a communications officer and is in his second year as vice president of the ambulance squad.
Chip truly does go above and beyond for his community.
Chip’s journey took a turn in the early 2000’s when he lost some important people in his life. He saw the ambulance crews doing everything they possibly could to help those closest to him. Right then and there he decided he wanted to join their team,
“I want to do my part and try to help other families and others’ loved ones.”
“I enjoy helping those in need in any way I can.” Chip has also found that being on the Ambulance Squad and Richardson county Emergency Management Agency teams help him meet new people in the community.
Born to Zita Ebel and the late Gene Ebel in 1985, Chip has always been on the go; hunting, fishing, riding his ATV, helping friends and family on their farms and spending time with his wife of four years, Sara.
He also happened to be born with Spina Bifida.
Spina Bifida, meaning “split spine” is a developmental congenital disorder caused when the spinal column does not close all of the way. Every day, about eight babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar defect of the spine. At this time there is no known cure for nerve damage caused by spina bifida.
Chip uses crutches and leg braces to get around but anyone who has seen him in action knows that they don’t slow him down.
As a driver for the Volunteer Ambulance Squad, Chip’s actions don’t go unnoticed. His fellow squad members are quick to tell you that he is one of the most conscientious drivers they have.
Patients are quick to compliment his “smooth driving, friendly smile and reassurance.” They also note that he is in charge of maintaining their pagers and radio equipment, a thankless job. Chip takes care of it to ensure the safety of his patients and squad members.
2014 Chab Community Service award winner, Becky Vonderschmidt, presented Chip with the ‘15 award. According to the nomination letter, Chip “unselfishly donated numerous hours to enhance the safety of Richardson County and surrounding area.”
Vonderschmidt went on to share, “He’s not just a fair weather volunteer. In his role as a volunteer storm spotter, he shines when the sun isn’t shining. Whether it’s a festival, a triathlon or any other sporting event, he’s always geared up for any emergency. And speaking of geared up…his gear includes two crutches, which have never been an obstacle in his ability to serve others.
“I would be so honored to work sided by side with this individual during any emergency situation,” she said. “I am so proud to present this well-deserved award, which acknowledges extreme dedication to a person who prioritizes the needs of others above his own. When the Chips are down you know he’ll be around,” Vonderschmidt concluded.