THOMASVILLE — Thursday’s demolition of the Thomas County Emergency Medical Service building turned up a lot more than just rubble and dust — it also offered local EMS personnel a glimpse into the past.

Uncovered during the demolition was a time capsule sealed into one of the walls of the facility back in 1985. Originally built in the early 1970s, the facilities were razed following the completion of a new emergency services building/fire station.

Thomas County Paramedic Fred Brents was 26 when the time capsule was sealed into an addition to the building in 1985. “Another bay was added on, and we decided to put the time capsule in it because we knew that years down the road, there would be another station built,” he said. “We didn’t know it would be 21 years down the road.”

Brents, who is still with Thomas County EMS, helped co-workers find the time capsule, which included a Times-Enterprise dated June 3, 1985, a price list for various items, and a picture of the EMS staff from that year. Brents and Wiley Joiner are the only remaining staff members from that photo.

A lot has changed in 21 years, Brents said. For instance, in 1985, a ride in an ambulance would cost a patient $50 — nowadays the same service costs $450.

“It’s kind of neat to still be working here when it was found, because I had really forgotten what we had put in it,” he said. “To see all that memorabilia again really brought back a lot of memories.”

Brents said a plaque will be made commemorating the items found in the time capsule and placed in the new emergency service facilities. Now 51, Brents considers himself fortunate to have been present when the time capsule was unveiled.

“I had no idea I’d still be here. But I love what I do, so there’s no need in leaving,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be there when the next one is dug up.”

To contact reporter Brewer Turley, call (229) 226-2400, ext. 226.

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