What advice would you have for a student interested in being an EMT
If you don’t like dealing with blood, guts and vomit its not for you. If you can’t deal with someone looking you in the eye and saying place don’t let me die…It’s not for you. If you can put yourself aside and help your fellow man, this is for you. If you have a background or interest in nursing or criminal justice this something for you. Because it gets your feet wet for helping people. Having a good working relationship with local police is important. They are ones that have you back. For those that are in nursing, I would say this is excellent to do
What are your long-term goals or are you fulfilled where you are right now?
I’m very fulfilled where I’m at right now, but I also love to be a paramedic. Paramedics are able to do a lot more, but becoming a paramedic is more expensive as well. I’m working right now to put money aside to get enough to go to paramedic school. Another interested is a flight medic, which work on the medivac helicopters. I think that would be awesome. But I am happy where I am right now. I do like the work that I do. It’s always something different. I don’t have to sit in an office all day. I’m on the road all the time. I like being out and I like meeting new people and being in new situations every day.
Have you had to overcome any sort of fears or challenges in your role as an EMT?
Yes! About a year and a half ago I was in an accident in my ambulance. I was driving a patient to the hospital when someone ran the light and T-boned me. I flipped over. We had a patient on board and my partner was in the back. And it was very very traumatic. My co-workers heard me screaming over the radio and everybody came running. I had to be evacuated by my own people and flown out – which is very very scary. Now, I don’t drive as much. It’s a fear I’ve had to overcome because when I’m sitting in the passenger seat, even though I know my partner would never hurt me, theres still a fear in my mind that someone is going to hit us again. I do things to get over that fear like pray or close my eyes or sing a song or something an that helps me get over it. I’ve slowly progressed to not panicking in the passenger seat. That situation also gave me a new found appreciation for my team an what they do. I’m able to put myself in the patients perspective and say “I’ve been here! I know where you are. I get it! It’s going to be okay.”
So going through that was a way for you to produce a stronger empathy toward those that you help daily?
Did you have people that were incredibly supportive of you becoming an EMT
A teacher in college, Mr Heckle. He encouraged me to try EMS. He said I might like it. And there was also another student who was a senior when I was a freshman. She’s a police officer but I’ve called her up after particularly hard days. We had a 24 year old kid who passed away in a car accident on christmas eve and unfortunately I was elected to tell his mother, “I’m sorry, we tried, but he died. I’m sorry.” She encourages me to keep going with it. And to be around those that have been doing it for 20+ years helps a lot too.