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Why we become EMTs and Paramedics

Submitted by on September 11, 2009 – 1:47 amNo Comment
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By Jamey Perkins

I was not long into adulthood, and still really had no idea what type of career I would go into. Although college is affordable for almost anyone, with loans available and such, I never pursued it. Like many young people, I was just happy to be out of high school and ready to get going with “life”.

I was 20 years old, had a newborn infant and a wife of 1 year. We lived in a very small house in rural Indiana, and had been there for about 6 months. My wife and I both worked at a local factory creating automotive seats. Like many others, we both wanted much more out of life, but hardly had an idea how to achieve it. Until, our neighbors invited us over for dinner one night.

Little did I know, but our next door neighbor was an EMT and Fireman. While enjoying dinner with our new friends, I heard alert tones going off from a scanner in the house. Immediately, our dinner host jumped up and started putting on his gear. My wife and I were both a bit confused and asked what was going on. After a brief explanation, Randal, the host, asked if I could come along. While en route in his POV (Personal Owned Vehicle), he explained that there was a car accident a few miles from our house, and he was first responding.

Upon arriving at the scene, we found a full sized pickup truck over a large embankment. A couple of firemen arrived on the scene and used ropes to repel down the steep slope. They secured the patient into a Stokes Basket and moved him up the bank.

Randal began to treat the patient, and I offered any bit of assistance I could. Soon, an ambulance arrived and took over care of the patient. After stabilizing him, they loaded the patient and transported him to the local hospital.

It took hours for my adrenaline to settle back to normal. I had just experienced something that truly moved me. It was right then that I knew what I wanted out of life. It was the thrill of the experience, the feeling of adrenaline during a super tense situation, and most of all, it was doing something with my life that would actually feel like it was making a difference.

17 years later, I was an accomplished EMT that had also completed Paramedic training. I had a great deal of respect from my co-workers, and most of all, I still had a career that I truly loved. One that I could still wake up and be excited to get to work early and get the shift started.

Many things in EMS have changed over the years. The room for advancement has grown to such a wide selection of options, and many EMS workers are transitioning into other fields and accomplishing great things. Courses such as the Paramedic to RN, EMT to EMS Management, and of course the great many opportunities available in Fire Services, Police, and Dispatcher positions are all options now. I would highly recommend that anyone considering EMS as a career to go for it. Job satisfaction, personal accomplishment, and unlimited areas of advancement are all available.

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