Updated: Mar 1, 2021
I have been a paramedic since 1994. I joined the volunteer fire department in 1990 right out of high school and knew that I had found what I wanted to do. Ironically all throughout high school I thought I was going to be the starting goalie for the New York Rangers. But, as the old saying says..."que sera sera". I was told to do a "ride-a-long-" with an ambulance from Jamaica hospital in 1991 and was enrolled in an EMT course the next day. So it began. A very long career, and even though I have had many downs in a world full of ups and downs, I look back 30 years later and wouldn't change a thing. I have made the best friends of my life from that job. The Best Man at my wedding, the Godfather to my son, and others who have made a huge impact in my life. EMS changes you. In high-school I was a shy kid, but something happened to me when I put on that blue uniform. I courage and confidence. A surprisingly outgoing personality. I found a purpose. You don't become rich in any way, shape, or form in EMS, but I found meaning. Most people who gravitate to EMS are only interested in helping people. Like I said, if they were looking for riches, this isn't the place to be. You learn to trust people you work with quickly. Being put into dangerous situations forces you to trust people. When you face the adversity we face on a daily basis, friendships and bonds form quickly.
Together, you forge ahead. Doing your absolute best for people who often at their absolute worst. In 2008 I had back surgery, and I knew that my days of doing the job I loved were numbered. I fell into education and I never thought I would find a job that I loved more than EMS but I did. In 1989 while in high-school, if you were to tell me that I would be lecturing in front of people (I have stood on a stage in front of a thousand) I would have laughed in your face. Now, I love it. In 2009 after I bit the education bug, I was sitting with my best friend in the world and talking. I had mentioned that I had to "sit through" an ACLS class (even though I was already an instructor, they mandated it) and I hated it. I remember vividly the conversation and saying to him "It was awful. How do you have me in a class for 8 hours and you can't teach me anything?" Tim laughed and said "Why don't we do it?" Both of us had an epiphany. Let's form a company teaching all of the courses that we have had to "suffer" through, and make them better. Let's form a company that people want to seek out and take our courses. Why can't we? Well...We did. 11 years later we have taught thousands and I am very proud of the product we put forth. I am proud that more learners than I can count have said to us "this was the best class I have ever taken."
They say when you love your job it doesn't feel like work. I am lucky enough to have a job that I love, and I get to work with my best friend. Our passion for the job shows, and we love being a small part of people's education. The certifications we teach might be "mandatory" for you, but we don't want the end result to be the only reason you choose us. We want you to leave knowing just a little bit more than you did before. Give us an opportunity, and hopefully you won't ever "suffer" through one of these courses again.
Until next time, please be safe, and take care of each other! Anthony