Describe a typical day.
There is no typical day at KVFD. You never know what you'll get into. You will work a fourteen hour night shift of a 10 hour day shift and you never know what will come up. You might have a day when you have only 1 or 2 runs, or it might be a shift that has over a dozen runs. You just never know.
What's the coolest part of your job?
A lot of it is right there: Not knowing what you're going to walk into when you come into work that day. Probably one of the neatest things is being able to go out and help people. When people call 911 they're probably having one of the worst days of their life, and what's nice is being able to get on the scene and help somebody out.
How does somebody become a paramedic?
First you need strong interest in doing something like this, because there's going to be situations that you see that aren't very pleasant. So if you have that mindset that you really want to help people, join KVFD, become a Emergency Medical Technician. And once you become a seasoned EMT, you will have a chance to become a Paramedic. The classroom and didactic training is rigorous, the practical training is intense, your internship brings it all together.
How has the job changed over time?
Technology and the medicine have changed so much. We're doing things today that we weren't even thinking about doing ten years ago. We can pace a person's heart - attach pads to someone's chest and turn on a machine and actually help beat a person's heart is very exciting. We can intubate - put a tube down into people's lungs so that they can breathe better. Medicine is evolving, and we are evolving with it.
What are some of the most important skills and abilities needed for this job?
Make sure you have a love for the job. It's a very exciting job, and you'll run into different things every single day. Make sure you have a passion for medicine, but also it helps to be a good people person. Remember, you're going to see people at their worst. It might not be an emergency to you, but you have to understand that it's an emergency to them, so you have to treat them with dignity, and treat them as though they were a family member.
For more information about being a Paramedic at KVFD, contact Human Resources at (301) 929-8000.