My story may not be as glamorous as some other career firefighters. But this is my story and I’m proud to share it with you. First I guess I must be honest and say, I wasn’t one of those little girls whose dad, or uncles was a career firefighter. I didn’t have anyone in my family to pass along the joy of being a firefighter to me. I landed a career here completely of my own accord.
I first began my career in Emergency Medical service back into 2006, when I became licensed as and Emergency Medical Technician-Basic. What that means is that I was certified in Basic Life Support techniques, including CPR, use of an Automatic Defibrillator, and assisting life-saving procedures at the very basic level. Basically I was Nationally Registered and State Licensed to drive and ambulance. At least in my city, that was primary job. I rarely cared for patients in the back of the ambulance. That, my friends, was the job of the paramedic.
I remember being told during my training as an EMT-Basic, that the shelf life for an EMTwas about three years. So essentially after about three years, it was predicted that I would experience burn-out, and become tired of this profession all together. With that said, I’m proud to say, I drove an ambulance as a career for six years-double the time that I was told I’d last in this business.
Something happened though around year five. I was getting tired of being the lowest paid personnel on the ambulance. I grew frustrated with feeling like I wasn’t doing enough to help the patients. Sure I occasionally assisted my paramedic partner. But overall my job was to safely drive us to the scene, and then to the hospital. I wanted to do more. I wanted to be paid more. I wanted to be a paramedic.
So I went through a pretty interesting on the job training course that prepared me to be a paramedic. After several months of preparation, many hours of clinical rotations, in May of 2012 I passed all areas of testing and became a licensed Paramedic. Then, almost instantly, I had another stroke of genius. I no longer wanted to work in the private ambulance sector. After all, I felt like there was too much job insecurity and not enough retirement options in the private sector.
I saw an opportunity to move to “The Big Leagues” and join men and women who had decided to dedicate their lives to keeping the public safe during fire and other traumatic life events. I wanted to become a Fire-Medic (a paramedic who also is certified to engage in fire suppression.) I applied for the job, went through the hellish rigors of Recruit School, and in June 2013, I graduated Fire Recruit school, and began my career as a firefighter.
I love my job, though its not always fun. The lifestyle of a firefighter is somewhat different from that as a paramedic working in the private sector, but my job is the same. I literally save lives for a living. I help people who are sick, injured, lonely, and homeless. I get to touch the lives of people on a daily basis by giving them excellent care and making their needs quintessential when they are in my care.
I am Kineski, and I am a Fire-Medic.