Apr 16, 2018 - 12:57 pm CDT

Greetings!  My name is Patrick Murphy.  I have worked at ATCEMS for 20 years, and have served in a variety of roles, including FTO, Spec Ops, Captain and DMO (Designated Medical Officer).  I am currently the Commander over the Knowledge Management, which includes the Business Analysis and Research (BAR) Team, as well as the DMO’s.  Away from work, I enjoy spending time with my family, making music and operating a part time photography business. 

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin? 
I’m from Denver, Colorado.  The allure of cool, dry summers attracted me to Texas (joking).  Seriously, I saw a recruitment ad in the back of a JEMS magazine, was curious and applied.  The music scene was an attraction as well.

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice? 
The TV show Emergency! – Later in life I was around Denver area hospitals (My mom was ill).  I was intrigued by health care in general, but found emergency medicine interesting.

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here? 
20 years.  The people: Patients, good partners, cadets and a few mentors have helped☺  I also try to continually learn and improve – That has kept me motivated as well!

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS? 
The people I work with.  The number of opportunities available here comes in at a close second.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them? 
In Austin - Down Congress at night to get a good view of the Capitol.  Central Texas - Fredericksburg.

What is your favorite taco joint in town? 
Juan in a Million.

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind? 
Play guitar, record, photography, hang out with the family, work on the car.

Who inspires you?  
My children – They are exuberant and full of life – It’s a good thing to see!

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why? 
Ireland.  Because I’m Irish and there is some awesome music to hear.  I hear the beer is OK too!

Word of advice for an aspiring medic? 
1. Always make it about the patient and treat them like family.  2.  Do the right thing.  If you have doubts, it’s probably not the right thing.  3.  Get as much sleep as you can, now!  4. Most of all, have fun at work when you can.  5.  A good partner trumps the worst shift.

Apr 09, 2018 - 11:03 am CDT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?

I grew up in Dallas and wanted to try something different. I went to college in New England and wanted to go back to Texas. After college, I moved to Austin for a job tracking disaster relief after Hurricane Ike, and I haven’t left since.

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?

During my freshman year of college, I went to New Orleans for spring break to do a week of disaster relief. It felt so good being there and doing that kind of work, that I did a summer internship with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans the next summer. I loved working outside and I loved making a difference to people who had lost everything. After college, I worked in disaster relief on a policy level. I realized I wanted to get back to being more actively involved in helping people and do disaster relief on a local level. I took an EMT-B class and the rest is history!

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?

In 2011, I rode out with M8 (shout out to Tim Fuentes and Adam Stevenson!). We responded to a house fire, an extremely sick patient, and crazy car accidents. They tried to tell me that it wasn’t always that exciting, but I was hooked. I joined ATCEMS in 2012.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?

I worked at a desk for 5 years before joining ATCEMS. I didn’t really talk to many people, do much physically, or do meaningful work that I truly connected with. Working for ATCEMS filled all of these desires I had. Each call is different.  We’re always on our feet.  And if I can make a patient’s day a little brighter, my work is meaningful. On top of that, being a paramedic means always learning. I have learned pathophysiology from my patients, learned how to differentiate types of brain bleeds on CT scans from doctors, pediatric medicine from parents, and so much more.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?

The first place I always take guests is outside of Austin.  I loved all the busyness of Austin in my 20s, but now I’m crazy for the peace you find outside of Austin. I usually do a combination of Opie’s BBQ and Krause Springs, or Jester King and Pedernales Falls.

What is your favorite taco joint in town?

The best tacos I’ve had in Austin are usually the ones made for you inside or next to a gas station. The tortillas are usually homemade and everything is cooked a little differently. I love that unique experience where you don’t know exactly what to expect… kind of like in EMS.

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?

I have chickens, a vegetable garden, a local Alamo Drafthouse, and poker nights that keep me plenty busy.

Who inspires you?

My friends inspire me endlessly. My friends are at that special point in their life where their careers and families are really starting to take off. They’re taking promotions, having babies, writing books and following unique paths. It’s really exciting to watch and reminds me to reflect on how I spend my time.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?

When I was younger, I used to go to China every other year to visit my family. Each time I would go back, it would change so much. I haven’t been since I started college. I would love to go back with my family. I know that it will look completely unrecognizable. I would love to feel that feeling when everything is different but somehow very familiar. 

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
When a question pops up in your mind, ask yourself first to see if you can start connecting the dots, and if you can’t or even if you can, ask someone else. Even when you don’t have a question, look for one. Ask why the medic did each thing. Ask about the pathophysiology of every patient from your preceptor and from the doctors. Ask them what they would have done, or how they would have run the call differently if they could. Ask commanders about great calls they’ve run. Ask the doctors what the plan of care will be. Ask nurses what different tests find and do. The best part about being “aspiring” is that you can pick the brain of everyone you meet.

Interested in applying?  Visit www.emsrecruiting.org for hiring process details.

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

 

 

Apr 05, 2018 - 12:57 pm CDT

Did You Know? ||  We're Hiring Edition

We’re hiring!  ATCEMS has opened up 3 hiring processes for medics to come and join our team.  Keep reading for a few tips and tricks as you fill out your application, walk through the hiring process phases, and learn why ATCEMS should be your employer of choice.

We are currently hiring for Medic I-Field, Medic I-Communications, and Modified Paramedic Process, all of which require an EMT B or higher certification.  For full hiring process details, including minimum qualifications and eligibility requirements, visit www.emsrecruiting.org.

Tips for filling out the application:

  • Take your time - it can be a lengthy process and it’s important to pay attention to each question, instructions, and notes
  • You will need to provide 10 years of employment history (when applicable)
    • Need accurate month and year of employment
    • Reason for leaving: needs to be honest explanation (we do employment verifications)
  • Answer the questions honestly
    • We verify information (certifications, driving records, employment history)
    • Applicants may be disqualified if they leave off information on the application
  • Once an application is submitted, you CANNOT edit any information
  • Once an application is submitted through the City of Austin website, Recruiting usually processes them within 1-2 business days
    • If you haven’t received communication from Recruiting right away, it’s most likely because we haven’t processed your application yet or we are waiting on verification of information provided in the application
  • Once Recruiting has reviewed your application and established your eligibility, a detailed confirmation email is sent to the candidate from EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov with next steps and documents required details
  • The faster you submit required documents to Recruiting (after receiving application confirmation email), the sooner we can schedule you for an Structured Oral Interview

Hiring Process Elements Tips:

  • Structured Oral Interview (SOI) -- all hiring processes
    • You will receive a confirmation appointment email.  Read this very carefully!  Important details, dates, times, and next steps are included
    • Know the location of your interview - they can vary from process to process, and day-to-day
    • Be early.  Account for traffic.  Account for parking and making it to check-in prior to your scheduled time
      • There are no exceptions for being even 1 minute late.  Late means disqualified
    • Dress for success - This is a professional interview
    • Be professional in your conduct
    • Be prepared by practicing
    • After the interview, you are given your pass/fail results
      • You must score a 70 or higher to move forward
      • If you unsuccessful, you are eligible to reapply during our next scheduled hiring process
    • If you pass, you move on to the Background phase
       
  • Medic I-Communications Only: (Additional testing elements for Communications)

Hiring Process Dates:
April 19th
-- Medic I-Communications application closes
April 23rd -- Medic I-Field app closes
June 19th -- Modified Paramedic app closes

April 27th -- CRITICALL testing for Medic I-Communications ONLY
April 30th-May 3rd -- Structured Oral Interviews for Field and Communications
May 3rd -- Written psych evaluation for anyone that passes the Structured Oral Interview phase
May 21st - June 14th-- Psychological and medical evaluation (dates will be assigned to candidates that pass background/reference phase)

June 25th-June 27th -- MODIFIED PARAMEDIC PROCESS ONLY Structured Oral Interviews
July 31st-August 7th -- MODIFIED PARAMEDIC PROCESS ONLY psychological and medical evaluation (dates will be assigned to candidates that pass background/reference phase)
October 1st -- Tentative start date for Academy for ALL hiring process

We look forward to receiving your application!  If you have any questions, please visit www.emsrecruiting.org for full hiring process details. 

EMS Recruiting can be contacted at: EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov or 512-974-1098

Apr 02, 2018 - 09:22 am CDT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?
I am from the great west Texas town of El Paso.  When I was offered a job with ATCEMS, I moved to Austin. 

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?
I was a lifeguard while in high school and then I took an Emergency Care Attendant class.  That was the summer I got bit by the adrenaline bug.

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?

I have been here a little over 18 years.  The prestige of working and learning alongside some of the best paramedics in the nation was motivating to me.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?
The ice cream (just kidding)!  I learn something new EVERY DAY.  Sometimes, it’s something small that I learn about while reading a medical journal, or talking with a fellow medicc.  Other times, it’s me learning something about myself on how I respond to adverse events.  That is so cool to me. 

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?

Hands down, the Zilker Park area and ride the Zilker Zephyr, walk through the Austin Nature Center and Botanical Gardens. 

What is your favorite taco joint in town?
This is a hard one to answer coming from El Paso but I’ll take stab at it… Veracruz All Natural on Cesar Chavez.  Fresh handmade corn tortillas, yum!

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?
I enjoy listening to audiobooks while taking a walk, or taking the time to go camping. 

Who inspires you?
Definitely my son. Watching him discover the world through his eyes has given me a second wind in my life.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?
I‘d love to go to Morelia, Michoacán Mexico to experience and see the world’s largest migration of monarch butterflies.

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
Take your time. There is a time to learn, a time to work, a time to rest, a time for family and a time to take care of yourself (and that is ok).  Ask questions...chances are someone else has already asked, or things have changed, and the answer to your question or the solution to the problem could be different now.

 

Mar 23, 2018 - 09:31 am CDT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?
I am originally from Missouri, but my family and I moved to Texas for my last year of high school. I moved to Austin soon after I started working for ATCEMS.

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?
Like most of us, I became a medic so I could help people. I enjoy being able to help bring calm and control to an event that is often chaotic and frightening.

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?
I started with the department two years ago. I chose ATCEMS because overall, it is one of the best EMS agencies in the state and I love the city of Austin. Working here feels like the best place for me.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?
I enjoy being able to help others and make a direct impact on the city that I live in.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?
I would take them downtown to wander through all the strange little vintage shops on South Congress, snag some pizza at Homeslice, and then head somewhere to catch live music.

What is your favorite coffee place in town?
My favorite place to get some coffee is Fair Bean Coffee on S. 1st street, hands down!

What do you do on your days off to relax and unwind?
 I enjoy playing video games and going to see live music.

Who inspires you?
My friends inspire me.  They are incredibly kind people who help keep me motivated and are my biggest supporters.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?
I would really like to take a trip to Oslo, Norway. There are several Norse history museums that I would like to visit.

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
Keep going and keep learning. This job is hard, so do not be afraid to lean on your fellow medics to help keep you motivated when things get difficult. Medicine changes all the time. It is important for us to make sure we are keeping up with what is new so we can do everything in our power to give our patients the best possible outcome.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Questions about a career at Austin-Travis County EMS?  Reach out to Recruiting at EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

Mar 19, 2018 - 10:00 am CDT

 

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?

I was born in San Antonio, TX but never actually lived there. I grew up in Dallas, TX and Atlanta, GA. I came to Austin because it was always my dream to move home to Texas.  If I was going to live and work as a paramedic anywhere, Austin was the clear choice for me.

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?

I was in college at an engineering school in Georgia with no actual desire to be an engineer.  One day I went to my friend’s house who happened to be an EMT going to Paramedic School. She was telling us a story about being at a car wreck, in the middle of the night in the pouring rain and all I could think was, “That sounds awesome... I want to do that!” So, I dropped out of engineering school and went through EMT school and then Paramedic school.

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?

I came to ATCEMS in 2006, after working in New Orleans as part of the disaster relief effort after Hurricane Katrina. I wanted to work in Austin because it felt like the best opportunity to have a career as Paramedic and not just a job as a Paramedic.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?

The people I work with. We think of each other as family and we take care of each other like family. We take pride in being a part of this department.  Representing our EMS family with compassion and care matters to us.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?

I’d take them for breakfast tacos at Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ Trailer because they’d need to fuel up for a full day on the river.

What is your favorite taco joint in town?

Valentina’s Tex-Mex gets my breakfast vote, Torchy’s gets my lunch vote, and Polvo’s wins dinner.

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?

Hang out with my family, ride my mountain bike, and go see live music.

Who inspires you?

My parents. They both started out with close to nothing and built successful careers.  They always made it a priority to be good people and treat others with kindness and respect.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?

Big Bend. I’ve been to many other countries and all over the US but just haven’t gotten around to Big Bend…yet.

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
It’s not all blood, guts, drama, and glory like the you dreamed it would be and it’s not always going to work out perfectly like you prepared.  Remember that we’re in the business of not just caring FOR people, but ABOUT people. Always treat people with respect and do the best you can for them both big and small.  And after everything is said and done, you’ll know that you have done something great. Oh, and HAVE FUN! This job is awesome. They make TV shows and movies about what we get to do everyday. How cool is that?

___________________________________________________________________________

Questions about a career at Austin-Travis County EMS?  Reach out to Recruiting at EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov.  

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

 

 

 

Mar 13, 2018 - 03:23 pm CDT

Did you know that Austin-Travis County EMS has an Injury Prevention team? Austin-Travis County EMS Injury Prevention provides education and resources focused on reducing preventable injuries in our community. We have created targeted injury prevention programming that addresses the most common injuries EMS responds to on a daily basis, and developed a network of partnerships and volunteers to help execute programming and create sustainable change.  Our Injury Prevention team works collaboratively within our communities to address common injuries by applying what we know, and working together to prevent unnecessary tragedies to children, families and communities.  ATCEMS Injury Prevention programs include Child Passenger Safety, Safe Baby Academy and Senior Safety/Fall Prevention and all are provided FREE to our community.

The Child Passenger Safety Program began in 2008 when we started conducting monthly Child Seat Check Events.  Since then, our team has grown from four certified CPS (child passenger safety) technicians to 20+ CPS technicians conducting four monthly seat check events in Austin and Travis County.  In conjunction with ensuring families child restraints are being correctly used, ATCEMS also provides FREE child safety seats to families’ in need.  Grant funding provides the resources for the Child Passenger Safety Program.

Safe Baby Academy is a FREE, three hour class for expectant families or parents and caregivers of children under 12 months that provides education and hands-on practice for child passenger safety, safe sleep, home safety, water safety, infant CPR and choking awareness.  Our Injury Prevention team conducts classes several times monthly, we also offer Safe Baby Academy classes in Spanish.

In 2016 we launched the Senior Safety /Fall Prevention program. Elderly falls attribute to a significant amount of both dispatches and transports to the Emergency Room when compared to other traumatic call types and a large percentage of these falls occur in the home.  Austin-Travis County EMS has a team of trained personnel who conduct FREE home safety assessments to identify potential risks and hazards for slips, trips and falls in the home environment.

Austin-Travis County EMS medics have the opportunity to work with our Injury Prevention team when they aren’t on the ambulance or answering 9-1-1 calls, and if you are passionate about community outreach there are also opportunities to transfer into this division.  Medics on the Injury Prevention team can develop or sharpen their teaching skills, or cultivate new ones such as public speaking, public relations, marketing, graphic design, photography and videography. In addition, Injury Prevention team members travel to conferences and represent the department at a variety of community events and venues. 

For more information check out our webpage: http://austintexas.gov/department/ems-community-outreach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Questions about a career at Austin-Travis County EMS?  Reach out to Recruiting at EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

Follow us on Facebook!

Mar 12, 2018 - 09:07 am CDT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?

I’m originally from just outside of Baker, NV (population of approximately 70). I moved to Austin specifically to work for Austin Travis County EMS after doing my paramedic clinicals here.

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?

My initial introduction to EMS was through my dad, who was a volunteer EMT-B where I grew up in Nevada. Some of my earliest memories are of going with him to trainings and being a practice patient for scenarios. I always knew I wanted to get at least my EMT-B, which I did though Wilderness Medical Institute of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) one summer while I was in college. The great thing about the WMI EMT class is that it’s not only a full National Registry EMT class in only 4 weeks, there is also a wilderness medicine aspect so you learn all kinds of great extra information and it really pushes critical thinking. After I got my bachelor’s degree, I decided to go to paramedic school. My original plan was to go to medical school afterwards and use my time as a paramedic to gain patient care experience and make sure that I loved medicine as much as I thought I did. I found that I did love medicine, and specifically EMS, and as my training progressed my interest and love of the field only increased. While the medical school aspect of my dreams didn’t pan out, it was okay as I have a job I love and I have daily the privilege of caring for others as a paramedic with ATCEMS.

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?

I just had my 12-year anniversary with ATCEMS in January. After completing my internship with ATCEMS, I knew that I wanted to work here. I wanted to work for a system with progressive protocols, one that prioritizes customer service, and one that values employees. I like that the department gives us great tools to do our jobs (Power-LOAD stretchers, state of the art ambulances and safety gear - ballistics vests and turnout gear, and a Peer Support Team) all of which increase our ability to have a lasting and fulfilling career.  The city also will reimburse up to $2000 per year for college classes, which I saw as a great opportunity to continue my education.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?

My favorite part of working at ATCEMS is the people, which include both my co-workers and the patients. I work with amazing people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, several of whom have become some of my closest friends. Also the support that I have seen when coworkers were in need was truly impressive, be it by donating sick time, or raising money for and installing a hot water heater when someone’s suddenly broke, helping to pack up their belongings when someone was moving to a new home, or just texting or calling to check in after a hard call. One of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to hear the stories of the patients that I take care of. I have heard stories about growing up on the large ranches in the area when the main mode of transportation was still horse and buggy, people who were present at defining moments of the 1900s and hearing first hand how those events impacted them, and smaller things like getting to meet celebrities.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?

Oooh, that’s a tough one. For food, I’d say either Torchy’s Tacos (it’s tacos, how can you go wrong?) or Cypress Grill (a delicious Cajun place). Amy’s Ice Cream is another must stop at place in Austin. For things to see and do, in Austin proper I would say the LBJ Library or going for a walk around Lady Bird Lake followed by going kayaking on the lake. If there were time, I’d say a drive out to the LBJ National and State Historic Park and the living history farm there, then Enchanted Rock with a stop in Fredericksburg on the way back to Austin. And if it’s late summer a stop for fresh, homemade peach ice cream as you leave Fredericksburg.

What is your favorite taco joint in town?

Oops, I guess I spilled the beans on this one already but Torchy’s. There are lots of yummy ones but I often get the Taco of the Month.

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?

This is the first year since I started at ATCEMS that I haven’t been taking classes or applying to schools, so I am thoroughly taking advantage of the extra free time. I have started a daily mindfulness and meditation practice that helps to center me. I try to work out every day, even if it’s just on the elliptical at my house. I am a member at one of the rowing clubs so going out sculling on the lake is another favorite. I spend time with friends and enjoy getting to be “Auntie Cassi” to their kiddos. I cook and bake and usually bring things I make to work to give away to other crews, fire crews, and hospital staff. I am a voracious reader and will often finish a book or more a week. I try to travel, in the US or internationally, as much as I can.

Who inspires you?

I have so many people who inspire me. My mom with her willingness to help others and her firm belief in building a sense of community and working with others towards a common goal. And her ability to stay connected to friends all over the country- she sends cards and letters all the time to people to stay in touch (who does that anymore? I try to follow her example but don’t always succeed in this). My dad and how he overcame challenges and lived life on his terms, along with his sense of adventure. My many incredible friends who follow their hearts and dreams fearlessly, no matter how hard the road they chose might be. I love that my friends are people who are true to themselves, proud of who they are, and who stand up for others that might not be able to advocate for themselves.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?

This is a tough one. I have so many places still on my list. Scotland is definitely one of the ones at the top of my list. It’s a country that has featured heavily in several books that I love and it looks beautiful. Plus, it would be easy to add on some time elsewhere in the UK on the same trip. I also really want to go back to New Zealand. I spent my last semester of college there and I can’t wait to go back. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. 

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?

Stay healthy: mentally, physically, and emotionally. EMS is incredibly rewarding but it is hard on you. We work long hours and those shifts can be incredibly busy. It’s important to prepare for this. I have a cooler with food on the truck with me- this way I know that I always have access to healthy foods and I won’t get hangry (and any of my long-term partners can tell you being hungry is one of the few ways to guarantee a grumpy Cassi), plus I won’t be tempted to eat junk food. Try to get a good sleep routine, stick to it, and make getting rest a priority. I try to work out to reduce my chance of injury since the job is so physical. Be prepared that most of what we see isn’t the heart-pounding, life-threatening emergencies that you see on TV and in movies. So much more of what we do is listening and trying to help get to the root cause of why someone called and connecting them with the resources they need (our Community Health Paramedics are such a great resource for this). But we will see horrible things and you need to learn how to process those calls in healthy ways. For me, it’s talking through them afterwards. I analyze what went well, what I’d do differently, and what other things could have happened that I might need to be prepared for in the future. And by talking about a call it helps to move it from the front of my brain where I keep replaying things to a place where I can remember the calls but not see them in living color (the sounds, smells, feel, etc.). Having a physical outlet helps with this, too, along with my mindfulness practice. I’m on our department’s Peer Support team and it helps knowing I can always reach out to someone else on the team to help me process a tough call or if things in my personal life feel overwhelming. It is all about keeping your resilience high so that you can help others without letting it run over into other parts of your life. 

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Questions about a career at Austin-Travis County EMS?  Reach out to Recruiting at EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

Follow us on Facebook!

 

Mar 02, 2018 - 09:33 am CST

Medic-I Noshin Ferdous ready to respond to the next 911 call

 

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?
I’m originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey, but grew up in the Houston area.  I then moved to Austin to study at The University of Texas.  Fun Fact: My mom is Bengali-Indian

 

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?
I’ve been interested in public safety and public service since childhood.  My mom grew up in a culture where women are given less opportunities and less respect than other people.  I chose this career to break those stigmas, and be a unique, positive role model for the community.
 

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?
I was a cadet in Communications Class 0417 (April 2017), so a little less than a year.   Prior to this opportunity, I worked at Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO).  During shifts, I’d sit at TCSO stations closest to the ATCEMS side at our combined facility (CTECC), and would overhear ATCEMS Medics/Captains triage patients.  I was fascinated how technology was used to provide medical and life-saving instructions, via linguistics, and different computer gadgets.  

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?
I love and appreciate the first responders I work alongside with - including the other public service agencies, Austin Fire/Austin Police.  Being new to ATCEMS, I am still awestruck at times by others’ selflessness, persistence, and courage.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?
The University of Texas Tower (Main Building), which overlooks the State Capitol.  While I was a student at UT, I remember learning from an Architecture class that the building’s positioning embodies the balance between Education and Power.  I find the concept inspiring. 

What is your favorite taco joint in town?  
Anything homemade, neatly stuffed with love…And extra guacamole.  :)

 

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?
In Legally Blonde Elle Woods says, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”  That’s my personal maxim.  I majored in Art, so I also appreciate studying art and design.  Otherwise you can find me at Sephora.  

Who inspires you?
Audrey Hepburn, for her demeanor, charity, and personality.  Hugh Jackman, for his perseverance and work ethic.
 

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?
There’s so many pockets of adventure in Austin! This year I would like to trek the Barton Creek Greenbelt.  
 

Word of advice for an aspiring Medic?

I would advise to treat every day as an opportunity to build and improve yourself.  Outline micro-goals that will help reach bigger goals over time.  Stay humble and respectful towards those around you.  Lastly, staying proactive in fitness is important for any first responder position.

Mar 01, 2018 - 09:15 am CST

Did you know that Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) has had a Community Health Paramedic Program (CHP) for over 10 years?  In 2006, ATCEMS recognized there was a need to develop new ways to serve individuals who call 911 for non-emergent problems or conditions that could be better addressed by other services.  Services such as their primary care doctor, a mental health professional or urgent care.

That same year the department began investigating ways to work collaboratively with representatives from the hospitals, clinics, mental health agencies and law enforcement.  The idea was to assess and develop new ways of providing more individualized and intensive services to reduce the individual’s reliance on the 911 emergency system. This led to the development of many partnerships with various agencies in the community that typically had not partnered with EMS to deliver service.   Streamlining communication and collaboration between these agencies was crucial to providing the patient the right care, at the right time, from the right provider.  This work would be the birth of what today is ATCEMS’s CHP Program. 

Today, the CHP Program has evolved to a team of nine providers and one Commander who work independently to address health related needs and problems of the community.   Needs such as taking care of non-emergent medical problems, getting patients set up with a primary care doctor or referring them to mental health services. CHP team members can often be found working with a variety of health care and social service providers such as social workers, doctors, nurse practitioners, police officers and case managers providing medical care and assisting patients navigating the health care system.

The overall goal of the CHP is to connect the individual to education and resources needed to prevent the Emergency Room (ER) from being a primary care provider and reduce admissions.  CHP along with services such as Community Care, Integral Care, Central Health and many other organizations work collaboratively to remove barriers to health care.

For a CHP Program medic every day is different. CHP team members meet with individuals wherever they may be, at home, on the streets, at shelters and while incarcerated. While working with the individual, CHP medics assess their physical and mental health, identify essential medical needs and develop a patient care plan focused on addressing the needs of the whole person and getting them the appropriate care.

While carrying out the patient care plan that has been developed, the CHP medic monitors the health of the patient, relaying information to other medical professionals and alerting them to issues that may need to be addressed before they become emergencies, such as a significant change in their physical or mental health.  By assuming this role in the community, CHP medics often serve as the “eyes and ears” for other health care providers that also want to keep the patient healthy.

Moving forward, the goal is to utilize CHP medics to address non-emergent needs for individuals that call 911 because they have no other place to turn for medical care. We are also partnering with clinics, hospitals and other resources to develop ways to prevent hospital readmissions and ensure the patient is receiving the most appropriate care.

CHP has recently began a mobile health resource hub called Pop-Up Resource Clinics (PURCs-pronounced perks).  Historical information can be gathered though the 911 system to map out geographical locations where PURCs would have the greatest benefit.  Once locations have been identified the CHP team is able to schedule a PURC in those areas.  The PURCs allow all agencies to be in one location and the CHP team is able to direct individuals to resources such a full medical exam, prescription access, mental health care and to the county Medical Access Program (MAP).

CHP medics are well positioned to become the next generation of paramedics and EMT’s that respond to 911 calls, determine the most appropriate care  and get them connected with that resource. These resources may not be hospital emergency departments, instead they may be urgent care centers, clinics and telemedicine.

Apr 09, 2018 - 11:03 am CDT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?

I grew up in Dallas and wanted to try something different. I went to college in New England and wanted to go back to Texas. After college, I moved to Austin for a job tracking disaster relief after Hurricane Ike, and I haven’t left since.

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?

During my freshman year of college, I went to New Orleans for spring break to do a week of disaster relief. It felt so good being there and doing that kind of work, that I did a summer internship with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans the next summer. I loved working outside and I loved making a difference to people who had lost everything. After college, I worked in disaster relief on a policy level. I realized I wanted to get back to being more actively involved in helping people and do disaster relief on a local level. I took an EMT-B class and the rest is history!

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?

In 2011, I rode out with M8 (shout out to Tim Fuentes and Adam Stevenson!). We responded to a house fire, an extremely sick patient, and crazy car accidents. They tried to tell me that it wasn’t always that exciting, but I was hooked. I joined ATCEMS in 2012.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?

I worked at a desk for 5 years before joining ATCEMS. I didn’t really talk to many people, do much physically, or do meaningful work that I truly connected with. Working for ATCEMS filled all of these desires I had. Each call is different.  We’re always on our feet.  And if I can make a patient’s day a little brighter, my work is meaningful. On top of that, being a paramedic means always learning. I have learned pathophysiology from my patients, learned how to differentiate types of brain bleeds on CT scans from doctors, pediatric medicine from parents, and so much more.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?

The first place I always take guests is outside of Austin.  I loved all the busyness of Austin in my 20s, but now I’m crazy for the peace you find outside of Austin. I usually do a combination of Opie’s BBQ and Krause Springs, or Jester King and Pedernales Falls.

What is your favorite taco joint in town?

The best tacos I’ve had in Austin are usually the ones made for you inside or next to a gas station. The tortillas are usually homemade and everything is cooked a little differently. I love that unique experience where you don’t know exactly what to expect… kind of like in EMS.

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?

I have chickens, a vegetable garden, a local Alamo Drafthouse, and poker nights that keep me plenty busy.

Who inspires you?

My friends inspire me endlessly. My friends are at that special point in their life where their careers and families are really starting to take off. They’re taking promotions, having babies, writing books and following unique paths. It’s really exciting to watch and reminds me to reflect on how I spend my time.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?

When I was younger, I used to go to China every other year to visit my family. Each time I would go back, it would change so much. I haven’t been since I started college. I would love to go back with my family. I know that it will look completely unrecognizable. I would love to feel that feeling when everything is different but somehow very familiar. 

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
When a question pops up in your mind, ask yourself first to see if you can start connecting the dots, and if you can’t or even if you can, ask someone else. Even when you don’t have a question, look for one. Ask why the medic did each thing. Ask about the pathophysiology of every patient from your preceptor and from the doctors. Ask them what they would have done, or how they would have run the call differently if they could. Ask commanders about great calls they’ve run. Ask the doctors what the plan of care will be. Ask nurses what different tests find and do. The best part about being “aspiring” is that you can pick the brain of everyone you meet.

Interested in applying?  Visit www.emsrecruiting.org for hiring process details.

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

 

 

What’s Happening at ATCEMS
Apr 05, 2018 - 12:57 pm CDT

Did You Know? ||  We're Hiring Edition

We’re hiring!  ATCEMS has opened up 3 hiring processes for medics to come and join our team.  Keep reading for a few tips and tricks as you fill out your application, walk through the hiring process phases, and learn why ATCEMS should be your employer of choice.

We are currently hiring for Medic I-Field, Medic I-Communications, and Modified Paramedic Process, all of which require an EMT B or higher certification.  For full hiring process details, including minimum qualifications and eligibility requirements, visit www.emsrecruiting.org.

Tips for filling out the application:

  • Take your time - it can be a lengthy process and it’s important to pay attention to each question, instructions, and notes
  • You will need to provide 10 years of employment history (when applicable)
    • Need accurate month and year of employment
    • Reason for leaving: needs to be honest explanation (we do employment verifications)
  • Answer the questions honestly
    • We verify information (certifications, driving records, employment history)
    • Applicants may be disqualified if they leave off information on the application
  • Once an application is submitted, you CANNOT edit any information
  • Once an application is submitted through the City of Austin website, Recruiting usually processes them within 1-2 business days
    • If you haven’t received communication from Recruiting right away, it’s most likely because we haven’t processed your application yet or we are waiting on verification of information provided in the application
  • Once Recruiting has reviewed your application and established your eligibility, a detailed confirmation email is sent to the candidate from EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov with next steps and documents required details
  • The faster you submit required documents to Recruiting (after receiving application confirmation email), the sooner we can schedule you for an Structured Oral Interview

Hiring Process Elements Tips:

  • Structured Oral Interview (SOI) -- all hiring processes
    • You will receive a confirmation appointment email.  Read this very carefully!  Important details, dates, times, and next steps are included
    • Know the location of your interview - they can vary from process to process, and day-to-day
    • Be early.  Account for traffic.  Account for parking and making it to check-in prior to your scheduled time
      • There are no exceptions for being even 1 minute late.  Late means disqualified
    • Dress for success - This is a professional interview
    • Be professional in your conduct
    • Be prepared by practicing
    • After the interview, you are given your pass/fail results
      • You must score a 70 or higher to move forward
      • If you unsuccessful, you are eligible to reapply during our next scheduled hiring process
    • If you pass, you move on to the Background phase
       
  • Medic I-Communications Only: (Additional testing elements for Communications)

Hiring Process Dates:
April 19th
-- Medic I-Communications application closes
April 23rd -- Medic I-Field app closes
June 19th -- Modified Paramedic app closes

April 27th -- CRITICALL testing for Medic I-Communications ONLY
April 30th-May 3rd -- Structured Oral Interviews for Field and Communications
May 3rd -- Written psych evaluation for anyone that passes the Structured Oral Interview phase
May 21st - June 14th-- Psychological and medical evaluation (dates will be assigned to candidates that pass background/reference phase)

June 25th-June 27th -- MODIFIED PARAMEDIC PROCESS ONLY Structured Oral Interviews
July 31st-August 7th -- MODIFIED PARAMEDIC PROCESS ONLY psychological and medical evaluation (dates will be assigned to candidates that pass background/reference phase)
October 1st -- Tentative start date for Academy for ALL hiring process

We look forward to receiving your application!  If you have any questions, please visit www.emsrecruiting.org for full hiring process details. 

EMS Recruiting can be contacted at: EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov or 512-974-1098

What’s Happening at ATCEMS
Apr 02, 2018 - 09:22 am CDT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?
I am from the great west Texas town of El Paso.  When I was offered a job with ATCEMS, I moved to Austin. 

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?
I was a lifeguard while in high school and then I took an Emergency Care Attendant class.  That was the summer I got bit by the adrenaline bug.

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?

I have been here a little over 18 years.  The prestige of working and learning alongside some of the best paramedics in the nation was motivating to me.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?
The ice cream (just kidding)!  I learn something new EVERY DAY.  Sometimes, it’s something small that I learn about while reading a medical journal, or talking with a fellow medicc.  Other times, it’s me learning something about myself on how I respond to adverse events.  That is so cool to me. 

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?

Hands down, the Zilker Park area and ride the Zilker Zephyr, walk through the Austin Nature Center and Botanical Gardens. 

What is your favorite taco joint in town?
This is a hard one to answer coming from El Paso but I’ll take stab at it… Veracruz All Natural on Cesar Chavez.  Fresh handmade corn tortillas, yum!

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?
I enjoy listening to audiobooks while taking a walk, or taking the time to go camping. 

Who inspires you?
Definitely my son. Watching him discover the world through his eyes has given me a second wind in my life.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?
I‘d love to go to Morelia, Michoacán Mexico to experience and see the world’s largest migration of monarch butterflies.

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
Take your time. There is a time to learn, a time to work, a time to rest, a time for family and a time to take care of yourself (and that is ok).  Ask questions...chances are someone else has already asked, or things have changed, and the answer to your question or the solution to the problem could be different now.

 

What’s Happening at ATCEMS
Mar 23, 2018 - 09:31 am CDT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?
I am originally from Missouri, but my family and I moved to Texas for my last year of high school. I moved to Austin soon after I started working for ATCEMS.

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?
Like most of us, I became a medic so I could help people. I enjoy being able to help bring calm and control to an event that is often chaotic and frightening.

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?
I started with the department two years ago. I chose ATCEMS because overall, it is one of the best EMS agencies in the state and I love the city of Austin. Working here feels like the best place for me.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?
I enjoy being able to help others and make a direct impact on the city that I live in.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?
I would take them downtown to wander through all the strange little vintage shops on South Congress, snag some pizza at Homeslice, and then head somewhere to catch live music.

What is your favorite coffee place in town?
My favorite place to get some coffee is Fair Bean Coffee on S. 1st street, hands down!

What do you do on your days off to relax and unwind?
 I enjoy playing video games and going to see live music.

Who inspires you?
My friends inspire me.  They are incredibly kind people who help keep me motivated and are my biggest supporters.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?
I would really like to take a trip to Oslo, Norway. There are several Norse history museums that I would like to visit.

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
Keep going and keep learning. This job is hard, so do not be afraid to lean on your fellow medics to help keep you motivated when things get difficult. Medicine changes all the time. It is important for us to make sure we are keeping up with what is new so we can do everything in our power to give our patients the best possible outcome.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Questions about a career at Austin-Travis County EMS?  Reach out to Recruiting at EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

What’s Happening at ATCEMS
Mar 19, 2018 - 10:00 am CDT

 

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?

I was born in San Antonio, TX but never actually lived there. I grew up in Dallas, TX and Atlanta, GA. I came to Austin because it was always my dream to move home to Texas.  If I was going to live and work as a paramedic anywhere, Austin was the clear choice for me.

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?

I was in college at an engineering school in Georgia with no actual desire to be an engineer.  One day I went to my friend’s house who happened to be an EMT going to Paramedic School. She was telling us a story about being at a car wreck, in the middle of the night in the pouring rain and all I could think was, “That sounds awesome... I want to do that!” So, I dropped out of engineering school and went through EMT school and then Paramedic school.

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?

I came to ATCEMS in 2006, after working in New Orleans as part of the disaster relief effort after Hurricane Katrina. I wanted to work in Austin because it felt like the best opportunity to have a career as Paramedic and not just a job as a Paramedic.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?

The people I work with. We think of each other as family and we take care of each other like family. We take pride in being a part of this department.  Representing our EMS family with compassion and care matters to us.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?

I’d take them for breakfast tacos at Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ Trailer because they’d need to fuel up for a full day on the river.

What is your favorite taco joint in town?

Valentina’s Tex-Mex gets my breakfast vote, Torchy’s gets my lunch vote, and Polvo’s wins dinner.

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?

Hang out with my family, ride my mountain bike, and go see live music.

Who inspires you?

My parents. They both started out with close to nothing and built successful careers.  They always made it a priority to be good people and treat others with kindness and respect.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?

Big Bend. I’ve been to many other countries and all over the US but just haven’t gotten around to Big Bend…yet.

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
It’s not all blood, guts, drama, and glory like the you dreamed it would be and it’s not always going to work out perfectly like you prepared.  Remember that we’re in the business of not just caring FOR people, but ABOUT people. Always treat people with respect and do the best you can for them both big and small.  And after everything is said and done, you’ll know that you have done something great. Oh, and HAVE FUN! This job is awesome. They make TV shows and movies about what we get to do everyday. How cool is that?

___________________________________________________________________________

Questions about a career at Austin-Travis County EMS?  Reach out to Recruiting at EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov.  

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

 

 

 

What’s Happening at ATCEMS
Mar 13, 2018 - 03:23 pm CDT

Did you know that Austin-Travis County EMS has an Injury Prevention team? Austin-Travis County EMS Injury Prevention provides education and resources focused on reducing preventable injuries in our community. We have created targeted injury prevention programming that addresses the most common injuries EMS responds to on a daily basis, and developed a network of partnerships and volunteers to help execute programming and create sustainable change.  Our Injury Prevention team works collaboratively within our communities to address common injuries by applying what we know, and working together to prevent unnecessary tragedies to children, families and communities.  ATCEMS Injury Prevention programs include Child Passenger Safety, Safe Baby Academy and Senior Safety/Fall Prevention and all are provided FREE to our community.

The Child Passenger Safety Program began in 2008 when we started conducting monthly Child Seat Check Events.  Since then, our team has grown from four certified CPS (child passenger safety) technicians to 20+ CPS technicians conducting four monthly seat check events in Austin and Travis County.  In conjunction with ensuring families child restraints are being correctly used, ATCEMS also provides FREE child safety seats to families’ in need.  Grant funding provides the resources for the Child Passenger Safety Program.

Safe Baby Academy is a FREE, three hour class for expectant families or parents and caregivers of children under 12 months that provides education and hands-on practice for child passenger safety, safe sleep, home safety, water safety, infant CPR and choking awareness.  Our Injury Prevention team conducts classes several times monthly, we also offer Safe Baby Academy classes in Spanish.

In 2016 we launched the Senior Safety /Fall Prevention program. Elderly falls attribute to a significant amount of both dispatches and transports to the Emergency Room when compared to other traumatic call types and a large percentage of these falls occur in the home.  Austin-Travis County EMS has a team of trained personnel who conduct FREE home safety assessments to identify potential risks and hazards for slips, trips and falls in the home environment.

Austin-Travis County EMS medics have the opportunity to work with our Injury Prevention team when they aren’t on the ambulance or answering 9-1-1 calls, and if you are passionate about community outreach there are also opportunities to transfer into this division.  Medics on the Injury Prevention team can develop or sharpen their teaching skills, or cultivate new ones such as public speaking, public relations, marketing, graphic design, photography and videography. In addition, Injury Prevention team members travel to conferences and represent the department at a variety of community events and venues. 

For more information check out our webpage: http://austintexas.gov/department/ems-community-outreach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Questions about a career at Austin-Travis County EMS?  Reach out to Recruiting at EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

Follow us on Facebook!

What’s Happening at ATCEMS
Mar 12, 2018 - 09:07 am CDT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?

I’m originally from just outside of Baker, NV (population of approximately 70). I moved to Austin specifically to work for Austin Travis County EMS after doing my paramedic clinicals here.

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?

My initial introduction to EMS was through my dad, who was a volunteer EMT-B where I grew up in Nevada. Some of my earliest memories are of going with him to trainings and being a practice patient for scenarios. I always knew I wanted to get at least my EMT-B, which I did though Wilderness Medical Institute of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) one summer while I was in college. The great thing about the WMI EMT class is that it’s not only a full National Registry EMT class in only 4 weeks, there is also a wilderness medicine aspect so you learn all kinds of great extra information and it really pushes critical thinking. After I got my bachelor’s degree, I decided to go to paramedic school. My original plan was to go to medical school afterwards and use my time as a paramedic to gain patient care experience and make sure that I loved medicine as much as I thought I did. I found that I did love medicine, and specifically EMS, and as my training progressed my interest and love of the field only increased. While the medical school aspect of my dreams didn’t pan out, it was okay as I have a job I love and I have daily the privilege of caring for others as a paramedic with ATCEMS.

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?

I just had my 12-year anniversary with ATCEMS in January. After completing my internship with ATCEMS, I knew that I wanted to work here. I wanted to work for a system with progressive protocols, one that prioritizes customer service, and one that values employees. I like that the department gives us great tools to do our jobs (Power-LOAD stretchers, state of the art ambulances and safety gear - ballistics vests and turnout gear, and a Peer Support Team) all of which increase our ability to have a lasting and fulfilling career.  The city also will reimburse up to $2000 per year for college classes, which I saw as a great opportunity to continue my education.

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?

My favorite part of working at ATCEMS is the people, which include both my co-workers and the patients. I work with amazing people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, several of whom have become some of my closest friends. Also the support that I have seen when coworkers were in need was truly impressive, be it by donating sick time, or raising money for and installing a hot water heater when someone’s suddenly broke, helping to pack up their belongings when someone was moving to a new home, or just texting or calling to check in after a hard call. One of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to hear the stories of the patients that I take care of. I have heard stories about growing up on the large ranches in the area when the main mode of transportation was still horse and buggy, people who were present at defining moments of the 1900s and hearing first hand how those events impacted them, and smaller things like getting to meet celebrities.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?

Oooh, that’s a tough one. For food, I’d say either Torchy’s Tacos (it’s tacos, how can you go wrong?) or Cypress Grill (a delicious Cajun place). Amy’s Ice Cream is another must stop at place in Austin. For things to see and do, in Austin proper I would say the LBJ Library or going for a walk around Lady Bird Lake followed by going kayaking on the lake. If there were time, I’d say a drive out to the LBJ National and State Historic Park and the living history farm there, then Enchanted Rock with a stop in Fredericksburg on the way back to Austin. And if it’s late summer a stop for fresh, homemade peach ice cream as you leave Fredericksburg.

What is your favorite taco joint in town?

Oops, I guess I spilled the beans on this one already but Torchy’s. There are lots of yummy ones but I often get the Taco of the Month.

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?

This is the first year since I started at ATCEMS that I haven’t been taking classes or applying to schools, so I am thoroughly taking advantage of the extra free time. I have started a daily mindfulness and meditation practice that helps to center me. I try to work out every day, even if it’s just on the elliptical at my house. I am a member at one of the rowing clubs so going out sculling on the lake is another favorite. I spend time with friends and enjoy getting to be “Auntie Cassi” to their kiddos. I cook and bake and usually bring things I make to work to give away to other crews, fire crews, and hospital staff. I am a voracious reader and will often finish a book or more a week. I try to travel, in the US or internationally, as much as I can.

Who inspires you?

I have so many people who inspire me. My mom with her willingness to help others and her firm belief in building a sense of community and working with others towards a common goal. And her ability to stay connected to friends all over the country- she sends cards and letters all the time to people to stay in touch (who does that anymore? I try to follow her example but don’t always succeed in this). My dad and how he overcame challenges and lived life on his terms, along with his sense of adventure. My many incredible friends who follow their hearts and dreams fearlessly, no matter how hard the road they chose might be. I love that my friends are people who are true to themselves, proud of who they are, and who stand up for others that might not be able to advocate for themselves.

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?

This is a tough one. I have so many places still on my list. Scotland is definitely one of the ones at the top of my list. It’s a country that has featured heavily in several books that I love and it looks beautiful. Plus, it would be easy to add on some time elsewhere in the UK on the same trip. I also really want to go back to New Zealand. I spent my last semester of college there and I can’t wait to go back. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. 

Word of advice for an aspiring medic?

Stay healthy: mentally, physically, and emotionally. EMS is incredibly rewarding but it is hard on you. We work long hours and those shifts can be incredibly busy. It’s important to prepare for this. I have a cooler with food on the truck with me- this way I know that I always have access to healthy foods and I won’t get hangry (and any of my long-term partners can tell you being hungry is one of the few ways to guarantee a grumpy Cassi), plus I won’t be tempted to eat junk food. Try to get a good sleep routine, stick to it, and make getting rest a priority. I try to work out to reduce my chance of injury since the job is so physical. Be prepared that most of what we see isn’t the heart-pounding, life-threatening emergencies that you see on TV and in movies. So much more of what we do is listening and trying to help get to the root cause of why someone called and connecting them with the resources they need (our Community Health Paramedics are such a great resource for this). But we will see horrible things and you need to learn how to process those calls in healthy ways. For me, it’s talking through them afterwards. I analyze what went well, what I’d do differently, and what other things could have happened that I might need to be prepared for in the future. And by talking about a call it helps to move it from the front of my brain where I keep replaying things to a place where I can remember the calls but not see them in living color (the sounds, smells, feel, etc.). Having a physical outlet helps with this, too, along with my mindfulness practice. I’m on our department’s Peer Support team and it helps knowing I can always reach out to someone else on the team to help me process a tough call or if things in my personal life feel overwhelming. It is all about keeping your resilience high so that you can help others without letting it run over into other parts of your life. 

__________________________________________________________________________________

Questions about a career at Austin-Travis County EMS?  Reach out to Recruiting at EMSRecruiting@austintexas.gov

Want to receive notifications when we’re hiring?  Complete an interest card here.

Keep up with the daily lives of our medics on Instagram: @atcemsmedics

Follow us on Facebook!

 

What’s Happening at ATCEMS
Mar 02, 2018 - 09:33 am CST

Medic-I Noshin Ferdous ready to respond to the next 911 call

 

Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?
I’m originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey, but grew up in the Houston area.  I then moved to Austin to study at The University of Texas.  Fun Fact: My mom is Bengali-Indian

 

What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?
I’ve been interested in public safety and public service since childhood.  My mom grew up in a culture where women are given less opportunities and less respect than other people.  I chose this career to break those stigmas, and be a unique, positive role model for the community.
 

How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?
I was a cadet in Communications Class 0417 (April 2017), so a little less than a year.   Prior to this opportunity, I worked at Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO).  During shifts, I’d sit at TCSO stations closest to the ATCEMS side at our combined facility (CTECC), and would overhear ATCEMS Medics/Captains triage patients.  I was fascinated how technology was used to provide medical and life-saving instructions, via linguistics, and different computer gadgets.  

What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?
I love and appreciate the first responders I work alongside with - including the other public service agencies, Austin Fire/Austin Police.  Being new to ATCEMS, I am still awestruck at times by others’ selflessness, persistence, and courage.

If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?
The University of Texas Tower (Main Building), which overlooks the State Capitol.  While I was a student at UT, I remember learning from an Architecture class that the building’s positioning embodies the balance between Education and Power.  I find the concept inspiring. 

What is your favorite taco joint in town?  
Anything homemade, neatly stuffed with love…And extra guacamole.  :)

 

What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?
In Legally Blonde Elle Woods says, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”  That’s my personal maxim.  I majored in Art, so I also appreciate studying art and design.  Otherwise you can find me at Sephora.  

Who inspires you?
Audrey Hepburn, for her demeanor, charity, and personality.  Hugh Jackman, for his perseverance and work ethic.
 

What is the next place you would like to visit?  Why?
There’s so many pockets of adventure in Austin! This year I would like to trek the Barton Creek Greenbelt.  
 

Word of advice for an aspiring Medic?

I would advise to treat every day as an opportunity to build and improve yourself.  Outline micro-goals that will help reach bigger goals over time.  Stay humble and respectful towards those around you.  Lastly, staying proactive in fitness is important for any first responder position.

What’s Happening at ATCEMS
Mar 01, 2018 - 09:15 am CST

Did you know that Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) has had a Community Health Paramedic Program (CHP) for over 10 years?  In 2006, ATCEMS recognized there was a need to develop new ways to serve individuals who call 911 for non-emergent problems or conditions that could be better addressed by other services.  Services such as their primary care doctor, a mental health professional or urgent care.

That same year the department began investigating ways to work collaboratively with representatives from the hospitals, clinics, mental health agencies and law enforcement.  The idea was to assess and develop new ways of providing more individualized and intensive services to reduce the individual’s reliance on the 911 emergency system. This led to the development of many partnerships with various agencies in the community that typically had not partnered with EMS to deliver service.   Streamlining communication and collaboration between these agencies was crucial to providing the patient the right care, at the right time, from the right provider.  This work would be the birth of what today is ATCEMS’s CHP Program. 

Today, the CHP Program has evolved to a team of nine providers and one Commander who work independently to address health related needs and problems of the community.   Needs such as taking care of non-emergent medical problems, getting patients set up with a primary care doctor or referring them to mental health services. CHP team members can often be found working with a variety of health care and social service providers such as social workers, doctors, nurse practitioners, police officers and case managers providing medical care and assisting patients navigating the health care system.

The overall goal of the CHP is to connect the individual to education and resources needed to prevent the Emergency Room (ER) from being a primary care provider and reduce admissions.  CHP along with services such as Community Care, Integral Care, Central Health and many other organizations work collaboratively to remove barriers to health care.

For a CHP Program medic every day is different. CHP team members meet with individuals wherever they may be, at home, on the streets, at shelters and while incarcerated. While working with the individual, CHP medics assess their physical and mental health, identify essential medical needs and develop a patient care plan focused on addressing the needs of the whole person and getting them the appropriate care.

While carrying out the patient care plan that has been developed, the CHP medic monitors the health of the patient, relaying information to other medical professionals and alerting them to issues that may need to be addressed before they become emergencies, such as a significant change in their physical or mental health.  By assuming this role in the community, CHP medics often serve as the “eyes and ears” for other health care providers that also want to keep the patient healthy.

Moving forward, the goal is to utilize CHP medics to address non-emergent needs for individuals that call 911 because they have no other place to turn for medical care. We are also partnering with clinics, hospitals and other resources to develop ways to prevent hospital readmissions and ensure the patient is receiving the most appropriate care.

CHP has recently began a mobile health resource hub called Pop-Up Resource Clinics (PURCs-pronounced perks).  Historical information can be gathered though the 911 system to map out geographical locations where PURCs would have the greatest benefit.  Once locations have been identified the CHP team is able to schedule a PURC in those areas.  The PURCs allow all agencies to be in one location and the CHP team is able to direct individuals to resources such a full medical exam, prescription access, mental health care and to the county Medical Access Program (MAP).

CHP medics are well positioned to become the next generation of paramedics and EMT’s that respond to 911 calls, determine the most appropriate care  and get them connected with that resource. These resources may not be hospital emergency departments, instead they may be urgent care centers, clinics and telemedicine.

What’s Happening at ATCEMS