Joseph has been an instructor with Emergency Care Programs for many years and is happy to share some of his history in the field with our students. Let us know if you have any questions for Joseph :)

When did you decide you want to become an EMT?
I've always wanted to help people (I still do). When I was in high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do (professionally) but I would look up to my older brother who was an EMT. I guess I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

Did you volunteer / intern as an EMT before you made it your career?
I took my initial course while in College and was approached by a member of the volunteer squad, I joined immediately. I still volunteer in my community.

What is your Level of Certification? EMT/Paramedic/Lab Instructor/ Lead Instructor?
I am a Paramedic and a Lead Instructor, currently active in both respects.

How do you keep sharp in your own skills?
Constant practice and review. Medicine is constantly evolving and you need to be up to date with information. We also forget things faster than we learn it. I try to review the information I don't utilize as much, so I will know it when I need it (not after). As the old saying goes: "If you don't use it, you lose it".

What is your most inspirational "save"?
A few years ago, a woman stopped me while I was working one day and started to thank me for helping her. I honestly didn't recognize her and she introduced herself and proceeded to describe the situation in which I saved her life. At that moment, it registered in my mind like a switch turned up, and I remembered the entire incident and how I saved her. It hit me then, about how vital our work in EMS is. The importance of not only saving a life, but the impact we have on someone else and their entire life, their family, their friends, all their experiences. It was different from the moment I was able to help her in her time of need so much, she remembered me YEARS later.

How's the camaraderie on the job with your fellow EMTs?
EMS isn't just a job, it is a life. Therefore, my fellow EMS people are like my brothers and sisters. Some are like best friends,s some might not all get along, we may fight sometimes; but at the end of the day I know they'd have my back just as I would get theirs.

What advice can you give others who want to become an EMT?
If you are committed to the field and really want to do this, you have to work at it. The field is not financially worth it, but the greater payoff is worth it. Read, read, read, and study. I also enjoy teaching as it is an every day experience to learn something new and review for those things I may not always get a chance to practice.

How do you encourage others to follow this career path?
The truth: No matter what happens during my shift, at the end of the day (or night) I can sleep peacefully with the knowledge that I made a difference in someone else's life, helped those in need when they needed it most, and touched another human soul in a way, only those in EMS can do / understand.

Words of wisdom for our students / future-EMT's?
Be professional, regardless of the situation or your surroundings, always think first & act professionally. You are better than anything that comes your way.