Strip away the cape, tights and the hordes of female fanfare from a superhero, but retain the inner qualities, and you have the makings of an EMS worker.
With Edmonton growing larger and its population growing older, the city is looking for more emergency medical service (EMS) workers to be heroes and help meet some of the health-care demands.
“The population is growing older and they have more medical needs,” says Stu Williams, deputy chief of program development for Edmonton EMS.
The City of Edmonton is looking for men and women to fill the roles of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics throughout the city.
Candidates must be able to adapt to life and death situations by being quick and rational thinkers when the adrenaline begins to flow.
“We look for people with the ability to adapt to new situations and the ability to work as a team member,” says Williams.
Like most careers in the health-care field, EMS workers must be able to handle the mental and emotional challenges it presents.
“There are a lot of opportunities in health care, it is a challenging career,” says Williams.
While recruitment is an ongoing process for the City of Edmonton, with about 33 positions to fill, applicants for paramedics are lacking.
“We are not getting as many paramedics apply as we have hoped for, but we are getting qualified EMTs to fill the positions,” says Williams.
Although the number of applicants may be low, there is not a lack of paramedics being trained.
In a career where you can see life given and taken away in the same day, Andrew Predy, 23, a second-year paramedic student at NAIT, enjoys the challenges EMS work throws his way.
“No day is ever the same, it is always something different,” says Predy.
Predy has put in his time as an EMT in some smaller centres in northern Alberta, but this has given him the much-needed experience to handle the pressures of a larger centre like Edmonton. Working for the City of Edmonton is a possible future for Predy, but career longevity and satisfaction matter more than location of service.
“I enjoy the rewarding nature of the job and the uniqueness of the work we do,” says Predy.