Salute to dedicated EMS Workers

Most times Logan has seizures, real-life superhero Paul Fick is on hand to help as a first responder

SAVING LIVES: Priority-Care Ambulance Service director and operations manager Paul Fick Picture: SUPPLIED.

“Bee-baa! Bee-baa! Here comes an ambulance to fetch Wendy!”

I can still hear my brother reciting this whenever we heard an ambulance when we were young children.

He would terrorise me with that recitation, but he never meant any harm by it as it was just sibling teasing.

The fact remains though, that being transported for any reason in an ambulance can be extremely traumatic for many people, especially children. So it is vital to have people looking after one in these circumstances who are empathetic and knowledgeable such as Paul Fick.

Just about every time that Logan Bartle has had his seizures, Paul Fick has been the one to attend to him in a first responder role.

As a way of acknowledging him, we asked Fick to give us some insight into his extremely challenging career.

Fick had an interest in the Emergency Medical Services field from a very young age and followed his childhood dream of being an ‘ambulance man’ through to fruition by becoming the Paramedic that he is today.

Having first volunteered as an assistant in the form of a First Aider and / or Ride-along, Paul completed various short courses which were available at the time to become a paramedic and has been actively involved in the industry for a total of 15 years.

He recommends that anyone wanting to become a paramedic try to follow the same experiential process so as to get a hands-on feel of the industry.

“It’s not an easy industry to go into and definitely is more of a calling than just an average job,” he says.

It certainly does take exceptional people to deal with what they encounter on a regular basis.

Though EMS staff have occasional debriefing sessions, Fick says that he has developed his own style of coping on-scene.

“I tend to switch off and focus on what I’m dealing with, get it done and switch back to reality when done.

This was tested recently when I had to deal with three very traumatic and serious scenes in one week. We had a group debrief session regarding one of the incidents.

I’ve learnt over the years how to deal with traumatic incidents myself and in my own way at my own pace.”

Currently a Director and Operations Manager at Priority-Care Ambulance Service, Fick works flexible shifts from Monday to Fridays, but often helps out on weekends by “jumping onto an extra ambulance or response vehicle.”

Though the basic procedures are the same, there is no typical day in this industry as every call is unique and different.

“You never know what awaits you or what to expect,” says Fick.

“Some days we run back-to-back non-stop where other days are slow. Typically we would start shift by taking handover of the vehicle and checking the vehicle and equipment thoroughly. Calls are despatched either by phone call or specialized despatch apps on our phones.

“Once a call comes in we immediately mobilize to the call, arrive on scene, assess and stabilize the patient, load them into ambulance and further treat, assess and monitor en route to the receiving medical facility.

In between calls is the time we try grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee as we go.”

Paul Fick, we salute you and thank you and others in your industry for what you do and for what you go through to help save the lives of our loved ones.

Your dedication and compassion are greatly appreciated especially in relation to your care of little Logan after whom this challenge is named.

Readers, if you would also like to make a difference to the life of Logan as well as to help create awareness about cerebral palsy, we encourage you to  sponsor one or more of the challenge participants.

You can do this by contacting them telephonically, on WhatsApp or by e-mail.

Alternatively, click here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe9EdVhIMF-Rj7pXSELYPvfbldsFYk1xaHKsTAviBTupI-IAg/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0 to access the sponsorship link.

The GO! & Express is the sole print media sponsor of the Fit For Logan Challenge.

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