Local EMS company gives inside look at a day in the life of a paramedic

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. — When it comes to saving lives, every second counts. When other EMS resources aren’t available, who answers the call? One of those companies is First 2 Aid.

The company, which is based in the Orlando area, brought a couple of their units to Bay County to help the area with EMS services after Hurricane Michael.

“You’re always there to help somebody at their time of need,” said Jarrod Wester, a paramedic with First 2 Aid.

He started training to be a paramedic since high school. Now, he’s been responding to 9-1-1 calls for years.

“This particular call we’re headed to is an injury from a fall,” he said, en route to help an injured, elderly man and transport him safely to the hospital.

Wester says it’s a team effort.

“We’re one small piece of a big picture of folks,” he said. “Starting from dispatch all the way through to law enforcement and fire department.”

The job requires a wide skill set, handling patients from the elderly to children.

“We are really a master of a lot of different craft,” he said. “We have to at times, know cardiac inside and out, and then in the very next moment we have to know trauma inside and out.”

“Not a lot of people really see what goes on,” said Brandy Luczywo, the CEO of First 2 Aid. “Normally the ambulance shows up to their house, they take their loved one to the hospital and that’s all they really know.”

While the patients may not remember their paramedics after the ambulance drives away, Wester said interactions with patients, like the elderly man they transported on the call mentioned earlier, are often the best part of his day.

“To get to know this gentleman’s backstory, and to find out he served our country, that’s amazing,” said Wester. “It’s getting to know people that in other circumstances you would have never had the opportunity to meet.”

Whether it’s a more routine call or a matter of life and death, saving lives is just another day on the job.

“You constantly have the opportunity to touch lives and be present in people’s time of need,” said Wester.

First 2 Aid will also be the main provider of emergency medical services at Gulf Coast Jam this Labor Day weekend.

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