Meet Paramedic Richard Garner
Where are you stationed?
I'm at Station 10 (Troy Drive) on the A shift.
How long have you been with the MFD?
Since September 24, 2012.
Why did you want to become a paramedic?
I thought this would be a way I could make a difference outside of being an EMT-Basic. It would allow me to expand my knowledge and make more of an impact than I could as a firefighter.
What do you look forward to in your new role?
What I was looking forward to the most is the ability to get out and affect more people, to kind of see life after the ambulance door closes, and to expand my knowledge. On 90% of the calls as a firefighter, once the patient is in the ambulance, the paramedics take over and you don't get to see the patient care and the result of your work. You don't know if they get better. As a Paramedic, you actively get to see those changes or see how the patient recovers as you're transporting them to the hospital.
What do you like about your station and/or the territory?
Being on the north side, I like the challenge of being by yourself for a little while. We're kind of an isolated station, so for bigger calls you have to control the scene and figure out priorities, which is a nice challenge to have. And we get to work with surrounding units, being that we're near the Town of Burke and Waunakee. We assist with those companies as well.
For those who aren't familiar, describe your experience in Paramedic School.
Paramedic School is a whirlwind of emotion. You truly don’t realize what you don't know until you go through school. But looking back on it, it was an experience that I don't regret. And although I would never do it again, I was very happy and honored that the department gave me the opportunity to go through and do it.
What might people be surprised to know about your job?
I think people would be interested to realize that medics can go on up to 20-some calls a day and have zero time to rest and relax throughout the day. When people call us at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning, we probably have been awake the whole entire day. It really is a full 24-hour shift, for sure.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working at MFD?
I enjoy getting on my motorcycles and cruising the hills, taking my mind off of work and preparing myself for the next shift.
Photo credit: David Dahmer, Madison365