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Honoring Brazos Valley first responders during National EMS Week

"It can be a really stressful environment, but most of us thrive in it," said Hannah Stewart, an EMS Paramedic at St. Joseph Regional Hospital.

BRYAN, Brazos County — First responders have one of the most challenging and demanding jobs out there, saving lives everyday and being there for others in critical times.

St. Joseph's EMS Director, Billy Rice, spoke about what his day-to-day operations are like during National EMS Week, which runs through May 27. 

“My day to day on a normal day we have 5 counties worth of ambulances at St. Joseph's EMS, one helicopter, about to be two, so it can be very hectic," he said. "We start leadership huddles, we make a plan for the day, we try to make contingencies for anything that can happen during the day, and then the day is on we’re moving patients all day long it’s a busy occupation.”

Not everyone is able to handle the stress and high demands that come with this line of work, but those who are in it stay there for their own personal reasons.

“We work a lot of long hours, we are away from our family a lot. It can be a really stressful environment, but most of us thrive in it. We do really well under pressure, and I think we are a part of this because we enjoy helping people but we also kind of enjoy the chaos," said Hannah Stewart, EMS Paramedic at St. Joseph Regional Hospital.

With rural healthcare systems already being at a disadvantage compared to larger cities due to their lack of resources, this team makes sure to always use their available resources to the fullest.

“It can be difficult to move rural EMS systems to modern mechanisms and we continue to try to do that," said Rice. "We build network infrastructures between ambulances, every single one of them operates on the internet now, we have instant connectivity to all of the regions' hospitals. There's things that didn’t even exist a number of years ago, so its really a fast escalation to what's happening in EMS right now.”

Despite the chaotic and fast-paced environment, these crew members wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The most rewarding part is when we have a patient who's in a really bad situation when we meet them and down the line we get to see them again when they're doing better getting to now we helped them we made a difference. I like to say we’re the best part of someone’s worst day,” Stewart explained.

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