It was instinct that drew Julie Scadden into her paramedic specialist job and it's instinct that takes over when a paramedic at the Buena Vista County Hospital receives a call.
"You just go on instinct and you don't really think about it when there's someone that needs help," Scadden said. "You just try to do what you've been taught to do and do it the best you can."
Scadden became interested in the medical field when she helped her boss determine she needed to go home for the day because something just wasn't right. Scadden's boss had to be taken to the hospital later that day because of heart problems and at that point Scadden realized she could make a difference in a person's life.
It was in 1994 that Scadden began volunteering her time to the ambulance crew in Schaller.
"There was a lady there that wanted to retire so I thought it was a good time for me to get involved," Scadden said. "I found that I primarily enjoyed it and wanted to get more involved."
Scadden began taking a series of Emergency Medical Training (EMT) classes. The Emergency Medical Training Basic (EMTB) training class took six months to complete, while the Emergency Medical Training Intermediate (EMTI) class lasted four to six months. In June Scadden completed her paramedic training, which was an intense 11 months of classes.
"Training is 90 percent of it," Scadden said. "I credit 60 percent of it to my partners, who helped show me the shortcuts and made things easier."
Scadden, who is the lone women on a crew of ten at the BVCH, said she believes women make wonderful paramedics.
Read the rest of this article in the 10/21 Pilot Tribune.