Remote Paramedic, Christy Shoemaker has been nominated for an SMS standout by Operations Supervisor, Leighton Guilbeau for excellent performance and quality of work. Leighton exclaimed, “Chirsty has only been with SMS for one month and has already proven herself to respond as a seasoned professional and a treasured member of the Acadian Companies family. While working the last day of her hitch on Enterprise 350, Christy was asked to respond to a satellite platform nearby for a cardiac patient. After she gathered her gear and hopped aboard the helicopter, Christy quickly and calmly stabilized the patient. Due to her clinical experience brought from a previous life in EMS, she acknowledged that her patient needed immediate transport to a facility that could provide a higher level of care. The patient was medivac’d and diagnosed to have 100% occlusion in one artery and 60% in another. Christy clearly saved this patient’s life and represented our company like a true professional in all aspects of the job.” Fantastic work, Chirsty!
We chatted with Christy to get a view of what a day in her life looks like.
AA: Describe a typical day at work.
CS: Up early then, coffee, coffee, coffee. At any given point during my day, I may wear the hat of a clerk, an air-traffic controller, a paramedic, or my favorite and nickname worthy role, Super Nanny. Early to bed, wash, rinse and repeat.
AA: What was the best vacation you have ever taken?
CS: A summer trip to Tybee Island, GA.
AA: Describe yourself in one sentence.
CS: In a field of roses, I choose to be a sunflower.
AA: What is your favorite thing about your job?
CS: Ironically, being an introvert! I enjoy the people I encounter every day, along with the responsibility of caring and advocating for them.
AA: What food could you live on for a month?
CS: Charleston grits!
AA: Do you have a side hustle, hobby or volunteer group that you’re involved in outside of work? What else do you spend your time doing?
CS: I hustle every day I’m home. As a mom of teenage twins, I go to work to rest. However, I wouldn’t trade that part of my life for anything in the world; they are my greatest achievement.
AA: How do you stay motivated at work?
CS: Being in public safety as a paramedic has never been a “job” for me. I thrive off of helping others, and that doesn’t always include lifesaving interventions.
AA: What has been the most fulfilling moment in your career so far?
CS: Visiting elementary children during lunch while in uniform. During a visit when I with the Fire Department, I will never forget the little girls that surrounded me and the sparkle in their eyes. It was a very humbling experience that gives me goosebumps even now.
AA: Who would play you in a movie?
CS: Scarlett Johansson, or maybe I would want to play her.
AA: Tell us about a moment that changed your life.
CS: One cardiac arrest I worked was a complete disaster. Nothing seemed to go right and the odds were not in my favor, nor my patient’s. When we received the order to stop CPR, I cleaned up and proceeded to notify the family standing outside of the home. I listened and offered a shoulder to cry on. Several weeks later I was approached by a young female tech working in my local ER. She was six months pregnant at that time. She all but ran up to me and gave me this huge, tight hug. Not used to being on the receiving end of such things, I was stunned to silence and just stood there. She then explained that she was the granddaughter of that particular patient. You see, the family knew that he wasn’t doing well and probably near the end of his life. It wasn’t my skills she was thanking me for, it was the time I took with her family, and my ability to be present during their loss.
AA: What would be your advice for future [safety professionals]?
CS: Never become complacent. If you find yourself not wanting to go to work, find something else to do. Those we serve, depend on us to be at our best.
AA: What is your favorite activity outside of work?
CS: I enjoy reading in the summer. When the weather gets cooler you will find me outside in some capacity.
AA: Name one book that inspired you professionally.
CS: Nancy Caroline’s Emergency Care in the Streets
AA: Which talent or superpower would you most like to have and why?
CS: The power to read minds.
AA: What was the best advice you were ever given?
CS: Fake it till you make it, never let them see you sweat. Never run, walk with purpose.
AA: Do you have a bicket list? What are the top 3 things on it?
CS: 1.Work with K9 Search and Rescue.
2. Practice as a wilderness medic in Alaska.
3. Backpack through Europe.
AA: Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
CS: My daughter has a prissy, wired haired terrier named Miles.
AA: A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero.
CS: He is a member of a mariachi band called Los Pinguinos and is hoping to borrow a Tide Pen for a stain on his tux.