Liam started at East Coast Ambulance a year and a half ago as an EMT. He is an aspiring professional Firefighter and Paramedic. He spends his free time volunteering at the local fire department and staying fit at the gym.
Liam has both EMT and firefighter certifications under his belt. We recently caught up with him at East Coast HQ in Parkville, MD to ask about his experience at East Coast, his first day on the job, and his career aspirations. Here's what we learned...
Did you first start as an EMT at East Coast or another EMS agency?
I got my EMT certification through my fire volunteer department. They told me East Coast was a reputable company with a really good owner and high standards of care. So I gave them a shot, and after experiencing it first-hand, I can definitely confirm East Coast is one of the most professional commercial ambulance companies out there.
What does your average day look like?
Very busy. We try to be on time with calls and patients are happy to see it’s East Coast picking them up. We’re always trying to build connections with our patients. We have regulars that we transport to their dialysis and doctor’s appointments, so we build a dialogue with them and try to have a good time.
Do you feel like you know your patients on personal level?
Yes. We check in on our patients to make sure they’re doing alright. We had a patient we used to transport who was going through a medical crisis. I consoled her because I had a friend’s brother who had a similar disease, and told her it eventually gets better. I still see her sometimes and we chat.
How does 911 EMS compare to private medical transportation?
For the most part they’re similar. With 911, we’ll get more severe calls every now and then. It’s nice to work at East Coast because I know I’ll have a partner that will provide the highest level of care. With other agencies, you could get a good or bad partner. But here, I’m comfortable working with anyone.
Can you describe the atmosphere and company culture here?
It’s like a family. We all go out to the bars and each other’s birthdays together. It’s a great time. There are a lot of inside jokes at the office. It’s a friendly and welcoming place to work.
Photo credit: Melanie M.
What is Mike Rosselini like as a boss? Can you describe his leadership style?
He’s the best boss I’ve ever had. And I’ve worked at a lot of places. He leads by example and is down in the trenches with everyone. Mike is always working harder to make our work quality-of-life better.
What’s your advice to someone just getting started as an EMT?
Any commercial company, but especially East Coast is a very good way to start. At the end of the day, private ambulance is what you make of it. If you take the time to really read into the patient’s charts, ask questions, learn from the nurses and doctors, you can really learn a lot about sick patients, traumatic injuries, and how to recover. You’ll get that deeper understanding that you wouldn’t get in 911. At 911, you’re loading and going. You’re not sitting there and trying to understand what’s happening. But here, you can get a really good hold of what stable and unstable patients look like, and situations you don’t typically see.
Can you describe your first day here?
My first day here I arrived way too early and went over to the University of Maryland St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Our patient was a man who was a serial killer --- and we were responsible for transporting him from the emergency room to a psychiatric facility. It was an interesting time. Luckily I had a good partner to keep him busy, talking to him, and asking questions to keep him distracted. We didn’t have any incidents.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I leave work and go straight to my firehouse. I work out at the gym there and ride the ambulance for more 911 experience to diversify my resume. East Coast is an excellent stepping stone for when I apply to other departments.
What are your career aspirations?
A Firefighter Paramedic. This route has really grown on me along with emergency medicine. I really appreciate it a lot more now that I’m getting more experience.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known earlier in your career?
How to suction a trach. That was a learning experience.
What do you think makes a great EMT?
Someone that’s good at their job and cares enough to build a dialogue with their patient, but not too much to the point where it impedes their work.
How does East Coast compare to other EMS agencies?
East Coast is the most professional. They heavily emphasize on showing up looking sharp in your uniform. I’ve seen a lot of other companies where I didn’t recognize they were medical providers. I thought they were just random people asking me how to move my ambulance. East Coast holds high standards with attendance and discipline to be as professional as they can be. The 911 departments and hospitals really respect what we do. Everyone really appreciates when they see the blue shirts walk in.
Are you involved with training/mentoring new employees? What do you teach?
I have in the past with my former partner and a few times with my current one. I try to teach them how to write a detailed narrative, how to get a good assessment on a patient, and the right way to do things. Tasks you should do every time no matter how monotonous or unnecessary it may be --- you have to do them. Also definitely ergonomics and how to move patients safely.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If you’re a new EMT, give East Coast a shot. It’s by far one of the best companies you’ll work for. The owner and people are amazing. I’ve had nothing but a stellar experience here and I'm going to be very sad the day I have to leave.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Liam. We applaud your hard work and thank you for being a great asset to the company.