Mark Crighton: Life as a Remote Paramedic
I’m not going to lie to you, my career as a remote paramedic with Iridia started with the intention of making a “few quick bucks”. I was interested in going up north to work for a little while. I talked to a few guys around the BCAS station and they said Iridia was the company to work for… that was 3 years ago.
I discovered many things while working with Iridia and my career path completely changed. I learned about unbelievable teamwork, exceptional support, and being part of a team where my voice and opinions actually count. It was such a relief to finally be working in a positive environment, where like-minded individuals work towards common goals.
A great part of being a remote paramedic is the adventure. This career had enabled me to see and experience many things that I would never have discovered on my own – from urban adventures to remote wilderness and everything in between. Sometimes just getting to the job site is half the adventure. Making my way through many airports and passing through different towns and cities, all the way keeping an eye out for the closest Starbucks.
The isolation of remote site work is a completely new experience. It becomes a different kind of paramedicine out there in the wilderness. You have a lot more responsibility than you do on the streets – the hospital isn’t a mere ten minutes away. At one of the northern camps, we have added the Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) to the site which has been a very positive experience. Getting to work one on one with a physician has really allowed me to use some skills long forgotten.
I do a lot of prevention education with the crews on the sites, but compared to working on the street there’s more down time. I spend a lot of this time training for races in the camp gym, reading, studying. But it’s still very hard to be away from my family, friends, home, and the beach where I surf. The one thing I am truly blessed with is a very understanding and supportive wife and family, which makes the absence from home a lot more tolerable and coming home that much more special.
In my opinion one of the greatest bonuses about working in remote areas is the opportunity to see some amazing animals. I have seen animals that most people haven’t seen in zoos. Sightings from wild buffalo and bears up close (see Iridia’s YouTube page for an amazing bear video ), moose, fox, and others – not to mention wolverines that are not afraid of people and seem to think a MTC is a great spot to hide under regardless of whether or not you need to go get dinner!
There are so many amazing things related to the work, all you need is a little sense of adventure! Working with the team at Iridia has been such a positive experience for me, and I look forward to growing with the team well into the future.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post!
Remote Paramedic with Iridia