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Be honest and tell me what you think. Thanks!


A firefighter is brave, strong, trustworthy, a firefighter is someone everyone relies on. That’s hard to live up to, and it wasn’t easy for me to get there. Becoming a firefighter was a challenge I took head on like the many other challenges I’ve taken on in my life. I trained hard for the physical and academic demands of the job. I overcame the emotions and fears of not knowing if I was strong enough. Along the way I challenged myself and I challenged my fellow recruits to push our limits. One of the proudest moments of my life was the ceremony when my oldest son pinned my Firefighter badge on my uniform. But it didn’t start there.

Several years ago someone close to me passed away. I was the first one there to help and performed CPR. I was mad at myself for not knowing what more I could do and I never wanted to be in a situation where I couldn’t help. I decided to enroll in an EMT class. As a requirement to that class I worked a shift with the fire department. My first patient was a teenage girl with an altered level of consciousness. The way I was able to connect with the patient made an impression on me. That day I realized that patient care was about more than just knowing what was in the book.  A healthcare provider has to listen, ask questions and know about who their patient is and what their needs are. I made a difference for her that day.

I continued my education and achieved my EMT-Intermediate certification, but it wasn’t enough.  I went on to the much more challenging Paramedic program. This is a longer and more in depth program including many hours of clinical rotations at the hospital in a variety of specialties. I especially enjoyed my time at the Burn Unit. It was a fulfilling experience to see the determination the patients had and the progress they made. I enjoyed working with critical patients during the most challenging part of their lives. A good rapport with the patients was critical; respect, humor and empathy made a substantial difference in the patient’s outlook and outcome.

Throughout my paramedic studies, I had opportunities to help tutor my fellow classmates. As I challenged myself to learn more and grow I challenged them as well. Curiosity gets the best of me every day. I constantly find myself looking up information about medical conditions and injuries that come up at work and school. My colleagues have pointed out that is one of my greatest strengths. I never hesitate to seek information and discuss it with them. This nagging curiosity leads to thoughtful discussions among my colleagues on a regular basis.

Shortly after completing Paramedic school I was hired as a Reserve Paramedic for the Sandy City Fire Department. I rallied enough interested among the volunteers and our superiors to convince our Training Captain to host a fire academy for those who were part of the Medical Reserve Program. It was an exciting time in my life. I would have a chance to push myself out of my comfort zone into many unknowns.

I was assigned boots, a helmet, turnouts too big to fit. I was about to learn what it was like to break into a burning building with heavy tools, push through the smoke and flames, rescue the trapped victim, and provide medical aid. I had to be strong enough, smart enough. I was responsible for myself, my partner, my team, for those who desperately needed our help. I learned to be ready for anything. I mastered rope work and knots, learned to rappel, we pushed a car upside down and cut it apart. Every scenario we learned has happened and will happen again. Someone’s worst day was our every day at work. I completed the academy, I became a hero to be.

I learned so much about teamwork during the academy. We learned to push each other and help each other to be better. We were proud of each other because we knew our strengths and weaknesses, we got through it together. Fire Academy graduation, this was one of the proudest days of my life. I was smiling at my family and saw my son walking up to pin my badge. I hugged him a little too long, shook hands with the Chief and looked ahead to the next challenge. I served as a Reserve Firefighter Paramedic in Sandy for almost 3 years. During that time I completed my Bachelor’s Degree and gained valuable experience every day I worked.

I obtained Paramedic employment at the Utah State Prison where I respond to medical emergencies. I am the primary advocate for my patients, the inmates. It is our job to assess the needs of my patients and ensure they are treated appropriately. Every one of my patients has been convicted of a serious crime but I maintain high ethical standards in the way I treat them. I work in a dangerous environment. I attended Police Officer Standards Training and thrived there as well. I learned to defend myself, I felt the pain associated with mace, I learned about the legal system, and even how to deescalate dangerous situations. I’ve succeeded in my goals and achieved a lot along the way. I’ve learned the most from experiences, from my patients.

I’ve made a career out of taking care of others in their time of need. The time has come for me to grow and learn more so I can better serve my community. I don’t know where I will find employment as a PA; the Prison, a fire station, or a hospital. I do know I’ll be there for someone’s worst day and I’ll find a way to help them through it. 

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Rule #1 - don't use contractions in a formal essay, spell each word out. 


Many of the shorter sentences could be combined by way of commas; the way your PS reads is very choppy and abrupt.


I would skip the bit about how EMT-P is more challenging than EMT-I; to be honest it seems a bit pompous.


It sounds like you have some awesome, quality experience in the burn unit - if this were my essay I would get rid of some of the intro and develop your burn unit experiences more.


Explain what turnouts are or use a synonymous term which is more likely to be understood.


There is a lot of exposition about working with firefighters - less of this and more of why you want to be a PA.


I would rewrite the conclusion - wanting to be there for someone in their hour of need is not an adequate reason to a PA.  You can be there for someone in need by volunteering at a retirement home, or working as an LPN.


Once more for emphasis - the entire statement needs to be unified with commas and semicolons.

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