Meet Graduate Paramedic Jess

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This article was originally posted by Wellington Free Ambulance. Wellington Free Ambulance is the only emergency ambulance service in Wellington and the Wairarapa, and the only one in the country who are free. Check out the original article here, and find out what they're up to on their Facebook page.

Jess joined Wellington Free Ambulance as a Graduate Paramedic in November 2023. Here she reflects on her first few months with us, her motivation for joining, and explains that to her, being a paramedic means “making a meaningful difference in people’s lives”.

Growing up, Jess always had an interest in emergency services. In fact, during high school she wanted to join the police force and actively looked into it before settling on a career in paramedicine. Although Jess says she ultimately chose paramedicine because she believes “being a paramedic is more rewarding”, she also laughingly admits that she’s “not very good at confrontation!” so a role in the police force wasn’t quite right for her.

Once she settled on paramedicine, she undertook some observer shifts with us which she ‘really enjoyed’. From there, Jess “didn’t look back” and enrolled in the degree course at Whitireia.

A ‘no brainer’

Through her study at Whitireia, Jess got to meet and get close to a few people at Wellington Free where she experienced “working with inspiring people throughout my placements”. So, when it came time to apply for her first paramedic role, choosing to join Wellington Free was a “no brainer”.

Local Jess also explains that “I was brought up in Kāpiti and wanted to stay quite close to home” and Wellington Free gave her that opportunity.

Keeping it in the whānau

There might also be another reason Jess decided to join the Wellington Free team – her aunty Sarah, who is an Extended Care Paramedic / Intensive Care Paramedic with us!

Jess says, “aunty was a big inspiration to me throughout my studies, and I looked up to her growing up”. Since starting with Wellington Free, Jess and Sarah have worked a shift together (which Jess describes as “amazing”) and are even the same shift colour, so they occasionally bump into each other.

Reflections on her first few months

Although Jess only joined our graduate programme a few months ago, she’s been part of the Wellington Free team for a lot longer than that – she was an Event Medic for about three years.

Reflecting on her time with Wellington Free so far, Jess says “I’ve enjoyed the last few months – finding my feet and consolidating everything I’ve learnt in the past three years. It’s been a great time to find out what works for me as a paramedic”.

Jess believes that paramedicine is “quite challenging but a rewarding career” and thinks that “the best thing is being able to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives”.

Serving her community – even outside work

Jess’s commitment to the emergency services extends beyond her day job. She’s also a volunteer fire fighter for the Waikanae Fire Brigade, something she’s been doing for five years – thanks to the enticement of aunty Sarah and a family history.

As Jess explains, Sarah “is currently the Chief Fire Officer and my grandfather was involved too. I grew up around the brigade and it’s cool to give back to the community I grew up in. The brigade is like a second family”.

When she’s not working or volunteering, you can find Jess “spending time with friends and family”. She’s also a big fan of exercise so is often down at the beach for swims and walks, or in her local CrossFit studio or gym.

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Interested in a career where no two days are the same? Check out our range of paramedicine and emergency care programmes. 

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