HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - They have one of the hardest jobs out there. They come face-to-face with death every day.
More people are joining the ambulance service in Huntsville. HEMSI just hired its biggest class ever.
Joseph Herlhy is making sure he has everything he'll need for his first day as a paramedic. He's one of 17 new hires for HEMSI, the biggest recruitment yet.
"I got offered this in high school and fell in love with it ever since," said Herlhy.
He's worked as an EMT for years but was determined to join what he calls "the Elite."
"I've seen some things and I'm ready to go and be a paramedic here." Herlhy said.
He said he loves the hands-on work while helping patients.
"It's incredible. It's incredible. I couldn't do anything else," Herlhy explained.
As Huntsville continues to grow and new businesses pop up, HEMSI is keeping up with the pace by adding more ambulances, shifts, supervisors and emergency responders.
"We are getting neighborhoods that were cotton fields. Families are moving in and having babies, and children are growing up, get hurt and get sick," said HEMSI's chief of operation, Don Webster.
Baby boomers are also getting older, calling for more ambulances.
"They are having heart attacks, having strokes. They're having medical diabetic emergencies. They are falling off ladders. They are getting hurt, falling at home," Webster explained.
These men and women rushing to your rescue see people at their worst, but it's something they train for long and hard. It's a career path that's unlike any other.
"To see someone, to have the compassion that cares for another fellow human being, sometimes we have all this technology and medicine in here, but sometimes just holding someone's hand and listening to them is the best medicine possible," Webster added.
HEMSI is still hiring. If you are interested you can check out the listing at http://www.hemsi.org/index.php/careers/working-for-hemsi.
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