Originally from Champaign, Illinois, Desiree Myers, 39, moved to Richmond in June 1990 and currently lives in Southside. She has two sons, Dana, 15, and Devin, 18. Dedication to public and human service runs in the family. Desiree first became interested in emergency medical services as a child attending class with her mother, who was a Registered Nurse. Desiree’s son Devin plans to attend J. Sargent Reynolds to study respiratory therapy while Dana hopes to study forensic science. She’s been driving an ambulance since January and been an EMT since August 2007.
“I always wanted to do something in the medical field where I could help someone out. I know that working EMS is all different calls. Every call that you go on is going to be different. Even though it might be a chest pain call and you went on a chest pain call earlier that day, the patient isn’t the same. They have different backgrounds, everything is different. It keeps you on your toes because you just can’t assume anything even if it’s a call similar to one you had hours earlier.”
“My mother was a Registered Nurse. Before she was [finished], I used to go to her nursing night classes. The teacher allowed parents to bring their kids. I would sit in on the lectures and the professor would allow me to go in the back and play with the [instructional] dolls. I was always in the back messing with the equipment while they were doing lectures. Curiosity as a child – I just had it.”
“The hardest part of the job is when you’re doing everything that you can do for a patient, and they still die. Even though you’ve done everything you could possibly do. That’s part of the job and it’s part of life, but it still affects you. When you get on the scene, you find out what you have, you talk to the family, and you do all you can do. You get them to the hospital and you try to reassure the family. If that person passes, it touches you a little bit. You have to be prepared at every call because you still have to perform your job at all times.”
“This job has its ups and downs, but it’s gratifying. It’s gratifying to have some calls when sometimes the person might just need someone to talk to. You never know what you can say to somebody that can encourage them or can become a life-altering seed in their life. The birth of a baby, that’s gratification. Patients sometimes recognize you and say, ‘You came to my house and took me to the hospital,’ or they might say, ‘You came and I didn’t go to the hospital but we had conversation that changed my life.’”
“I will celebrate this 4th of July by working because that’s my regular scheduled work day. I’m going to be working 7 a.m. to 7 o’clock that night. After I get off work, they’re having a cookout at my job and it’ll still be going on. So my family will meet me at the cookout so we’re going to sit there in the parking lot and then sit back and watch the fireworks at the Diamond. Then I’m going to be ready to go home, take a shower, and go to bed.”