Nathaniel Diener is an Advanced EMT and has worked at CRH for just over seven years. He typically works nights, which he said is a time there are often transfers waiting to go to a variety of places – out of the hospital, from the ER to home, or from the ER to a nursing home. Communication between the previous shift and the night shift occurs to coordinate what needs to happen.
Nathaniel works at each of the four EMS stations. When he started, he mostly worked at the one on Central Avenue, across from Kroger. He liked working there, because he lived in the area and felt he was helping his neighbors. “I knew it was going to be me helping them,” he said. “It gave me some peace.”
Nathaniel started as a basic EMT and then earned his advanced license in 2017 through CRH. Emergency medical technicians have three levels of certification – EMT Basic, EMT Advanced, and Paramedic. Each ambulance has one paramedic and an EMT. The skills vary in the scope of practice. For instance, Advanced EMTs administer IVs, but Basic EMTs do not.
With COVID, the EMTs have been very busy. When a 911 call comes in, the dispatchers screen the caller to determine if they are COVID-positive. Nathaniel said the number of positive screens has increased significantly. “It feels like there’s a wave coming on the shore – there’s not much you can do to escape it,” he said. The EMTs wear the appropriate PPE when transporting these patients, many of whom need breathing treatments.
Nathaniel really enjoys the team he works with, especially during COVID, as it has sometimes felt that “all you have is each other at the job,” he said. He and the paramedic rely on and trust each other. “You have to trust the person takes care of their job; you do yours to take care of the patient. A lot has to be done in a short amount of time,” he said.
Each situation and each household is different when the EMTs arrive, but Nathaniel strives to help bring calm to the situation – “to be able to provide an anchor for the families in moments of difficulty – trying to be that steady hand when it seems like chaos for people,” he said.
Thank you for serving our patients and community, Nathaniel. We are grateful for all that you do!