At Angel MedFlight, our critical care flight paramedics and nurses are often the face of our company. For our customers, they are the calm, reassuring professionals who show up to take great care of patients and family members throughout the transfer from bedside to bedside. They not only perform their duties with poise, but also true compassion as they fly around the country transporting patients to the next level of care.
Moving forward, we will be sharing stories about the very people who take such great care of our patients, families, and case managers. Today, we chat with Dave Whitehead, who at the time of this interview was an air ambulance flight paramedic. Dave has since been promoted to Chief Flight Paramedic, where he assists with the management of the day-to-day operations in clinical services.
Looking back, what inspired you to become an air ambulance flight paramedic?
I started my career in EMS shortly after the Military. I decided to attend college for a career as a Firefighter. In doing so, I had to be certified as an E.M.T. So I went through the process and achieved that. I moved on to become a Firefighter/Paramedic and maintained my Paramedic license throughout my 22 years in the fire service. When I retired from the fire department I decided to look into becoming a flight paramedic. I wanted to get into the realm of flight paramedic for many years, however I never took the steps to achieve it. I didn’t necessarily want to get back into EMS, so flying on a helicopter really didn’t suit my needs. That’s when I decided to do long range transport with Angel MedFlight.
What advice would you give anyone considering this profession?
If you want to be challenged and learn a different aspect of paramedicine, go for it. It is a very rewarding career that offers different challenges on a daily basis.
What was your favorite place to fly?
We have the opportunity to fly all over the United States as well as globally. I really like the Seattle area for domestic flights and my favorite place abroad was Beirut Lebanon. The Mediterranean Sea was also amazing.
If you had to start over but pick a different career, what would it be?
Through my many years of public service and seeing the horrible things that I have seen, I can fully appreciate what a lot of our public service men and women go through and the associated effects of PTSD. I think that I would probably get into some type of counseling to assist those men and women in need.
When you’re not flying on an air ambulance as a flight paramedic, what do you do for fun?
I really enjoy the outdoors and I love to hike. Going “off the grid” is by far my favorite thing to do. It is peaceful and Mother Nature has a tremendous amount to offer.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
There are many inspirational people throughout the world that I have met. However nothing compares to my children. They are just amazing, watching them grow up and learn new things every day is just the greatest gift I could ever receive. The thing I love about kids is that they are just so honest and at times have absolutely no filter for saying what’s on their mind, simply amazing.
Interested in joining the Angel MedFlight team as an air ambulance flight paramedic? Check out our careers page to view our latest positions.