Once upon a time there was a very unusual lawyer. His name was Wes Ogilvie, and he wanted to be a paramedic when he grew up.
Wes started out riding with the ambulance service in Lubbock, where he attended law school, and fell in love with EMS. He got his EMT-Basic certification in 2004, and immediately set about being a pest on every EMS discusssion forum known to man, asking silly rookie questions and posing off-the-wall scenarios.
His questions and scenarios weren't the typical newbie stuff, though, because as a lawyer, he came into EMS already pre-cynical'ed (hey, I coined a word!). He'd been an EMT-B for around a year, before I first met him in person in 2005.
EMStock (the best little outdoor EMS conference ever) was holding a skills competition, similar to Clincon or the JEMS Games, albeit with a couple of absolutely silly stations thrown in for fun. They needed six teams, and had only five, including the London Ambulance Service team that had placed second at the JEMS Games that year. Nobody figured to beat them.
Wes talked me into partnering with him. I had never met him in person, much less worked with him, yet somehow we managed to win the whole thing. Win, hell, we beat 'em like they stole something. Not only did we win overall, but we won each individual event. One of those, the "fun" event, involved pushing a 130-pound girl on a Stryker stretcher, through a 200-yard course set up in Texas brush and scrub oak, picking up cervical collars on a broomstick. Fastest time won.
Did I mention that this was in Midlothian, TX in mid-May? In 103 degree heat? After the stretcher race, I did the Nestea plunge into Bryan Bledsoe's pool. It was either that, or suffer from heat stroke at an EMS conference, and we all know, you should NEVER get sick at an EMS conference.
Little did I know we created a monster that day. I let Wes keep the trophy from our win, and I imagine even today it is prominently displayed in his office, where he probably greets visitors with, "Hi, I'm Wes Ogilvie, attorney at law… and incidentally, would you like to see my 1st Place trophy from the 2005 EMStock Games?"
Soon thereafter, Wes went to paramedic school, and became the Sparkiest Paramedic Known To Man. If he doesn't still hold the title, he's at least in the top three. And somewhere along the way, the kid got some seasoning, and became a mentor to other sparky EMS newbies. Nowadays, when he isn't reviewing and writing contracts full of dense legalese for the great state of Texas, he serves as the Reserve Coordinator for the newly reformed Harris County Emergency Corps:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_ySFCQgAss[/youtube]
Like 'em on Facebook, and if you're in southeast Texas and would like to get a little experience volunteering for a premier EMS system, drop my buddy Wes a line. When their website goes online in a few days, there should be a volunteer link there, as well.