Passion, open mind EMS worker's key to success

News Jan 06, 2007 Flamborough Review

Scott Kline goes to work every day, not knowing what to expect - or even exactly where he'll be asked to ply his skills. But the Waterdown resident loves his job and is a confident leader; so much so that he's earned recognition for his efforts in the field of emergency services.

The Oakville Kiwanis Club recently honored Kline as Paramedic of the Year for 2006, alongside three other emergency services personnel in the Halton Region.

Nominated by his peers, Kline is one of 140 paramedics working in Halton. A half-dozen people were selected to receive recognition. Nominees were chosen based on excellence in one or more of the following categories: leadership, community service, dedication to improving Emergency Medical Services (EMS), compassion, patient advocacy and job excellence.

In addition to Kline, Halton EMS worker Seamus O'Connor was also named Paramedic of the Year. As part of the award, the Kiwanis Club donated $250 in each of their names to the United Way of Halton.

In his youth, Kline's career started out on a very different path. Close to 17 years ago, he was working as a journalist in Georgetown when he conducted an interview with a local ambulance service looking for volunteers. This is when Kline realized, after volunteering, that one could pursue a career as a paramedic.

With a great interest in all things medical, he embarked into a new field, one that involves saving lives.

"We literally do everything from the moment of birth to the moment of death, generally in an uncontrolled environment," said Kline.

To become a Primary Care Level Paramedic, a two-year course at a community college is required. According to Kline, Primary Care Level Paramedics can give five "symptom relief" medications to patients.

After graduation with a diploma as a Primary Care Level Paramedic, students can enroll in a six-month program to achieve an Advanced Care Level Paramedic (ACP) diploma, which allows EMS personnel to administer up to 25 medications as well as perform endo-tracheal intubations, four different procedures to do with cardiac arrhythmias as well as take doctors' orders to perform beyond their scope of practice.

Part of Kline's nomination, which made this award particularly special for him, was his ability to "persevere through a serious health condition with minimum sick time in order to continue with the ACP training," said his proud wife, Kathy. Kline was diagnosed with coronary artery disease two years ago, three weeks before entering the Advanced Care Paramedic program, and had to undergo an angioplasty.

Also listed on his nomination sheet, Kline dedicated countless hours of study and personal time to the ACP program while still managing his household, which includes three young children, William, 8, Alexandria, 5, and Malcolm, 3.

Upon receipt of the award, "I was really overwhelmed and honored," said Kline. "I did not expect it, that's for sure."

His profession as a paramedic revolves around a lot of unpredictability.

"You go into work never knowing what the day is going to bring," said Kline. "You don't know what is going to happen from hour to hour, minute to minute and I think that is what attracts a lot of people to the job."

The unpredictability is what keeps things interesting and fresh, he added. EMS personnel, noted Kline, provide emergency medicine, the same level of care that you would receive in an emergency room in the first 15 minutes - except the obvious lab work and x-rays - in whatever environment it's needed in.

Confident in his own skills, Kline explained that he is also very confident in his knowledge base, in his peers, his partners and the equipment that he uses.

"I deal with human beings who are sick, injured or upset and there is no way to predict how people are going to respond sometimes," he said.

No matter what situation he walks into, Kline's goal is always to provide emergency medicine, and bring his patients to the hospital in a better state than when he first came to their side.

"I don't know everything, I haven't seen everything," he said. "There are going to be situations that are going to be more challenging than others, but when those situations arise, it's being able to fall back on my training, skills, knowledge, and falling back on the care that I can provide to people to make sure that they are well looked after."

In 2006, EMS personnel responded to 50,000 calls within the Halton Region, which services more than 400,000 residents. Fourteen vehicles are on the roads during peak hours, said Kline, noting during a 12-hour shift, he may care for six to eight patients.

Other than his dedication, his compassion and his knowledge of the profession, Kline also extends his services to various specialty teams such as being a Bike Medic as well as assisting the Halton Tactical Team in high-risk situations within the community. He has also volunteered at the Walk for Life and Breast Cancer events.

Kline is also on the Health and Safety Committee, where he helps teach other paramedics through an education program at the base hospital, and is the trainer for his son William's hockey team - meaning "he is qualified to put band-aids on 8-year-olds," said his wife teasingly.

Last year, Kline was also recognized for his efforts in saving a man's life.

"He had a case where he and his partner had a patient who had a heart condition, who could have potentially died," Kathy explained. "Scott and his partner defibrillated him and brought him back, for lack of better words, and there was an award ceremony given at the Halton Region Headquarters."

The "Celebration of Life" ceremony recognized the paramedics and dispatchers who were involved in saving lives. Kathy and William were at Scott's side during the proceedings.

"We got to sit with the gentleman who was saved and his wife," said Kathy. At the ceremony, the granddaughter of the gentleman walked up to Kline and asked him if he was the man who saved her papa's life.

"It was wonderful for William to see what his daddy had done and extremely emotional for all of us," said Kathy.

For those thinking of a career path in emergency services, Kline has some pointers.

"I think you have to be very independent, and annoyingly calm, with a great desire in wanting to help people," he said. "You have to be a great communicator, you really have to like people and be open-minded."

According to Kline, one of the greatest parts of his career is communicating with people. "I've gotten to see things that you wouldn't normally ever get to see, and that is one of the other appeals about the job."

The biggest challenge for Kline is the emotional and psychological aspects of the job. "It's hard sometimes not to bring it home," he explained. "It really can affect you."

That's when he turns to his support system, which includes the Halton EMS personnel, his wife and children.

Now in his fifth year working for Halton, Kline would not go back to journalism or change his career path.

"I like what I do too much," he said proudly.

Passion, open mind EMS worker's key to success

News Jan 06, 2007 Flamborough Review

Scott Kline goes to work every day, not knowing what to expect - or even exactly where he'll be asked to ply his skills. But the Waterdown resident loves his job and is a confident leader; so much so that he's earned recognition for his efforts in the field of emergency services.

The Oakville Kiwanis Club recently honored Kline as Paramedic of the Year for 2006, alongside three other emergency services personnel in the Halton Region.

Nominated by his peers, Kline is one of 140 paramedics working in Halton. A half-dozen people were selected to receive recognition. Nominees were chosen based on excellence in one or more of the following categories: leadership, community service, dedication to improving Emergency Medical Services (EMS), compassion, patient advocacy and job excellence.

In addition to Kline, Halton EMS worker Seamus O'Connor was also named Paramedic of the Year. As part of the award, the Kiwanis Club donated $250 in each of their names to the United Way of Halton.

In his youth, Kline's career started out on a very different path. Close to 17 years ago, he was working as a journalist in Georgetown when he conducted an interview with a local ambulance service looking for volunteers. This is when Kline realized, after volunteering, that one could pursue a career as a paramedic.

With a great interest in all things medical, he embarked into a new field, one that involves saving lives.

"We literally do everything from the moment of birth to the moment of death, generally in an uncontrolled environment," said Kline.

To become a Primary Care Level Paramedic, a two-year course at a community college is required. According to Kline, Primary Care Level Paramedics can give five "symptom relief" medications to patients.

After graduation with a diploma as a Primary Care Level Paramedic, students can enroll in a six-month program to achieve an Advanced Care Level Paramedic (ACP) diploma, which allows EMS personnel to administer up to 25 medications as well as perform endo-tracheal intubations, four different procedures to do with cardiac arrhythmias as well as take doctors' orders to perform beyond their scope of practice.

Part of Kline's nomination, which made this award particularly special for him, was his ability to "persevere through a serious health condition with minimum sick time in order to continue with the ACP training," said his proud wife, Kathy. Kline was diagnosed with coronary artery disease two years ago, three weeks before entering the Advanced Care Paramedic program, and had to undergo an angioplasty.

Also listed on his nomination sheet, Kline dedicated countless hours of study and personal time to the ACP program while still managing his household, which includes three young children, William, 8, Alexandria, 5, and Malcolm, 3.

Upon receipt of the award, "I was really overwhelmed and honored," said Kline. "I did not expect it, that's for sure."

His profession as a paramedic revolves around a lot of unpredictability.

"You go into work never knowing what the day is going to bring," said Kline. "You don't know what is going to happen from hour to hour, minute to minute and I think that is what attracts a lot of people to the job."

The unpredictability is what keeps things interesting and fresh, he added. EMS personnel, noted Kline, provide emergency medicine, the same level of care that you would receive in an emergency room in the first 15 minutes - except the obvious lab work and x-rays - in whatever environment it's needed in.

Confident in his own skills, Kline explained that he is also very confident in his knowledge base, in his peers, his partners and the equipment that he uses.

"I deal with human beings who are sick, injured or upset and there is no way to predict how people are going to respond sometimes," he said.

No matter what situation he walks into, Kline's goal is always to provide emergency medicine, and bring his patients to the hospital in a better state than when he first came to their side.

"I don't know everything, I haven't seen everything," he said. "There are going to be situations that are going to be more challenging than others, but when those situations arise, it's being able to fall back on my training, skills, knowledge, and falling back on the care that I can provide to people to make sure that they are well looked after."

In 2006, EMS personnel responded to 50,000 calls within the Halton Region, which services more than 400,000 residents. Fourteen vehicles are on the roads during peak hours, said Kline, noting during a 12-hour shift, he may care for six to eight patients.

Other than his dedication, his compassion and his knowledge of the profession, Kline also extends his services to various specialty teams such as being a Bike Medic as well as assisting the Halton Tactical Team in high-risk situations within the community. He has also volunteered at the Walk for Life and Breast Cancer events.

Kline is also on the Health and Safety Committee, where he helps teach other paramedics through an education program at the base hospital, and is the trainer for his son William's hockey team - meaning "he is qualified to put band-aids on 8-year-olds," said his wife teasingly.

Last year, Kline was also recognized for his efforts in saving a man's life.

"He had a case where he and his partner had a patient who had a heart condition, who could have potentially died," Kathy explained. "Scott and his partner defibrillated him and brought him back, for lack of better words, and there was an award ceremony given at the Halton Region Headquarters."

The "Celebration of Life" ceremony recognized the paramedics and dispatchers who were involved in saving lives. Kathy and William were at Scott's side during the proceedings.

"We got to sit with the gentleman who was saved and his wife," said Kathy. At the ceremony, the granddaughter of the gentleman walked up to Kline and asked him if he was the man who saved her papa's life.

"It was wonderful for William to see what his daddy had done and extremely emotional for all of us," said Kathy.

For those thinking of a career path in emergency services, Kline has some pointers.

"I think you have to be very independent, and annoyingly calm, with a great desire in wanting to help people," he said. "You have to be a great communicator, you really have to like people and be open-minded."

According to Kline, one of the greatest parts of his career is communicating with people. "I've gotten to see things that you wouldn't normally ever get to see, and that is one of the other appeals about the job."

The biggest challenge for Kline is the emotional and psychological aspects of the job. "It's hard sometimes not to bring it home," he explained. "It really can affect you."

That's when he turns to his support system, which includes the Halton EMS personnel, his wife and children.

Now in his fifth year working for Halton, Kline would not go back to journalism or change his career path.

"I like what I do too much," he said proudly.

Passion, open mind EMS worker's key to success

News Jan 06, 2007 Flamborough Review

Scott Kline goes to work every day, not knowing what to expect - or even exactly where he'll be asked to ply his skills. But the Waterdown resident loves his job and is a confident leader; so much so that he's earned recognition for his efforts in the field of emergency services.

The Oakville Kiwanis Club recently honored Kline as Paramedic of the Year for 2006, alongside three other emergency services personnel in the Halton Region.

Nominated by his peers, Kline is one of 140 paramedics working in Halton. A half-dozen people were selected to receive recognition. Nominees were chosen based on excellence in one or more of the following categories: leadership, community service, dedication to improving Emergency Medical Services (EMS), compassion, patient advocacy and job excellence.

In addition to Kline, Halton EMS worker Seamus O'Connor was also named Paramedic of the Year. As part of the award, the Kiwanis Club donated $250 in each of their names to the United Way of Halton.

In his youth, Kline's career started out on a very different path. Close to 17 years ago, he was working as a journalist in Georgetown when he conducted an interview with a local ambulance service looking for volunteers. This is when Kline realized, after volunteering, that one could pursue a career as a paramedic.

With a great interest in all things medical, he embarked into a new field, one that involves saving lives.

"We literally do everything from the moment of birth to the moment of death, generally in an uncontrolled environment," said Kline.

To become a Primary Care Level Paramedic, a two-year course at a community college is required. According to Kline, Primary Care Level Paramedics can give five "symptom relief" medications to patients.

After graduation with a diploma as a Primary Care Level Paramedic, students can enroll in a six-month program to achieve an Advanced Care Level Paramedic (ACP) diploma, which allows EMS personnel to administer up to 25 medications as well as perform endo-tracheal intubations, four different procedures to do with cardiac arrhythmias as well as take doctors' orders to perform beyond their scope of practice.

Part of Kline's nomination, which made this award particularly special for him, was his ability to "persevere through a serious health condition with minimum sick time in order to continue with the ACP training," said his proud wife, Kathy. Kline was diagnosed with coronary artery disease two years ago, three weeks before entering the Advanced Care Paramedic program, and had to undergo an angioplasty.

Also listed on his nomination sheet, Kline dedicated countless hours of study and personal time to the ACP program while still managing his household, which includes three young children, William, 8, Alexandria, 5, and Malcolm, 3.

Upon receipt of the award, "I was really overwhelmed and honored," said Kline. "I did not expect it, that's for sure."

His profession as a paramedic revolves around a lot of unpredictability.

"You go into work never knowing what the day is going to bring," said Kline. "You don't know what is going to happen from hour to hour, minute to minute and I think that is what attracts a lot of people to the job."

The unpredictability is what keeps things interesting and fresh, he added. EMS personnel, noted Kline, provide emergency medicine, the same level of care that you would receive in an emergency room in the first 15 minutes - except the obvious lab work and x-rays - in whatever environment it's needed in.

Confident in his own skills, Kline explained that he is also very confident in his knowledge base, in his peers, his partners and the equipment that he uses.

"I deal with human beings who are sick, injured or upset and there is no way to predict how people are going to respond sometimes," he said.

No matter what situation he walks into, Kline's goal is always to provide emergency medicine, and bring his patients to the hospital in a better state than when he first came to their side.

"I don't know everything, I haven't seen everything," he said. "There are going to be situations that are going to be more challenging than others, but when those situations arise, it's being able to fall back on my training, skills, knowledge, and falling back on the care that I can provide to people to make sure that they are well looked after."

In 2006, EMS personnel responded to 50,000 calls within the Halton Region, which services more than 400,000 residents. Fourteen vehicles are on the roads during peak hours, said Kline, noting during a 12-hour shift, he may care for six to eight patients.

Other than his dedication, his compassion and his knowledge of the profession, Kline also extends his services to various specialty teams such as being a Bike Medic as well as assisting the Halton Tactical Team in high-risk situations within the community. He has also volunteered at the Walk for Life and Breast Cancer events.

Kline is also on the Health and Safety Committee, where he helps teach other paramedics through an education program at the base hospital, and is the trainer for his son William's hockey team - meaning "he is qualified to put band-aids on 8-year-olds," said his wife teasingly.

Last year, Kline was also recognized for his efforts in saving a man's life.

"He had a case where he and his partner had a patient who had a heart condition, who could have potentially died," Kathy explained. "Scott and his partner defibrillated him and brought him back, for lack of better words, and there was an award ceremony given at the Halton Region Headquarters."

The "Celebration of Life" ceremony recognized the paramedics and dispatchers who were involved in saving lives. Kathy and William were at Scott's side during the proceedings.

"We got to sit with the gentleman who was saved and his wife," said Kathy. At the ceremony, the granddaughter of the gentleman walked up to Kline and asked him if he was the man who saved her papa's life.

"It was wonderful for William to see what his daddy had done and extremely emotional for all of us," said Kathy.

For those thinking of a career path in emergency services, Kline has some pointers.

"I think you have to be very independent, and annoyingly calm, with a great desire in wanting to help people," he said. "You have to be a great communicator, you really have to like people and be open-minded."

According to Kline, one of the greatest parts of his career is communicating with people. "I've gotten to see things that you wouldn't normally ever get to see, and that is one of the other appeals about the job."

The biggest challenge for Kline is the emotional and psychological aspects of the job. "It's hard sometimes not to bring it home," he explained. "It really can affect you."

That's when he turns to his support system, which includes the Halton EMS personnel, his wife and children.

Now in his fifth year working for Halton, Kline would not go back to journalism or change his career path.

"I like what I do too much," he said proudly.