JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —
Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland paramedics have a proud history of delivering help in dire situations all across San Antonio.
No matter the circumstance, these men and women can be on site in a short amount of time providing care for those in need.
For Senior Airman Tyler Stager, a paramedic from the 59th Medical Wing, having the unique opportunity to work as an emergency responder is a way of life for him.
“I had been working in the urgent care for a couple of years when I was approached by my leadership and asked if I wanted to be a paramedic,” Stager said. “We filled out the application and I was accepted into the program and on my way to training.”
The course is hosted by Pima Community College Public Safety and Emergency Services located in Tucson, Arizona. Under normal circumstances, it takes 10 months to complete and consists of classroom and field experience training, but for Stager and the rest of his class they would have four.
While in training in Tucson, Stager would realize passing the rigorous course wouldn’t be as easy as he thought.
“The training was rough and long,” Stager said. “We’d work six days a week, luckily I had two of my wingmen there and we supported each other throughout the whole thing.”
The rigors of training weren’t just confined to a classroom however, trainees were required to go out into the community and work with Tucson first responders hands-on.
“You’d work a night shift at one job during clinicals and have to wake up and go to class the next morning,” Stager said. “It was extremely taxing and I had to dig deeper than I ever had before just to make it through.”
All of the hard work paid off for Stager and he graduated near the top of his class and was on his way to JBSA-Lackland. Upon completion of this course, Airmen receive a National Registry Certification.
“When I got to Lackland, I was thrown into orientation and shown the different procedures and protocols for how things were going to work on the base,” Stager said. “I had some great mentors and they really helped me get through the uneasiness of being in a new job.”
Stager has gone on to help countless patients from minor injuries such as sprained ankles to saving the lives of heart attack and stroke victims.
“The most rewarding experience is the instant gratification I get from helping a patient,” Stager said. “When you get to the hospital and you’ve made the call to the nurse and you’ve helped ease the patient’s pain, it’s a really good feeling when that patient can thank you because you helped them.”
Through saving these lives Stager and all of the 59th MDW paramedics have been able to touch the community in a unique way that will continue to affect lives for years to come.
“Being a paramedic has been a great experience. I’ve helped so many people in my short time here,” Stager said. “It’s really given me the tools to succeed in my future and I’m blessed the Air Force has given me the opportunity to do this great job.”