Paramedic starts with New England Ambulance

The New England Ambulance Service recently hired a new paramedic to be on site at the Emergency Services Center.


Posted October 10, 2014

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor |

The New England Ambulance Service recently hired a new paramedic to be on site at the Emergency Services Center.

Keith Hughes, who was previously employed with the Dickinson Ambulance, will be in New England on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays for 12 hour shifts. He will also work in Bowman on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Hughes, 43, is originally from the Seattle, Wash. area and has been in the emergency health industry since 2000.

Prior to becoming a Paramedic, he worked in construction.

So what made him change careers?

Hughes said he started to reevaluate his career one day on his way home from work in Seattle.

He was driving and saw a bad car accident occur ahead of him. He had his tools so he stopped and helped get the door open. A nurse happened to be in the car behind him and asked if he’d like to assist her while they waited for the ambulance to arrive. He agreed and was given medical gloves and a non-rebreather mask.

“She said ‘Do you know how to use this?’, and I said no,” Hughes said. “Then she said, ‘well you’re about to learn’.”

After that, he thought to himself ‘That’s what I want to do,’ so he went down to the local college and started asking questions. From there he started on a path towards becoming a paramedic.

in 2000 he was a volunteer fire fighter and first responder, in 2002 he became a certified EMT and by 2006 he finished the appropriate education and became paramedic.

His journey to North Dakota took him across the country.

After he completed paramedic school in 2006 he went to Arizona for two years, then briefly returned to Washington before heading down to Louisiana to assist after the Deep Horizon oil spill.

After six months in Louisiana he returned to Washington, his wife then enrolled at Dickinson State University to complete a degree in nursing.

While in Dickinson he was employed with the Dickinson Ambulance and also worked for Angel Air and Spirit Lifeline before they left the state.

Hughes does have experience in the region as a member of the Rural EMS Association (REMSA), which is a conglomerate of emergency healthcare providers that help rural ambulances to adequately staff their services. He has spent time in Mott, Regent, Bowman and also has some time in New England.

Though he has worked in New England, his time in the area was before the new Emergency Services Center opened up.

“I’m excited for it, I like this building,” Hughes said.

Hughes said it’s about the people when it comes to his enjoyment of the job.

“Being able to help people, and help out communities,” Hughes said. “And the good outcomes, and being able to be a part of it.”

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