A look at the day-to-day lives of Bismarck-Mandan paramedics

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BISMARCK, N.D. - After every 911 call, paramedics get ready for the next dispatch. That includes restocking supplies and writing reports. For the paramedics that serve Bismarck and Mandan, every day brings its own challenges.

“It's a day-to-day thing,” said Terry McCoy, a paramedic for Metro Area Ambulance Service. “We might have a day where we might only respond to a few calls and then the next shift, it can be total chaos.”

The chaos sometimes starts before Terry McCoy's 24-hour shift. Every morning begins with ambulance inspection. McCoy says this is vital to do whenever they can, because they never know when there will be another opportunity.

“Just as soon as we get done and take a patient to the hospital and get our ambulance restocked and we're back in service like we're right going back out on another call,” said McCoy. “You know there will be days where we don't see the station for hours.”

It's a two man job. EMT Pedro Cossio and Terry work hand in hand to make sure they are ready for the next call. During down time, they practice medical skills and techniques.

“I love how the structure is set up. You know, the structure is almost set up like fire, like PD. We are family here, and we take care of each other,” says Cossio.

May 21-27 is Emergency Services Workers week in North Dakota.