You in Motion is our internal development program that aims to help our employees advance in their careers. In this spotlight series, we showcase the personal and professional growth success stories here at On Time.
We recently spoke with Koran Salmon, a Field Supervisor who started originally as a Mobility Assistance Vehicle Operator (MAVO) and is now an EMT Field Supervisor, to learn more about his career journey with us so far. Here’s what we found.
How did you wind up at On Time?
I was working at Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center as a Valet in Mountainside, NJ and would always see the ambulances and wheelchair vans pick up and drop off patients. I talked to the MAVOs and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) about their job roles and responsibilities. After a while, I decided to start my career path into EMS.
Can you describe a typical day as a MAVO (Mobility Assistance Vehicle Operator)?
At that time I was working during the daytime. I would come into work, sign in, and call Dispatch to confirm which truck I was assigned to drive. I arrived at work a little early to check my assigned truck to make sure it was operational and safe for both myself and the patients. Most of the medical transports at that time were hospital discharges, dialysis drop offs/pickups, and school runs.
Was it a smooth transition going from MAVO to EMT?
I was nervous, but once I got to know my classmates and instructors, the classes became easier. The coursework felt long for me on my first attempt to pass the exam. You only get a certain number of attempts. If you fail the EMT certification exam, you must stay in the class. I failed my first exam and that left me with a bad feeling. As an introvert, I had to break out of that comfort zone and reach out to a couple classmates to join a study group. But it clearly has paid off since!
How does working as a MAVO prepare you when becoming an EMT?
For me, it was the constant patient interactions and the need for healthcare workers to assist the many people in this line of work. My short-term goal was to start out as an MAVO and then become an EMT.
How was it balancing both work and EMT school?
It wasn’t easy. I had to practice discipline to stay focused. My job at that time accommodated my schedule so I could get out on time if I had a class in the evening.
Do you have any advice for future EMTs?
Make sure you really want to help people first and foremost. It’s a selfless job. And no matter the person's gender, age, belief, ethnic background, etc., you must do the best of your ability to provide the proper level of care. Basically, if that was your family member in that position, how’d you want them to be taken care of.
Can you walk us through your current role as Field Supervisor?
The most important duty of a Field Supervisor is communicating with field staff to be safe and productive when on calls. We transport a lot of Bariatric calls, and at least half require some form of lift assistance. When I’m on a lift assist with a crew, I take a look at the residence and where the patient is going to make sure we use the right equipment to safely transport them home. I also train new hires sometimes. If there are any equipment/vehicle issues I either have the assigned crew or myself report it so we can have the problem addressed at some point by our Fleet crew.
How were you able to rise through the ranks at On Time so quickly?
I would help out whenever I could, especially when I worked with new EMTs. I was very productive and at some point Fleet Supervisor, Klevin Checo, spoke with me a few times about You in Motion opportunity growth. I thought about it but nothing serious originally. Healthcare workers are experiencing a difficult time with the COVID-19 pandemic and I had to step up in my personal and professional life. Once the Field Supervisor opportunity became available, I applied for the position and grew with it. This company really puts its money back into the people that care and keep it in motion.
How does On Time measure performance?
From my experience, it’s the way you represent the company when you're out in the field. It’s taking that extra transport an hour before your shift ends, or how well you take care of patients and either the facility or family member calls to speak highly of you. I’ve seen people that started working here and in seven months become a Field Training Officer. It’s You in Motion & Caring in Motion exemplified.
What are three attributes that great EMTs must have?
Compassion, bedside manners, and critical thinking skills.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Koran!