First Responded Talks – Old School and New School

Introduction – #1

Old School New School – Introduction

First Responder Talk

Old School New School – Introducing the Paramedic Podcast

Welcome to “Old School New School – Paramedic Podcast.” our new podcast where we introduce you to the exciting world of paramedics through Jason Joelson, a seasoned paramedic with 34 years of experience, and Kristjan Joelson, who recently embarked on his journey as an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR). Together, we bring you a unique perspective on the old and new practices in the paramedic field.

In Alberta, the paramedic training program consists of multiple levels. It starts with the EMR, followed by the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) and the Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP). KJ has achieved the highest level of ACP, while Kristjan has just begun his career as an EMR in December.

As an EMR, Kristjan’s primary role involves inter-hospital transfers. He works on a special vehicle called a “NET” van for non-emergency transport. His daily tasks include transporting stable patients, such as the elderly or those returning to care facilities, to their appointments or homes. While the job may not be as physically demanding as emergency situations, it still requires mental fortitude due to the responsibility of patient care.

One crucial aspect of the NEt van is freeing up bed space in the ER and the rest of the hospitals. Many patients need to be discharged but may not require a traditional ambulance. The NET van can move 20 to 30 patients daily, freeing up much-needed space in the emergency rooms and the hospital wards. Despite starting at the bottom level, EMRs significantly impact the healthcare system by facilitating patient transfers efficiently.

To become an EMR, Kristjan underwent a 5-month course, two evenings a week. This continuing education approach allowed him to balance his job as a lifeguard and bike mechanic while pursuing his passion for paramedicine. Throughout the course, Kristjan faced additional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as most of his training was conducted online. The training delivered this way proved a unique obstacle, particularly for a job that relies heavily on hands-on skills and patient interaction.

One of the major adjustments for Kristjan was transitioning from online simulations to in-person scenarios. Physical contact is an important part of being a paramedic. However, the limitations of online learning during the pandemic made it difficult to replicate these critical aspects. Nevertheless, Kristjan persevered and gained valuable experience through the course, adapting to the unconventional learning environment.

As we delve into the world of paramedics, it becomes apparent that the job is far from ordinary. It requires one to touch people, and practitioners must be comfortable physically examining patients and conducting assessments accurately. This aspect became even more challenging during the pandemic, as online interactions could only partially substitute for the nuances of in-person patient care.

Throughout our podcast, we aim to share our experiences and engage in discussions that bridge the gap between old and new practices in paramedicine. As Kristjan would say, “Jason is on his way out.” Jason Joelson is Kristjans’s father and paramedic of 34 years and is currently a Paramedic Clinical Education and found or

The paramedic industry is constantly evolving, and Kristjan and Jason aim to create a platform for learning from one another. Everyone has something valuable to contribute, regardless of their experience level. By embracing the wisdom of seasoned professionals and the fresh perspectives of newcomers, we can collectively shape the future of paramedicine.

In the episodes to come, we will provide valuable insights into the training required for each level, share intriguing stories from the field, and discuss the impact of new technologies on patient care. We invite you to join us on this exciting journey, where we explore the diverse aspects of the paramedic profession, from the intense scenarios faced during training to the challenges encountered during real-life emergencies.

Whether you are a seasoned paramedic, a healthcare enthusiast, or simply curious about the world of first responders, “Old School New School – Paramedic Podcast” promises to entertain, educate, and inspire. So, buckle up and prepare for a unique adventure that takes you behind the scenes of paramedicine. Stay tuned for our upcoming episodes, where we delve deeper into the captivating world of paramedics.