If you’re ever in need of some inspiration, just spend a little time with Russell Boyles, who is on the dispatch team here at NDP EMS. The Wassaic, New York native and SUNY Cobleskill graduate (‘20) says that the most important message we can send to others is one he has received almost daily since starting at NDP:
“We believe in you.”
Here’s more on his story:
Russell, what inspired you to pursue a career in EMS (emergency medical services)?
I grew up in Wassaic, which is where NDP EMS Station 5 is located. My dad was an EMT and Fire Chief, and it was his influence that made me develop the desire to help people and save lives.
Initially, my plan was to become a sports broadcaster. I played baseball in college and studied communications. But during my freshman year, after joining the volunteer fire department, I realized that my calling was really to help others. I knew that a career in emergency medical services would allow me to do that every single day, in a very direct way. I am still a volunteer with the fire department, but am now also a dispatcher at NDP EMS, which has been great.
You talked about your dad’s spirit of service shaping your own career path. Can you tell me about some of those early memories watching him at work?
Growing up, I got to ride around in the fire truck with him when they were doing various things for the community. I especially loved going out on Christmas Eve; we would play holiday music on the PA system as we drove through the neighborhoods, and I loved it. So that was a favorite memory, but it was really just knowing on a regular basis that he was spending his time helping people that made me want to do the same.
Can you comment on the value you place on helping others?
When I was born, I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, so I have always had people offering help to me. I want to do the same in return. My dad always raised me to try to do everything I can by myself, without asking for help - but people are still so kind to offer, and I know that we all need to take care of those around us. There is always someone out there who has it more difficult or needs a hand. That’s what this field is all about - being there for people - and that’s what I am here to do.
How can people who are out in the workforce be supportive of colleagues with disabilities?
For me, it is important that I am not defined by my disability. I am defined by who I am as a person. I think that is what everyone probably wants - to just be able to be who they are without any labels.
What is it like to be part of the team at NDP EMS?
It’s like having a second family! They took me in as soon as I got the job. Everyone has accepted me, and my team in dispatch (especially Kim and Andy) push me to be the best I can be every day. They all BELIEVE in me, and that means everything. We all deal with self-doubt, and we need to feel like we have people around us who are always supportive and who encourage us to be our best. I feel that way every day at NDP. They all really care about me and one another.
What do you most love about your work?
The fact that we can help anyone at a moment’s notice. NDP EMS has grown alot over the years and I’ve seen that growth in our community; it’s very reassuring that there is this caring group of professionals who are there when people are in need. I love being a part of that.
What advice would you give to someone considering this career path?
Don’t sweat the small stuff or things that are out of your control!
Any unique moments that have been particularly meaningful? There have been so many moments that are meaningful - but the one that I think about often is when Kim sat me down to help me through my self-doubt. She said, “If I didn’t think you could do this, you wouldn’t still be here.” As I said, my team helps me stay positive every day, and I am really thankful for them. They truly believe in me and I can feel that.
Russell, you mentioned that you played baseball in college. I have a VERY important question for you. As a New Yorker… METS OR YANKEES?!
Oh, I’m definitely a Yankees fan!
And Russell Boyles is ‘knocking it out of the park’ here at NDP EMS with his positive attitude and spirit of dedication. We are lucky to have him on our team.
Learn more about career opportunities at ndpems.com/careers.