Kelly Grayson, on coming off the truck

KG shares his motivation in making a career change and how to avoid burning bridges


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After 30 years in EMS in Louisiana, the past 15 as a critical care paramedic, Kelly Grayson is leaving the Bayou state – and the rig – for a full-time paramedic educator role in New York.

Kelly will begin his position as the lead instructor as the lead instructor for the new CoAEMSP-accredited paramedic program at Clarkson University in Pottstown, New York, in August.

Chris and Kelly discuss what motivated Kelly to make this leap, and what happens when you change jobs and have to prepare for the next chapter.

Memorable quotes from this episode

“I can render no higher praise for an EMS agency than to say they let me do my job without handcuffs.”

“When we lose a longtime member of the workforce – it hurts – and I hate to be the one to do that.”

“You never want to burn a bridge. Even if you hate the place you work, you never know that you may have to go back to them one day and say, you know, ‘are you looking for any help?’”

“If I make a commitment to a place, I’ll follow their rules, cheerfully.”

“Make yourself valuable to prospective employers. If you’re not happy where you are, you can make a good living at EMS, you can have career satisfaction in EMS. You might not be able to have those things at the place you are currently.”

“It’s an employee’s market right now.”

“Vote with your feet.”

Together, they discuss:

  • When it’s time to make a career change
  • The skills you need when you come off the truck
  • Shifting the paradigm in EMS education
  • Developing and standing up a new paramedic program 
  • Bringing affordable EMS education to rural communities
  • How to leave a position without burning bridges

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