Wash. EMT dad inspires medical service that runs in the family
From the time EMT Randy Scott's children were little, they understood the importance of helping those in need, even during family vacations
The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
Randy Scott has spent 32 years as a volunteer EMT in Deer Park, just as his parents did for 20 years. As a first responder to emergencies and traffic accidents, Scott stopped any time someone needed medical aid — without hesitation.
He's a father now, and his actions didn't go unnoticed by daughter Cylee Scott, who credits him as her inspiration to enter the medical field. Randy, 56, and Cylee, 26, work today in separate MultiCare Rockwood clinics in Spokane as certified medical assistants. He still serves as an advanced EMT volunteer in Deer Park.
Scott family road trips often weren't typical if they happened upon an emergency. "At first, it was annoying as a little kid," Cylee Scott said. "But you get used to it, and you know those people are needing assistance. You have to be there for them. You have to stop your life sometimes to help other people. That's the kind of stuff you learn.
"We'd go out shopping or out to eat for dinner, and there would be an accident. Because he's a first responder, we'd have to stop at the scene. Once you see and understand people's actions, it's either you want to do this or you don't. Those small actions of helping people brought me into the medical field."
Randy Scott works at the Northpointe clinic, where he's been the past few years. Previously, he was a medical assistant at other clinics for many years. Two years ago, his daughter began at the Quail Run clinic on the South Hill after graduating from a certified medical assistant program in June 2019 at Carrington College in Spokane. That was a proud dad's day.
"It's pretty amazing," he said. "I think anybody who is a dad, if their kid goes into what they're doing and they feel good about it, it's like a blessing. One of my best days in my life was going to her graduation and having her call me and telling me she passed her national test.
"When she got on at MultiCare, I told her I worked at two other clinics before, and I'm appreciative for all that MultiCare does."
Growing up, Cylee would ask her dad questions about what he did as a first responder. The more she understood, the more she wanted to help in the medical field.
"There was one time we went to go school clothes shopping, and we saw a guy run a stop sign and hit the car in front of us. The person who got hit left the engine going. My dad got out of the car, grabbed the keys and threw them out on the ground. Then after that, I had questions — why would you do that?"
He told her: Shutting off a car engine and removing the keys were instinctive. It's an action he's taken multiple times in preventing a vehicle from catching fire after an impact. "I actually don't remember it because I can't tell you how many times I've done things like that," he said.
"But that's the first thing you do so the car doesn't blow up, then you take care of the person in front of you. ... Basically, as an EMT, if you're driving down the road and you see somebody go into a ditch or you see a car accident and somebody gets hurt, you're pretty much obligated to stop and render aid until others can get there."
Sometimes, that meant being late for a holiday meal at Grandma's. Randy Scott's parents, Carroll and Barbara Scott, moved the family to Deer Park around the time he was 9. His dad is deceased, and his mom later remarried, he said. His parents were role models as EMTs early in Deer Park's volunteer ambulance service.
"We had a phone in the backroom that was red," he said. "If someone would call the primitive 911, the dispatchers would put a phone number in, and it would ring phones of all the volunteers in the area. You'd pick up and find out what was going on, and anybody available would go on the call.
"Actually, I remember them going on calls and talking about the calls when they got home, and the stopping along the side of the road and waiting when something happened. It's actually kind of interesting how that continues on."
In his EMT role, Scott said he's delivered several babies and held people who died in his arms. He recalled one instance of a friend, driving a flat-nosed Jeep pickup, in an accident hitting a semi truck head on. After the emergency crew worked to disentangle him, he was still alive as Scott held him.
"He looked up at me and said, 'Will you tell my wife I love her,' and then he died," Scott said. "I went to the funeral, and when the funeral was done, I told his wife that I had to talk to her, then I told her. There was a lot of hugging and crying."
He had known the husband for about 15 years in Deer Park. "The babies and the amount of people you help outweigh the ones who die on you. I pretty much tell people I've seen it all and done it all."
Cylee Scott remembers the impacts on her dad after he witnessed a bad accident. "Living with someone who is a first responder is a lot different than what people might assume," she said.
"I will never forget when my dad would have a bad call and come home, and it's almost like he was a completely different person — turning the lights on or the dishes didn't get done — because of the effects from the call.
"He is an amazing person for what he does for people and putting people first."
Parents often remind teens about driving with caution, which Randy Scott did often. "I probably said, 'Make sure you wear your seatbelt' 1,400 times a day. I'd always tell my kids that, to slow down, watch what you're doing, don't drink and drive."
And there was a conversation about a certain car, his daughter recalled. "Something I'll never forget is, he said, 'Do you really want a Corvette because you won't have any protection if you roll it,' " she said. But her dad has one now. "About two years ago, I bought a convertible Corvette," he said. OK for him, not his kids? "That's right."
Scott said her goal in clinic work is to help other people "the way my dad does." "As a medical assistant, I work side-by-side with the doctor to help patients get their needs taken care of, to make sure their medication is given on time and get them ready for the doctor. As medical assistants, we do quite a bit. I help in procedures."
Randy Scott also has a daughter who is an East Valley Middle School teacher, a son who is an apprentice plumber and another daughter in retail.
He and wife, Mariah, will celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. This Father's Day will likely have the family together for a big barbecue.
The day before, they might have all Scotts at a lake. "We have a big pontoon boat that everybody plays on," he said. In his daily commute from Deer Park to Spokane, he uses the time to call his kids.
"On Mondays and Wednesdays, I call Cylee, and we talk pretty much the whole way until she gets to work or I get to work, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do the same with my son," he said.
When reflecting on Father's Day, Cylee Scott said her dad continues to be there for her every day. She's expecting a baby on Nov. 14. "I want my child to be just like my father," she said.
"My dad does mean everything to me. My dad is my go-to person. He's the first person I go to if I have any problems, if I need advice or need to get something off my chest. He's always the person who is there for me."
(c)2021 The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.)