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‘I’m definitely not a quitter’: Kate Smith on EMS and obstacle racing as an amputee

Listen to her extraordinary story of overcoming personal trauma and how obstacle course racing has helped her in her EMS career

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By Better Every Shift

“I absolutely do have bad days. I just make sure I don’t let myself give up.” EMT Kate Smith, who began her public safety journey as a junior firefighter and EMS explorer at 14, before becoming a below-the-knee amputee at 16, shares how EMS helped reveal an inner strength that propelled her to where she is today – working to complete paramedic school, training for obstacle course races and inspiring others through her Adaptive Kate TikTok videos. Plus, we dig into all this:

  • The high school job shadow requirement that drove her love of public safety
  • How her work in EMS ultimately helped reveal the true reason she lost her leg – suspected Münchausen Syndrome by proxy
  • The impact of Spartan races on her mental health
  • Her thoughts on gratitude after trauma and overcoming obstacles to pursue your passions

Editor’s note: Following her appearance on the show, Smith shared that she completed the Spartan Trifecta. See her victory photos below!


“I completed the entire trifecta weekend. It was the hardest thing I have done. It was an amazing weekend filled with lots of emotion, love, battles and accomplishments!” Smith wrote in an email.

Photo/Courtesy of Kate Smith

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