EMS World

OCT 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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EMSWORLD.com | OCTOBER 2018 19 W orking in EMS would never be considered a routine 9–5 day. The nature of the job requires unpredictability, irregularity, and constantly shifting environments. That's part of its allure. Still, many of your colleagues in prehospital care are plying their trade in even more extraordinary environ- ments than what typically comes to mind. Read on for some of their remarkable stories. Swimming With the Sharks After speaking with Mike Hudson for just a few minutes, you get the heart-pumping urge to climb into a wetsuit, strap on an air tank, and dive into shark-infested tropical waters. Hudson is a high-energy child of 1970s-era South- ern California and doing exactly what he's cut out to do. "I grew up in and around the water, and I still am— the ocean is a part of me," says Hudson, a paramedic and dive safety consultant for The Discovery Channel's smash hit "Shark Week," now in its 30th year of pro- duction, which brings viewers up close with some of the deadliest marine animals known to man. Hudson travels the globe coordinating the safety protocols and deck operations of on-location shoots from Cuba to Guadalupe to the Mediterranean Sea. "A number of years ago I was hanging out with locals in Guadalupe staring at the moons of Jupiter rising over a volcano," he says. "You stop, look around you, and just say 'wow.'" The hair-raising job didn't fall to Hudson by accident— his list of certifications and experiences is lengthy and impressive. Following a stint in the Navy as a hospital corpsman, Hudson served as a paramedic, flight medic, and training instructor at services in San Diego, Colora- do, Delaware, and New Jersey. Along the way the USLA- qualified open-water lifeguard-instructor has doubled as a lifeguard, supervisor, and ocean-rescue specialist at some of the Eastern seaboard's most heavily popu- lated beach towns. Hudson's current "dry job" is MICP paramedic and field instructor at JFK Health in New Jersey. He's also been a captain with Sea Bright (N.J.) Ocean Rescue since 2014. Both services are accommodating when Shark Week comes calling—typically a dozen or so high-risk excursions to some of the world's most beautiful (and hazardous) coastal seascapes each year. Hudson coor- dinates all safety briefings, enters the water to extract divers in distress, treats injuries, maintains equipment, and liaises with local health authorities. "You're a politician as much as anything else," says Hudson of collaborating with local governments and health systems. "You're playing under their rules. You can't be a cowboy." Intense preparations mean bites, catastrophic air failures, and other serious events are rare, but when they happen, having a transportation Diving in the deep with 2,000-pound sharks—just another day on the job for paramedic Mike Hudson. Photo by Mark Rackley

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