Meet Jules

By Laura Towers posted 02-01-2021 08:00

Get to know your fellow NVFC members!


Jules Scadden is vice chair of the NVFC EMS/Rescue Section and the director of a rural ambulance company in Iowa. You might have attended her webinar on Volunteer EMS Recruitment, which is available in NVFC's Virtual Classroom. She spent several years volunteering for a local fire department prior to joining Dysart Ambulance Service.
What came as the biggest surprise when you became a paramedic?
The biggest surprise was how great I could feel when helping someone even a little bit and how bad I felt when I couldn't help.  

Television shows sometimes inspire folks to get involved in the fire service or EMS, even though some shows aren't necessarily very accurate in their portrayal of emergencies. A show inspired you to volunteer, right?

The television series "Emergency!" from the '70s made me want to become a paramedic. Most of the shows that have come out since then have been too dramatized and inaccurate. "Chicago Fire" is probably the closest current show that is pretty accurate, although it often shows them doing things that would never be allowed in reality.

Jules, right, receiving a grant writing award
Jules, right, receiving a grant writing award

How do you promote wellness at your ambulance company?

We make sure to check with each other after any calls that could be emotionally difficult. We also meet once a month for class and talk about calls and have a group texting app that we use to chat when things are difficult.

How has COVID-19 affected you and your company? 
We lost seven people over the last year who didn't feel they were able to risk getting the coronavirus via the ambulance. We have managed to recruit four new people, but it has been difficult. We also were not able to do our annual pork chop dinner fundraiser, but did a letter mailing campaign that was very successful.

What's the funniest thing that's happened to you while on a call?
I ripped my pants on a fence while taking care of a patient in a car wreck and my partner stood behind me holding a blanket wrapped around my waist while I held the C-Spine on the patient.

What advice would you give new volunteers?
Holding someone's hand even if you can't do anything more to treat a patient can and does help your patient sometimes more than anything else you can do.