BREAKING THE MOLD: Lacy Wallace, Emergency Medical Services

October 18, 2023

Presque Isle – Lacy Wallace, a senior at Northern Maine Community College, is learning critical pre-hospital treatments as an Emergency Medical Services student. As a hands-on learner, Lacy recognizes the exceptionality of NMCC’s EMS simulation center and ambulance to provide life-like scenarios. “We are able to perform life-saving interventions on the mannequins that help us prepare for the real world,” Lacy describes.

Lacy graduated from the University of Maine at Fort Kent with an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice and a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Administration. After working for nearly five years as a 911 dispatcher for the Maine State Police, Lacy decided to move to the other side of the radio and joined Fort Fairfield Fire Rescue, first as a volunteer and then full-time. Her goals have consistently been about helping people, and her education and experience at NMCC allow her to continue to do so. “The instructors at NMCC are able to draw from their experiences in the field,” Lacy states. “And they are always willing to answer questions or help if you feel like you are struggling.” Lacy expressed her gratitude to her instructors for helping her stay on pace for graduation when she gave birth to her daughter in June.

AJ Gagnon, EMS instructor and program director says, “Lacy is extremely determined to succeed and become a paramedic to best serve her patients and community. She is invested in not only her success but that of her fellow classmates.” Once she becomes a paramedic, Lacy would like to continue and get her Firefighter I & II certifications. She is also interested in going to officer school and becoming an instructor to teach the next generation.

One strength that Lacy sees as a woman in the field of fire and EMS is the different perspectives that she and her female peers can bring to each situation. She finds that her strengths and weaknesses provide a good balance to her male counterparts, and both are stronger together.

Lacy says she’s encountered a continued stigma about women being seen as weak or delicate, especially as a pregnant woman in the field. While it is often unintentional or with a chivalrous aim, it can make women feel like they have to prove their strength to those around them. However, Lacy sees the progress women are making in slowly getting past that stigma because to be successful, everyone in the field has to be strong enough to handle both the physical and mental aspects of the work.

“Do a ride-along!” is Lacy’s suggestion to are considering a career in Fire or EMS. See first-hand the work happening at the department, on the rigs, and on calls, and learn about the amazing opportunities in this field.

Quick Facts: Emergency Medical Services 

Job Duties

  • Administer first aid treatment or life support care to sick or injured persons in prehospital settings.
  • Assess nature and extent of illness or injury to establish and prioritize medical procedures.
  • Attend training classes to maintain certification licensure, keep abreast of new developments in the field, or maintain existing knowledge.
  • Comfort and reassure patients.
  • Communicate with dispatchers or treatment center personnel to provide information about situation, to arrange reception of victims, or to receive instructions for further treatment.

2022 National Average Pay $23.60 hourly, $49,090 annual

Projected Job Openings 2022-2032: 5,100

Source: O’NET Online