Rachel Curnuck believes happiness comes as a result of what is given not what is received, and that’s why she’s followed her dream to become an Advance Care Paramedic.
Rachel knew the moment her life had become destined for her to pull on the teal coveralls and help save the lives of locals.
This moment was during the devastating 2013 floods when Rachel was just a teenager.
She offered to help stranded Bundaberg Queensland Ambulance Service personnel, including officer Steve (Sunny) Whitfield, stranded in Avondale for three days until floodwaters subsided.
Steve and his colleagues were looked after very well by the locals at Jo's Roadhouse during the floods.
Local school students pitched in to help the QAS team set up a triage centre for others that were isolated due to the floods.
“I wanted to become a paramedic because I love helping people even if it’s just a smile and, if possible, be a part of giving others a second chance at life,” Rachel said.
“Being able to help out the paramedics and nurses during the 2013 floods was an awesome experience.
“Initially, as a child I had the desire to become a doctor, but that soon changed and then I thought to become a paramedic.
“As most children, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ changes often, but this one stuck with me.
“The experience during the floods, meeting Sunny and the other paramedics, definitely had a significant part in confirming my desire to become a paramedic.”
It would be years later, when Rachel had swapped a school uniform for her paramedic uniform, when her and Steve’s paths would cross again.
Steve got a tap on the shoulder at the QAS Whyte Island Training Facility.
When he turned around he recognised Rachel who was about to head to Childers Ambulance Station to start her career with the QAS.
She has been stationed at the Childers station for eight months and, after dedicating years to study, she has recently received her advance care epaulettes.
“I feel very honoured to be a paramedic, being able to have the privilege to help people at their lowest and highest points in their lives,” she said.
“I will remain at Childers station for at least a couple of years. My OIC and colleagues have all been really supportive and willing to help out any way they can.
“I have learnt a lot working in Childers and have had the honour of working side by side with some amazing paramedics. I cannot wait to see where my career leads me.”
Rachel’s ambition to help others is also seen through her seven years of dedication to the Queensland Rural Fire Service, where she is currently serving as First Officer.
She now encourages others to work hard and follow their dreams.
“Being a paramedic is not always easy, it can be hard work, mentally, physically and sometimes emotionally, but I would never change my career for anything else,” Rachel said.
“If being a paramedic is your dream, then pursue it! My advice is to take it one step at a time and enjoy the process.
“It may get tough but if you work hard for your dreams, the end result will definitely be worth it.
“Being a young woman can be challenging in some industries but do not let that stop you living your best life and doing what you love.
“It does not matter who you are or what you have done or what kind of job you want to pursue, what matters is if you have a dream, aim for it.”
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