In today’s APA NSW Member story, meet our President Chris Kastelan sharing his story and some tips on how he keeps his body and mind healthy.
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a 52-year-old father of one son who is 15. I live on the Central Coast at Terrigal and love surfing and basketball, which I try to do both of at least twice a week.
2. What is your professional background as a Paramedic?
I was inspired to become a Paramedic after I worked alongside a few Paramedics from Vancouver in the early 1990s while working as a professional Ski Patroller on a small ski hill called ‘SilverStar’ in British Columbia. I have been a Paramedic since 1998 and have only ever worked in a Metropolitan environment. I have been stationed on the Central Coast since about 2006 and am now stationed at Wyong.
3. What is your favourite thing about being a Paramedic?
I really like helping people out who are in a tight bind. There is only so much you can do to help yourself and when you have exhausted all avenues, so I like to be able to assist the community in those situations. I have met so many very nice people over the years and that’s what keeps me going.
4. At times the life of a Paramedic can be stressful and tiring – how do you keep your body and mind healthy?
Much of my recreational time away from work is spent around my small family and I generally enjoy a healthy lifestyle. I love to spend time with my son, and I also collect old 70s surfboards, which I could probably pay off my mortgage with if I could just bring myself to give a few up!
5. In your opinion, what is the biggest issue or challenge for Paramedics and/or the industry at the moment?
I believe a real challenge at the moment is to ensure Paramedics are fairly compensated for their professionalism and their clinical skills, and to ensure that Paramedics are safe in the work environment. I have a Masters Degree in Occupational Health and Safety and I for one am a great advocate of being able to go home at the end of the day to your family and loved ones, in exactly the same way that you started the day – safe and well.
We would like to hear and share stories of our big community of NSW Paramedics. Please, send your photo and story firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured!
APA (NSW) is a Trade Union for Paramedics and Support Staff which is run by Paramedics. The APA Executive consist of CTP qualified peers who understand the needs of NSW Ambulance Staff as affected individuals themselves. A major benefit as a member is the ability to contact an executive member and know your problem is understood.