We love our medical staff! To celebrate our flight nurses and medics and all the amazing work they do, we’re sitting them down for a question-and-answer session. For this week’s medic Q&A, meet Phil Sanchez, a former member of the Albuquerque Fire Department!
CSI Aviation: Why did you become a flight paramedic?
Phil Sanchez: I became a flight paramedic to broaden my career; I was always fascinated about the critical care aspect of EMS.
CSI: What have you gained from working at CSI?
PS: I have gained a great appreciation for the team we have at CSI. I am so thankful to be able to work with some amazing nurses, paramedics, and pilots. The leadership and support we have are second to none.
CSI: What do you find most rewarding and/or most challenging in your role as a flight nurse or flight paramedic?
PS: The most rewarding aspect of the job is—we get to make a difference in people’s lives. We are a critical link in getting some really sick people to a destination in which they can get lifesaving treatments. The views we experience when we fly makes it the best office view.
The challenging aspect of our job is—you have to have full confidence in your ability as well as your partner to perform the job. I am very fortunate to fly with some of the best flight nurses around.
CSI: What’s your favorite medical flight story? Or, just your favorite career story!
PS: I started as a flight medic approximately 10 years ago doing long range with my current partner after she left [for] another service and I left to spend time with my kids. I had retired from the Albuquerque Fire Department and started flying again [when] she called me to apply for CSI. I applied and was offered a job and we are now partners. It’s come full circle after quite a bit of time.
CSI: What do you wish people knew about your job?
PS: We are very fortunate to be able to have such an amazing job flying patients all over the country. It’s literally an ICU in the air. The job can be very stressful at times as you don’t have the luxury of calling for more help or having the bright lights and walking around your patient. We have a small space to work with limited light and it’s a 2-person team. I can’t stress the team part enough.
CSI: Any fun facts you want to share?
PS: I am a recent retiree from the Albuquerque Fire Department. I served for 20 1/2 years. I had my own business building custom kitchen cabinets that I recently stopped when I moved to Colorado. I work as a ski Patroller in the winter for Sipapu ski resort. In my down time I train and compete with my two German shepherds in Schutzhund, which encompasses tracking, obedience, and protection work. I have two amazing daughters, and one grandson. I am currently engaged to an amazing woman and ski partner; wedding date TBD due to COVID.