Albany paramedic reaches 25 year milestone
Albany paramedic Mike Ficko has marked a quarter century caring for Western Australians when they need it most in his work with St John WA.
St John WA Head of Country Ambulance Justin Fonte said dedication over such a period of time was invaluable to ensuring safe and resilient communities across WA.
“The sort of experience people like Mike develop over this length of time, and the deep connect with community, is absolutely irreplacable. On behalf of St John WA, I pass on our heartfelt congratulations not just for Mike’s service to his community, but to the many people his dedication has personally impacted.”
Originally trained as a Registered Nurse, Mr Ficko was driven by personal experience to become a paramedic and give back to his community. As a third generation Albany local, a region he describes as the best place in Western Australia to live and work, this meant returning home.
“As a teen I was in a car accident and was tended to by St John volunteers. I just remember the overwhelming sense of relief when they arrived,” he said.
“Growing up, I heard all kinds of stories from my Grandad who was an army medic and involved with St John as a volunteer in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s now my privilege to help my local community in the same way.”
Mr Ficko has earned a reputation for responding to all calls with equal compassion and empathy, which he attributes to his growth throughout the various life stages – including his experience as a father and family man. He uses this depth of experience to relate to different situations and people, ensuring he can help at the times people need him most.
“The best thing about the job is being able to take people’s pain away. Over the past 25 years, our ability to offer relief and deal with a variety of scenarios has grown exponentially. Our training is so thorough now,” he said.
“It’s not just about the patients either, it’s being able to help their loved ones and help provide support for the overall wellbeing of the family.”
While there have been too many career-changing milestones to speak about just one, Mr Ficko speaks fondly of his time working with volunteers, stating that providing back up and additional care alongside volunteers is a great part of the job.
“It is amazing how some people do this job as a volunteer. They take on such responsibility and give so much to the community. They are an essential part of our service and enable us to deliver care to so many areas. It’s a tough gig to volunteer, and I take my hat off to them,” Ficko said.
In his day-to-day on the job, Ficko never fails to remember that sometimes it’s the simplest of jobs that have the biggest impact and this should never be underestimated. He regularly advises new paramedics to go into every job being aware of the impact they will have on people’s lives.
“Every job we do is important and while the impact may not be immediately recognisable, it is an honour to enter people’s lives at the times that we do. We walk into their lives at their best and worst moments, and everything in between,” Ficko said.
“Sometimes it’s the words and simple things that make all the difference – even just sitting and talking with patients. It is a privilege to be able to serve as a paramedic.”