When Cory McMillan took triple-0 calls, he always felt a little helpless.
It is the reason he become a paramedic.
The 26-year-old is one of two trainees at Wagga’s NSW Ambulance station, learning the ropes and saving lives across the region.
But unlike other paramedics, fresh from the university conveyor belt, Mr McMillan is one of very few across the state, chosen to undertake vocational training.
His career change comes as hundreds of Year-12 students decide where to take their next educational steps on the path to their future careers.
But Mr McMillan said you did not always need great marks or a degree to follow your dreams.
His words come ahead of the next university-offer round, set to be released on the University Admission’s Centre website at 7.30am on Friday, Jan 12.
Following an intense application process, Mr McMillan was selected to work for Ambulance NSW.
He and fellow Wagga trainee Lisa Frow commenced their intense on-the-job training this year and after three years, they will have earned a diploma in paramedic science.
“It’s an intense job and it’s been a big learning curve,” Mr McMillan said. “But it’s been so good.”
He said it was not enough for him to comfort someone on the other end of the phone.
Mr McMillan wanted to be there, resting a hand on a patients shoulder during an emergency.
“I felt pretty helpless,” he said. “I came across so I could really help, rather than just talk.”
Thrown in the deep end, the 26-year-old is already riding under lights and sirens, attending up to 12 jobs every day, alongside his training supervisor.
Station officer Darren Rudd said Wagga was one of the best places for paramedics to learn, as it offered a range of cases from paediatric to geriatric and trauma to work-place incidents.
Mr Rudd said Mr McMillan’s reason for donning the blue echoed among other paramedics.
“We all just want to help people,” Mr Rudd said.