Maria Stevenson K-9 Cash
Hello, I am Maria am married to my husband of 13 years and we have 3 kids. We live on a small hobby farm in Minnesota. Here is my story….
I grew up in central Minnesota and even as a kid I wanted to help people when I grew up. I started working in a nursing home as a nursing assistant the day after my 16th birthday. I became very close to the residents and learned I needed to move on to a career that my big heart didn’t get so attached to my patients. I was hard losing these people who became family after taking care of them for 3 years.
I decided to take an EMT class with my best friend while I was waiting to get into nursing school. After my first ride along as an EMT student everything had changed. This is what I wanted to do. I wanted and needed that adrenalin rush I got going on every call. I started my career as an EMT on a BLS service in North Central Minnesota. I then decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life. I went to paramedic school. One month before graduation while working on the BLS service I had one of the worst calls of my life. I ended up doing CPR on one of my good friends. We didn’t get him back and I no longer wanted to be in EMS. I didn’t want to go through with graduating my mind was not in a good place. I didn’t care that I had just wasted the last 3 years of my life. I was going to find something else.
My boyfriend at the time and my now husband talked me out of it. He talked me into finishing school and then after if I still wanted to switch careers he would be more then happy to stand behind me. So, I did. I finished. I graduated and passed my national registry.
I then began working as a paramedic in 2008, I worked at a service for 7 years until I had another horrible call. I was on my first mass casualty incident (MCI). As I looked around out the front windshield of my ambulance while working on a child, I saw 3 other crews also doing CPR on this child’s family. I never at the time ever thought that I would experience anything like that. I have nightmares and flash backs from this call even to this day.
I just knew my time in EMS was over. I took a job at the local hospital working in the emergency department as a paramedic. I worked there for 2 years. At which time I decided that there was never going to be anything that I could do other then EMS on an ambulance. I went back to the street.
I have been on an ambulance since. I finally found my forever home on at an ambulance service that I love. I here have had a few more of the ‘worst’ calls of my career including one with a family member. I still have flash backs from this call randomly also, especially the look on her face, but she is doing well and we are closer then ever.
I recently went back to school to become a Community Paramedic and love working closely with these patients and helping them in a non-emergency setting. I work both on the ambulance and as a Community Paramedic and love it.
It has always been my dream to have a service dog. I struggle with my PTSD, depression, and Anxiety every day. My dog Cash has been more in tune with my feelings then anyone had ever imaged he could be. We could not be more excited for Soldier 6 and the training that they are giving us. I honestly do not have any words. They are amazing! Thank you to Soldier 6 and everyone who supports them!