Hope is in the air

Randy Endsley: Why EMS? - A non-profit helicopter emergency medical service for south Texas.

Apr 22, 2013

In 1989 I had finished Air Force boot camp and was at my first duty station in La Junta, Colorado. I was a radar operator for the B1B and B52 scoring program and had never really thought about a career in health care.

Our radar station was in a small town with nothing to do. In search for an extracurricular activity, I heard that the local police department had a Reserve Officer Program where citizens could become certified officers and ride as partners of full-time officers. Law enforcement had always intrigued me. I was always one to be drawn to excitement and I hated being the one driving by the lights and sirens….I wanted to be the one going to the emergency, not away from it.

I decided to do a ride-along and get an idea of what it would be like. One night while on a ride along the officer I was riding with was dispatched to a “fight at a party”. We arrived to find an all-out brawl and I watched the officers wrestle with a 250 pound man. I, myself, weighed in at a whopping 130 pounds in 1990. It was then and there that I decided this career wasn’t for me.

I began to look for something else. A friend told me about the Volunteer Fire/EMS Department.

I went to a Tuesday night recruitment meeting and it sounded really interesting. As I had never been around injured or critically ill people I still wasn’t too sure about the ambulance part, but I was willing to give it a try. I signed up for the upcoming EMT-B course.

I remained a member of that department for 6 years becoming a certified firefighter and an EMT-I. I really felt fulfilled in the medical aspect of the job and decided to go to RN school at the local college on my off- duty hours. I would go to school from 8am – 3pm, Monday through Friday, and work my Air Force radar position from 3pm – 11pm. Get up and do it all again the next day. I did this for 3 years, all the while still working for the fire department. I had secured a job at the local ER as a unit clerk and EMT on the weekends.

Needless to say, I had zero free time for those years!

As luck would have it, I graduated from RN school in June of 1996 and my 8 years with the Air Force was complete a month later. I was honorably discharged from the Air Force and began a full-time job as an RN at the local ER.


Randy Endsley, Chief Medical Officer

A year later I decided to come back to my hometown of Corpus Christi. I wanted my children to know their grandparents and great-grandparents. I was hired at what is now CHRISTUS Spohn Memorial ER in 1997. During my time there I had interaction with HALO-Flight crews and in 1999 I was asked to join the team. I accepted. 4 years later I was made the Chief Flight Nurse.

That was 14 years ago and as I look back now—it all started with a police ride along and a 250 pound man trying to beat up a police officer. Funny how fate works out!