Coyle EMS

Carlos Coyle 

Carlos Coyle never thought saving lives would turn out to be his career path in life, but a certification would change his plans in 1982.

After Coyle received the basic level of certification to be an EMT during his senior year at Madison High School four decades ago, fulfilled his calling in life. Coyle began working for the ambulance service at the time and spent more than 20 years working as a paramedic for the Madison County EMS before taking over as assistant director ultimately becoming the chief officer of the county’s Emergency Medical Services.

“I never planned on this being a 40-year career,” Coyle said. “I knew I canted to do public safety and help my community, but I really thought I’d be going into law enforcement.”

Coyle, who was honored with a proclamation by Madison County Judge-Executive Reagan Taylor and the Madison County Fiscal Court Tuesday at the Berea City Annex, will retire Jan. 31. Taylor proclaimed Jan. 25 as “Carlos Coyle Day.”

Coyle said leaving his profession will be “bittersweet.”

Much like his career began, it transpired in the same manner. While climbing the ranks during his four decades of service to the community, Coyle said “the goal of being director was never anything that I had” and added, “it just happened.”

“I never had the goal to be director,” Coyle said. “After you’ve been there a while, you progress through the ranks and I was promoted to a supervisory role after I’d only been there five years. As a shift commander, I helped with the training at that point in time, and then I became assistant director and then ultimately director. My goal was to be a paramedic and it’s still the thing I’m most proud of now. I love my job being director, and, hopefully I’ve been able to grow the service and make it better.”

The most memorable times for Coyle occurred during his time on the street as a paramedic and “there’s nothing like it in my mind, more rewarding than actual patient care.”

“What keeps us going is the desire to serve and a little bit of adrenaline when you receive emergency calls and things like that,” he said. “It’s often a very instant gratification — maybe you were able to help save somebody’s life and you see that in real time and you see that very quickly. You see the fruits of your labor — your training and your education really make a difference.

“When you pick up somebody who’s maybe not breathing and you’re able to restore them to breathing or maybe their heart is not beating again, you’re able to restore (the heartbeat). There’s no greater reward than to see that happen.”

Coyle admitted working in the EMS field can be difficult at times, especially in tense situations.

“You see the best of people in times and the worst of people in times, and you have to be able to put that in perspective or you couldn’t do this job — the things that EMS workers see or the tragedies, the senseless loss of life, the terrible conditions sometimes that they encounter, it’s tough. It’s tough to see those things, but the good side of that is that we see, hopefully that we made a little difference. We were able to help that person in the situation they were in or the medical emergency that they were experiencing and things like that.”

The ongoing pandemic has made things much tougher for Coyle and his staff and admitted it has been one of the “tougher things that I’ve seen in my 40 years as far as truly impacting the providers, first responders and the health care workers.”

“It’s been difficult,” he said. “It’s increased their own volume (for first responders). The difficulty of response is we’re having to wear a lot of PPE and be extra careful about how you handle patients with COVID or potentially with COVID and things like that.”

Although he’s leaving his career, he will spend more time on his farm and getting ahead on a list of things he’s behind on, mostly catching up on farm life.

“It’s something that’s enjoyable and as hard of work as it is sometimes, it’s been a good balance to help to help me because I’m probably never relax when I’m out there on the farm.”

 training at that point in time, and then I became assistant director and then ultimately director. My goal was to be a paramedic and it’s still the thing I’m most proud of now. I love my job being director, and, hopefully I’ve been able to grow the service and make it better.”

The most memorable times for Coyle occurred during his time on the street as a paramedic and “there’s nothing like it in my mind, more rewarding than actual patient care.”

“What keeps us going is the desire to serve and a little bit of adrenaline when you receive emergency calls and things like that,” he said. “It’s often a very instant gratification — maybe you were able to help save somebody’s life and you see that in real time and you see that very quickly. You see the fruits of your labor — your training and your education really make a difference.

“When you pick up somebody who’s maybe not breathing and you’re able to restore them to breathing or maybe their heart is not beating again, you’re able to restore (the heartbeat). There’s no greater reward than to see that happen.”

Coyle admitted working in the EMS field can be difficult at times, especially in tense situations.

“You see the best of people in times and the worst of people in times, and you have to be able to put that in perspective or you couldn’t do this job — the things that EMS workers see or the tragedies, the senseless loss of life, the terrible conditions sometimes that they encounter, it’s tough. It’s tough to see those things, but the good side of that is that we see, hopefully that we made a little difference. We were able to help that person in the situation they were in or the medical emergency that they were experiencing and things like that.”

The ongoing pandemic has made things much tougher for Coyle and his staff and admitted it has been one of the “tougher things that I’ve seen in my 40 years as far as truly impacting the providers, first responders and the health care workers.”

“It’s been difficult,” he said. “It’s increased their own volume (for first responders). The difficulty of response is we’re having to wear a lot of PPE and be extra careful about how you handle patients with COVID or potentially with COVID and things like that.”

Although he’s leaving his career, he will spend more time on his farm and getting ahead on a list of things he’s behind on, mostly catching up on farm life.

“It’s something that’s enjoyable and as hard of work as it is sometimes, it’s been a good balance to help to help me because I’m probably never relax when I’m out there on the farm.”

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