W.Va. Ambulance Authority Names First Female Captain

Kim Shanklin, 45, has been employed at the ambulance authority since 1986


 
 

PAUL FALLON, Charleston Daily Mail | | Friday, April 27, 2012


CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For the first time in its 35-year history, the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority has a female captain.

Kim Shanklin, 45, of Holly Grove, was promoted to the rank of captain on March 18. Ambulance authority members held a ceremony Wednesday recognizing Shanklin and the nine others who received promotions.

Shanklin has been employed at the ambulance authority since 1986. She started out as an emergency medical technician and worked her way up through the ranks over the years.

"I love my job," she said. "I love helping people and working with people."

She will now act as a shift supervisor, but plans on responding to calls when she can to keep her skills sharp.

Along with helping people who are in dire need of assistance, Shanklin said the camaraderie in the department also kept her coming back to work.

She acknowledged that working for the ambulance authority was a "hard job," and that she often saw people who were in dire straights. But, she always worked through the tough times, she said.

"There are calls that make you think about quitting," she said. "But, when I can't cry with a family then I know it's time to retire."

"And the happy moments always make up for all the sad moments," Shanklin said.

Shanklin is now one of four captains at the authority. Executive Director Joe Lynch called Shanklin a hard worker who deserved the promotion. He said he was also pleased to see that a female had finally been promoted to the rank.

"This makes me feel real good," Lynch said.

Shanklin said it was an honor to be named the first female captain in the Ambulance Authority's history. She said that she always knew if she worked hard enough that she could attain the rank.

Shanklin's brother, Steve Nelson, 40, of Charleston, attended Wednesday's recognition ceremony. He said he was very proud of his sister.

"She deserved it," he said.

Shanklin went through the same process everyone must pass before getting a promotion, Lynch said. She had to submit her resume and then the other captains in the department interviewed her.

She also submitted to a peer interview, Lynch said.

Lynch said Shanklin would have typically been an anomaly because she has worked for the authority for about 20 years. Prior to a recent legislative change about two years ago, employees with ambulance authorities around West Virginia were part of the state Public Employees Retirement System.

However, the Legislature changed the law, and ambulance authorities are now part of their own retirement system, Lynch said.

Emergency medical technicians and other employees at the authority would typically work for the agency for a few years until they finished their education and then they moved onto other positions. Most would find employment as nurses or in other fields, he said.

But the authority employees can now retire at the age of 50 if they have 20 years of service, he said. This encourages employees to stick with the authority.

"We wanted to thank the Kanawha County Commission because they pushed for that law change," he said.

But, Shanklin said she wouldn't have retired even if the change had not been made. She also plans on staying well beyond the age of 50.

"I plan on staying here," she said.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, female captain

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Details on Discipline Released in D.C. Investigation

Interim fire chief claims punishment was not severe enough.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters Recovering from Injuries

One of the four remains in critical condition.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Three Kentucky Firefighters Injured in Ice Bucket Challenge

Campbellsville tower ladder comes in contact with power lines.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

NAEMT: Transforming EMS

A look inside at the Mobile Healthcare Paramedic system.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >