"Almost every EMT you find gets satisfaction out of helping someone," he said.

The EMTs who don't last as long in the job are those who want to be a hero, he noted.

Kohfield explained that on occasion they are faced with patients who punch, kick, slap and spit.

It's part of the job.

Kohfield had plenty of stressful moments as she put in 553 hours in two months training last year with the McMinnville Fire Department and at several Portland hospitals and BMH.

"It was a crazy time," she said.

Through it all her husband was there to answer her questions and back up her thoughts and concerns, she added.

On the MFD emergency calls she had 130 advanced patient contacts, and she worked with over 100 patients during her clinical work which included 20 intubations, time in the operating and emergency rooms, burn unit, intensive care units and obstetric surgery, where she delivered two babies.

"Like resident doctors, there's no skating by any of it," Hilton said.

To achieve paramedic status, Kohfield also had to complete an Associate's of Applied Science degree and a one-year paramedic course.

The BMH grant committee paid for her paramedic program, about $9,000.

Grant County is, no doubt, in better shape with two paramedics on hand now.

It also means that Hilton will get more time off, paring down his 28-day-a-month schedule.

And, more revenue will be generated for the hospital with an extra paramedic available for ground transports.

One possible downside: if one spouse covers days and the other covers nights, they may see each other less often.

Kohfield's greatest challenge now, she says, is taking on 100 percent of the responsibility of the ambulance call and the decisions made with treatments.

"It takes confidence," Hilton added. "You're not allowed to make a mistake," he said, even under stressful circumstances.

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