Your Journey Begins Here Student Bio - Garrett College
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"There will always be a need for those with a trade"

Nathan Householder's Bio

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Class of 2014




Flight Paramedic

Why GC for Nathan?

  • Supportive learning environment
  • One-one-one support from Jim Koon, Jean Tressler, and Doug Beitzel, of GC's paramedic program
  • Paramedic training program provided Nathan with the necessary skills and experience that equipped him for the real world

Growing up, Nathan Householder spent his days flipping through the pages of a Gray's Anatomy book while other kids his age were reading R.L. Stine books. His grandmother was a nurse for more than 50 years; his father was a medic for 30 years and remains active in the fire service with Potomac Fire Company in nearby Westernport.

Fast forward to the present: Householder is working as a flight paramedic for Valley Med Flight out of Dickinson, North Dakota. A typical day consists of briefings with the medical crew and pilot, in addition to case reviews, case study reports and continuing education sessions. As a flight paramedic, one has to apply the skills and knowledge to assist critical care patients.

In August 2017, Householder's base in Dickinson received the call and was activated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for deployment to the FEMA Operational Command Center (OCC) in San Antonio for air evacuations, as a result of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

Householder reported that although he and his crew did not complete any missions during the time they were in San Antonio, they were utilized as a back-up crew on-site.

"Crews were utilized for the transport of patients from intensive care units (ICUs) of affected facilities to those unaffected. Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) were set up in the Beaumont, Dallas and Houston areas," Householder said. "Crews would assist in the MMU's with patient care until a transport was necessary for a patient presenting to the MMU."

Now, having more than 20 years of experience, being on the receiving end of more bad calls than good, while witnessing some very interesting situations that included both moral and ethical dilemmas, Householder said the philosophy is simple: it is always the patient's emergency, not yours.

Flip back the pages, and one will find that Householder's passion for EMS and fire service, coupled with his rich family history and the paramedic training program at Garrett College, allowed him to get to where he is today.

Beginning with Tri-Towns EMS, he completed EMT basic in 1997, and finished Firefighter I the fall of the same year. In 1999, he joined his father and became a member of Potomac Fire Co. In July 2014, he completed the paramedic training program at GC and received national registry certification.

"Jim (Koon) and Jean (Tressler) were there from the beginning of my journey to become a paramedic," Householder said of his time at GC. "They were supportive and understanding through several setbacks that prevented me from completing this program. I'd also like to thank Doug (Beitzel) for the role he played, later on in my educational journey. My family were big supporters, be it immediate family or my new extended family in fire/EMS. My father and mother were my live-in study buddies."

In addition to the supportive learning environment, he also credited the program for providing him with the rudimentary assessment skills, anatomy, and basic algorithms, all of which equipped him for his experience in the real world.

In terms of the value of his certificate and today's paramedic job market, he spoke very highly of the education he received at GC.

"Many jobs today, and I'm talking in the millions, are available to those with skill or trade experience. The certificate I obtained upon completion of the paramedic program along with the National Registry Certification, has allowed me to gain licenses in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Dakota, all without attending another paramedic program," Householder stated.

"Attending a four-year school or obtaining an associate's or bachelor's degree is not for everyone. There is no shame in trade work," he said. "This country was built by tradesmen and tradeswomen – there will always be a need for those with a trade."