Department of Paramedicine Student Garners College of Justice & Safety Distinguished Undergraduate Award
It’s a repeat of the age old story. Boy admires and looks up to dad. Dad is the chief of the local fire department. Boy follows in dad’s steps to enter a career of public safety. Such is the story of Casey Walker. Casey says that he grew up in public safety. His father, Wes Walker, was the chief of the Covington Virginia fire department for many years. According to Casey, “I longed for a challenging job in which I could make a difference. Being a paramedic is that job. I could never be in a confining 9-5 type of situation. With Emergency Medical Services, each shift brings with it new challenges and new rewards from the previous day.”
An interaction with Casey leaves one feeling confident for the future of healthcare in America. He is the consummate professional who works to perfect his skills and at the same time showing deep compassion and concern for those around him. When asked why he chose EKU for his education, he replied, “There were many colleges in Virginia that offered either a degree in fire engineering or in emergency medical services. The problem was that I wanted both. EKU was the only school that I could find that offered both AND came with the prestige and honor that it currently has.”
Recognized by his instructors and his peers for his leadership ability, Casey looks out for his fellow classmates. In one such instance, Casey organized a study group during Pharmacology class. The express purpose of this was to include a particular student who was failing the class at that time. Casey wanted to include him in the group without singling him out as to his struggles of mastering the materials. By building a group and using the excuse that he, Casey, needed the additional study, at which he had a grade of an A at the time, he was able to assist this particular student. In doing so, the struggling student was able to move his grade from an F to a B in a short period of time.
When asked what faculty or staff had a particularly strong impact upon him, without hesitation he named Nancye Davis and Paul Grant. According to him, “I needed people who would walk with me down the path of education that I have chosen. Professor Grant been there every step of the way. In fact, I was sold on the University and committed enrolling here after my visit on campus and my first interaction with Nancye Davis. She was the first person that I talked to when I was a junior in high school and she took time to answer all of my questions. You just don’t find people like that anymore.”
Casey is one of those students that educators live for. “He takes his studies very seriously”, stated one of his professors. Rarely, if ever, has he been late on submissions of assignments and his clinical preceptors say that his clinical skills show the level of experience of someone much farther along than they normally encounter. He has been able to maintain a 3.5 grade point average all the while taking classes of which one retired army medic made the statement, “I’d rather go back into combat than take those classes again!”
His future goal is to work for a dual service fire and EMS agency. He was asked what advice he would give to future EKU paramedic students. He replied, “Be aware that the EMS professors here will take your education to a much deeper depth than most other colleges will. My instructors have not settled for only teaching us the “how” of emergency medicine but also the “why”. Nothing that you see in the field looks like the book. Knowing the “why” helps me to formulate the plan of “how” I am going to care for my patient.
Published on March 25, 2015