One of St John Ambulance NT’s latest recruits, Zebedee ‘Zeb’ Schulz, was maintenance manager at the Darwin tourist attraction Crocosaurus Cove, when he decided on a career change to become a paramedic.
He always had an interest in medicine and was attracted to paramedicine because of the unique view paramedics have on the patient experience.
‘We see the location, family and a much bigger presenting picture of the patient.’
Since there were no paramedic degree courses available in the Northern Territory at the time (Flinders begins offering a Paramedic Science degree in the NT in 2021), Zeb had to choose where he would move to undertake his degree.
‘Speaking with other graduates from several universities and through some of my own research I decided on Flinders University. The main factors for the decision were the quality of the paramedic degree programme, the university’s reputation in the medical field of study and the affordability/quality of rental accommodation in Adelaide. Loxton in the Riverland is my hometown where I grew up and where my parents are located. The attraction to move back to SA was also substantial factor in the decision,’ says Zeb.
While the social atmosphere at Flinders is top of mind when recalling his student days, Zeb says ‘the most memorable would have to be James Thompson, a definite character who pushed your knowledge and dared you to strive for more in the degree.’
‘The paramedic degree at Flinders is one of the best and it has programmes in place that allow excellent preparation for a career as a paramedic, in either the traditional ambulance response role or other paramedic fields, such as mine sites and private organisations.’
Zeb was active in extra-curricular roles while he was a student, volunteering as a case worker for Drug ARM Australasia, a not-for-profit organisation committed to reducing harms associated with alcohol and other drug use. He was also the Australasian State Coordinator of Student Paramedics Australasia and was Vice President of the Flinders University branch.
After graduating in 2018 he was accepted for an internship with SA Ambulance.
‘I was accepted to participate on a study tour in Cape Town South Africa with the private ambulance services ER24 and Life Healthcare, for several weeks.
‘Working with the teams from each service was definitely a highlight of the tour and I must thank Team Australia EMS for this opportunity.’
Zeb continued to work for SA Ambulance, working as a paramedic for 6 months in Mount Gambier, before the lure of the Northern Territory lifestyle beckoned once again. In April this year he landed a fulltime role as a paramedic with St John Ambulance NT. His next goal is further study to become an Intensive Care Paramedic.
‘Professionally there are many things that inspire me, but the motivation to become better and more knowledgeable in my chosen medical field is the patients’ gratitude when you help them in their worst moment. A simple thank you from the patient gives me the job satisfaction, knowing that you have made that little difference their life.’