Last month NSW Ambulance ushered in a new graduate class of paramedics, some of whom have detailed what led them to pursue this career.

Meet the 153 men and women who proudly represent NSW Ambulance’s next generation of paramedics.

Part of Graduate Induction Class 22-02, each of the Paramedic Interns graduated at a ceremony held at Homebush last month.

The graduates have since hit the road, with one common goal: to make a positive difference to the lives of the patients they are tasked to treat.

But what is different between each of them are the inspiring stories that led them to pursue this career with NSW Ambulance in the first place.

Gabby McInerney was drawn to the role because of a family connection, while Dan Knox was a lifeguard when he saw first-hand what a positive impact paramedics could have on helping those in need.

Then there are Paramedic Interns like Bomaderry Station’s Ailish Ballard, who after working as a nurse, maintained her career in healthcare but has instead become a first responder.

“I would see them (paramedics) coming in when I was nursing and I loved the autonomy that they had,” she said.

“As a paramedic, I felt like it would give me the opportunity to give the best care possible that I could to every patient, rather than a little bit of care to multiple patients at the same time as a nurse.

“Since becoming a paramedic it has been unreal… I love it.”

Gabby had shown an inclination towards becoming a paramedic since she was three years old.

Both of her parents were paramedics in a small South Australia town, while her grandfather was an ambo in NSW. “I would always help mum and clean the ambulances,” she said.

“I would also always put on their uniforms… I thought I was super cool.”

While working as a lifeguard in Alice Springs, Dan was inspired to switch career paths when paramedics were called to the scene of a rescue where he was lifeguarding.

“I saw them in action and thought that was pretty cool,” he said.

“Just seeing how systematic they were in their approach… I thought that was quite attractive as a role.”

These are just some of the many inspiring stories behind why our new recruits became paramedics, undertaking a month of training before hitting the road.

And they’ve come from all over Australia to join our organisation. Along with some of the grad class being trained in Sydney, others were trained in one of six regional training centres.

These sites included Point Clare, Rutherford, Kempsey, Armidale, Bombaderry and Bathrust.

NSW Ambulance Chief Executive Dr Dominic Morgan; Minister for Women, Regional Health, and Mental Health Bronwyn Taylor; and Executive Director Clinical Systems Clare Beech spoke at the ceremony.

Student representatives Courtney Gracie and Reece Kuhn also spoke on behalf of their fellow graduates.

Reece and Ms Beech both spoke from regional locations, which were broadcast live onto screens at the Homebush ceremony.

In speaking to the graduating class, Dr Morgan described the ceremony as “a significant milestone” as they begin their careers as paramedics.

“I’m incredibly proud of the dedication and resilience you, our graduating class, has shown during your own training and education over the past month,” Dr Morgan said.

“You’ve studied hard, dedicated yourselves to building clinical skills and importantly supporting each other every step of the way.”