Graeme Goodwin started Monday as the Audrain Ambulance District administrator. His journey to the community covered thousands of miles. He originally grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, where he was a banker and accountant before coming to the United States in the late 1980s.
“I came to work on an exchange program as a camp counselor the summer of 1989,” he said. “I became an American citizen September of 1999.”
After the summer camp exchange program, Goodwin started working with individuals with developmental disabilities. An employee in the sheltered workshop where he worked had a heart attack, which motivated Goodwin to get more emergency medical education. The person unfortunately did not survive.
“I was doing my best to save the individual,” Goodwin said. “That motivated me learn how to be better, so that would not happen again.”
Goodwin knew the district was looking for an administrator and the position was much closer to home. He comes to the district from the Lincoln County Ambulance District where he was the chief medical officer, but has lived in Fulton for the past several years, so he was commuting to Troy. He plans to move to Audrain County in the coming months as part of the requirements of his new position.
“I wanted to work in the region and for a smaller [district],” he said. “Audrain is going to have half as many tracks, not as many runs as I was used to.”
He sees the position as a chance to grow and work with a different group of emergency medical technicians. He also likes that once a person becomes an EMT they become dedicated to the position and stick with it for several years.
Goodwin started in emergency medical services in 1999 in Troy. A big aspect of the job is education and he loves now working alongside the EMTs he has taught. With the highs, there always are lows, though, and that always is when someone cannot be saved, he said.
“There are always those calls where you wish you could have done more, but were not able,” he said.
Goodwin is not the only new face among the staff at the Audrain Ambulance District.
Josh Loyd was hired as assistant administrator and comes to the district from Callaway County Ambulance District where he was a supervisor. He has worked for the Audrain Ambulance District, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital — Audrain and Boone Hospital. He also started Monday.
Plans for an open house for the community to meet both men and welcome them to community are underway. A date has to be determined.