Brittany Nunez has always gravitated toward helping when others would shy away. On hiking or climbing adventures, she instinctually became caretaker when an injury occurred and eventually earned a degree in International Rescue and Relief. Nunez went to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and worked in clinics in Nicaragua, where she assisted doctors, nurses and physician assistants but grew frustrated with her lack of medical education. “People came with fevers, infections and various injuries,” she says. “I wanted to help more, but my hands were tied.”
Nunez now serves as an EMS educator with the Colorado Springs Fire Department. Prior, she worked as a paramedic with American Medical Response, where peers selected her as Paramedic of the Year 2017.
A typical day for Nunez involves developing EMS-related training for both CSFD and AMR, ranging from certification courses to new-hire EMS training. “Most significantly, in 2019 Ms. Nunez has worked with our Community Education and Outreach Division to develop and deploy a new referencing system that provides EMS responders with the ability to identify the various medical capabilities of local elderly care facilities,” says Dan Lynch, CSFD Medical Division Captain. The initiative streamlines 911 response by providing better information about pre-arrival care. “Her ongoing efforts to improve our prehospital EMS system enhance responder care and improve service delivery to our citizens.”
Nunez is also encouraged by a thank-you she received after training EMTs to administer epinephrine injections, following a change in Colorado policy. EMTs responded to a patient going into severe anaphylaxis from an allergic reaction. “Normally, the paramedic [treats] that,” she says. “However, the EMTs were capable, allowing the paramedic to prepare for airway management.”
With conviction, Brittany Nunez says, “My goal is to educate to a level that the EMS providers I work with have the knowledge and skill set required to do what is needed when needed, and the confidence to do it well.”
Read about more Healthcare Heroes here.