I’m Rance Marion and I am a paramedic currently assigned to Recruiting at ATCEMS. My career as a paramedic began 25 years ago and I never looked back. My life outside of EMS involves a passion to see the world, weekend camping get-a-ways, painting art, biking, and time with my two grown children.
Where are you from originally and what brought you to Austin?
I was born and raised in the Rolling Plains of Texas in a small farming/oil production town. After attending college at Texas Tech University I completed my paramedic and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was a firefighter paramedic there for 7 years and I always said if I ever move back to Texas that Austin is the only option. So here I am 17 years later and I still enjoy living and working here.
What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?
Like a lot of medics I stumbled into it. My senior year in college I decided to take an EMT-Basic course two nights a week while completing my degree. I thought it would be good knowledge to have if I was ever faced with an emergency. My first day of class I was hooked as I realized it was an opportunity for me channel my desire to help people. After college I went straight through the paramedic program in Lubbock and obtained my license.
How long have you been with ATCEMS and what motivated you to work here?
I started my career at ATCEMS 17 years ago in 2002. Prior to applying I noticed that ATCEMS was featured on the cover of the Journal of Emergency Medical Services magazine. It was right there on the corner of the coffee table in the fire station practically begging me to look through it. So I picked it up and read about the department and remember thinking that I really wanted to work there. After reading it, I recalled a conversation I had with a colleague the previous year and he was considering a career with ATCEMS. He had completed all the research and told me that it was one of the best EMS systems in the country. I took the magazine article as sign to apply and not long after that I found myself in Austin working for ATCEMS. It was a win-win.
What is your favorite part about working here at ATCEMS?
One of the best things about working here is a sense of everyone wanting to clinically practice at the highest possible level and hold ourselves to a high standard. I have had the privilege of working next to some of the best providers around. I also have the honor being reassigned to Recruiting were I enjoying taking time to talk to potential applicants about ATCEMS. There are so many good things about working here so it’s easy to go on about all the positive aspects of this department.
If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?
I would take them to Lady Bird Lake for a walk on the trail and to the green belt for a hike.
What is your favorite taco joint in town?
Hands down Veracruz Tacos. There is usually a wait but it’s worth it as every taco is made fresh.
What do you do on your days to relax and unwind?
Depends on the day and how I feel. I paint art, hit the hike/bike trails around Austin, or paddle board. Spring and fall involves as much camping as I can squeeze in on weekends before the summer heat rolls in. I once spent 30 days living/camping in a 1977 VW bus driving up the Appalachian Trail to Bethel, NY where Woodstock was held.
Who inspires you?
My grandmother was my inspiration. She taught me to be strong yet humble. She was a nurse and was the most compassionate and non-judgmental person I knew.
What is the next place you would like to visit? Why?
I have a goal to travel around the world much like my grandmother. I take an overseas trip every year and next year I’m planning on going to parts of Asia, starting with Vietnam. I have bounced around Europe several times and now it’s time to go the other direction to experience new cultures, traditions, and people.
Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
Never stop learning as the medical field is ever evolving. This is also a service to the community and you should be prepared to be that for your patients. There is automatically a lot of respect from the public when you put on that uniform each day. Wear it with mutual respect to the citizens and patients you care for.
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This publication features ATCEMS work culture and the lives of our medics. *Readings from other publications posted to Medium do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Austin-Travis County EMS, the City of Austin, or Travis County*