NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lieutenant April Jenkins, with Jessamine County EMS, is a shift commander at the county’s busiest ambulance station.
In her 18-years with the department, she has risen from EMT to paramedic to Lieutenant. She is described by her co-workers as someone who always goes above and beyond for her patients, her colleagues and her community.
That’s not bad for someone who had doubts she would ever make it in this high-stress, high-demand, high-stakes profession.
“I always wanted to be an EMT, certified to be an EMT, but I was so scared to do it. What if I couldn’t handle it?” asked Lt. Jenkins.
She has handled it very well as evidenced by her promotions and respect within the department and county. She is a leader of men, well, mostly women.
“My shift is predominantly female. There’s seven of us on my shift and then, Lord help them, there’s only four guys, but they do well,” (laughs) said Lt. Jenkins.
Her colleagues are her second family. When you work 24-hour shifts, you can’t help but be close. “I work with a great bunch of people. They keep me on my toes. They are constantly challenging me and keeping me fresh,” Lt. Jenkins said.
When asked how she balances not losing her humanity in this job, while protecting her own emotions because of what she sees and deals with in the field on a daily basis, she said she prays, a lot. Her faith is her foundation. She said it keeps her grounded and balanced.
She is often reminded of the difference that can be made on the job, sometimes when you least expect it.
“I was doing an event with the local fire department and a lady came up and she had a little girl with her and I had delivered that girl. That was a special moment,” said Lt. Jenkins.
Even though she had some self-doubt at the beginning of her career, April Jenkins is doing what she always wanted to do, help people in her hometown and home county.
“You see people jump from career-to-career because they haven’t found a career that’s for them. Stepping out, taking a chance on something that you probably wouldn’t have done is probably what you need to do,” Lt. Jenkins said.
Which is exactly what she did nearly two decades ago. “Eighteen years ago, I would have never dreamed I would have accomplished everything I have done in a career I love in a city, county and state that I love. It’s a rewarding job. It’s very rewarding,” said Lt. Jenkins.