Last fall, Tim Nesdahl was named Paramedic of the Year by the North Dakota VFW. He has been involved in emergency medical services for over 23 years, with the last 16 years serving the Grand Forks community as a paramedic at Altru. Recently, Tim has been instrumental in the development of the post-hospital home visit program. Through the years, he has been a mentor to dozens of EMS personnel.
We recently met with Tim to get to know him a little better and understand his passion for the field of emergency medicine.
What made you choose this career path?
I grew up in Larimore, N.D., a small town 30 miles west of Grand Forks. Twenty-two years ago, a friend approached me and asked if I would be interested in helping out the ambulance service by being an ambulance driver. I agreed, took a CPR course and began volunteering as a driver for the Larimore Ambulance. I enjoyed the work and serving the community, so I furthered my education by taking a first responder class, then went on to become an emergency medical technician basic. I really enjoyed this work and knew I would enjoy a career in EMS. I attended paramedic school at Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks.
What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?
I have a wife named Melanie, two boys (Wyatt, age 10, and Nolan, age 3), a newborn daughter, Natalie, and a dog named Diego. When I am not at work, I like spending time at the lake with my family relaxing, fishing, and pulling the boys on the tube and skies. I also enjoy attending Wyatt’s hockey games and taking Nolan to his skating lessons. My hobbies are hunting, fishing and boating.
Tell me a bit about your current role and how long you’ve been at it?
I was hired and have been employed by Altru Health System as a paramedic since November of 2002. In 2016, I took the position of pre-hospital care coordinator. I currently serve as the supervisor of Altru’s Ambulance Services.
What kinds of things do you do beyond what most people see? What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
Education. Other than the typical 911 calls, I focus on continuing education, such as reading medical articles, to stay current on practices/protocols in pre-hospital care. I also document every 911 call.
How do you approach your work every day?
Working in EMS can be a high-stress job, but I enjoy coming to work every day with the opportunity to use my training and skills to make a difference in peoples’ lives who are sick, injured and in need of help.
What’s the most enjoyable part of the job?
The organization I work for, the people I get to work with and, most of all, the opportunity to help people.
What advice would you give to those aspiring to join your profession?
If you enjoy helping people and making a difference in peoples’ lives and in your community, I would definitely give EMS a try. It can be stressful but very rewarding.
Do what you love. Make a difference. Join our team of over 4,000 health professionals and support staff committed to caring for the region for more than 100 years. Learn about career opportunities at Altru Health System.