Serving the Community: Joshua Martens, Dorchester County EMS
Paramedic Joshua Martens, 30, of North Charleston has been with Dorchester County EMS for four years.
Before that he built boats for five years.
“I worked for Scout Boats and then the economy went bad and I got laid off,” he says. “I was at the Dog & Duck with a friend and I saw an ambulance go by. My friend said I couldn’t do it.”
So, of course, Martens had to prove him wrong. The next day he looked into it and next thing he knew he was off to school and, “here I am.”
Born in Japan, Martens has lived the somewhat nomadic life of a “military brat.” “I grew up in Jefferson, Indiana and graduated high school there,” he says, “and I have lived in Kentucky, Virginia, D.C., Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina.”
He graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelor’s degree in Math after three years. “After three years I wanted a break and I had enough credits (from high school) to graduate.”
He then moved to S.C. and began working with his hands in construction, building houses. He then got himself an Associate’s Degree in Massage Therapy.
“Originally I wanted to be an architect.
“I like learning and I might go back to school…I love medicine so I might go for Physician’s Assistant or nursing.”
Medical school is not in his equation…”I am too old to start that trip!”
About EMS, he says, there is nothing like it. “It is always different, always changing, there’s a problem that needs to be solved so you take the patient’s signs and symptoms together and come up with a solution.
“I also like the people. And their gratitude for our help…it’s a feeling you get like nothing else I have done.”
Next summer he is planning to take a critical care class and become critical care certified. This will open up other opportunities for him such as becoming a flight medic which he finds really exciting.
He tries to “drown out the bad calls, like bad pediatric calls” which, he says, “are never easy for anyone.”
There are a lot of best moments though…”anytime you can really help someone…that’s a good call.”
Martens says the real perks are the people you meet. “I met a gentleman who was in the bombing of Pearl Harbor and then fought in the Battle of Midway…you meet people from everywhere and hear amazing stories.”
When he’s not in an ambulance, he’s spending time with his dog Brutus…a mutt.
He enjoys soccer and plays with the Charleston Soccer League and around Summerville.
He goes Kayak fishing at least once a week, he says.
“I like anything outdoors…rock climbing, mountain biking, although he notes it is really rock wall climbing as there are no mountains in the Lowcountry. And he really likes cooking. “I never get any complaints,” he says. “But I don’t bake … not big on sweets but I like Italian and grilling.
“I really love the Summerville and Charleston area. It’s a good outdoor life…you can enjoy the outdoors year round.”
He is very close to his family and says, “I can’t imagine living too far away from them…ever.”
Although he only recently moved to Summerville, his aunt and uncle have lived here his whole life.
“I used to spend my summers here as a kid, back when Summerville was small and a kid could ride his bike everywhere…it was great.”