When Chloe Williams graduated in 2011, she could have never predicted where her career would be by 2020.
The Wallerawang native was recently awarded the Michael Wilson award for Leadership and Teamwork at the NSW Ambulance Graduation and Awards ceremony, one of the highest award honours in the industry, so named after the specialist paramedic who died in 2011 during a winch rescue.
It's the best career in the world, like you would not regret choosing to do this job.
Chloe's career began when she completed her Paramedic degree at CSU at Bathurst and then spent three years working remotely at Collenabri, a town of just 300 people.
This year Chloe graduated as an Intensive Care Paramedic (ICP) and Dux of her year. She is now doing her consolidation period in Newcastle which takes two years.
Chloe did not know she was set to receive the accolade, attending the ceremony after being asked to make a speech to the upcoming paramedic graduates.
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Speaking with the Lithgow Mercury, Chloe revealed that she almost missed receiving the award.
"I was quite stunned... it was the very last award of the ceremony and because of COVID time restraints, we were already being shepherded out of the hall," she said.
"So I was going to miss who was getting announced and I loitering outside waiting to see to see who received it because it is such a big award.
"Then I thought I had heard my name being called by somebody else, because I was asked to get the student representative speech. But I came back in to see and they said I was needed on stage for the award.
You'll see a part of the world you'd never thought you'd see.
"My father, and Cath were there and he said he was gonna leave at the halfway point because he was only there to watch me give my speech and then he was like, 'no, somebody just told me I needed to stay right up until the end'."
Chloe said she loves her chosen profession and encouraged anyone thinking about becoming a paramedic to take the leap.
"It's the best career in the world, like you would not regret choosing to do this job," she said.
"You might get sent out west for three years, it's three years in which you know, you're gonna be building skills and saving money and all that sort of stuff. You'll see a part of the world you'd never thought you'd see.
"I'd like to thank everybody else who is equally as deserving as myself and then all my mentors who've gone into sort of shaping me into the ICP that I am now."