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Women's History Month: Courtney, Amanda and women in emergency medicine

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Dozens of fields are still male-dominated, but for our final piece in honor of Women's History Month, we took a look at one of the most high-intensity jobs about there - emergency medicine.

Courtney Thurman and Amanda Duncan are two of the very few female EMTs here in the Panhandle.

Courtney practices her craft in the skies - she serves as a flight medic and flight nurse after a stint with Amarillo Medical Services.

“Ever since I was a little kid I had a passion for healthcare, and I believe it’s God's calling for my life.”

“I was that kid that always wanted to know what happened at the scene of a wreck," she said.

Starting in dispatch, Courtney worked her way up, literally, to the helicopter.

“it’s a very cool job – 'I flew today,'" she laughed.

And even from the time she started on this path, she said has seen growth with her female counterparts.

“As a woman, when I first started, there was only a few women that worked in an ambulance. Since then I think that more women have started to come into the industry, and I think it’s a great industry for women to be in,” Courtney tells us.

Some of those women are still on the ambulance, like Operations Supervisor and Paramedic Amanda Duncan.

She said the uptick in women in the field is for the best.

“I think that first response can definitely benefit from having women or more women in it just because we tend to be a bit more compassionate than men do," she said.

It's been six years since she started - and she said she still loves what she does.

“I get to help people every day and I really enjoy my coworkers and the support that we have here," she said. "If you have a bad call or something happens you usually have 3 or 4 people that are going to reach out to you and see if you’re ok.”

And from the skies, Courtney agreed.

"Being on the truck molded me into the caregiver I am today.”

So, what about young girls who want to get into the industry?

Amanda said the attitude starts young.

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“I would say those little girls that get told all the time that they’re a little too bossy, those are the ones that are gonna be your leaders," she said. "Those are the ones that are gonna dominate in a field like this.”

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