Growing up in a small town in the foothills of North Carolina, Chris Brooks claims his lifetime dream from the age of 5 was to become a paramedic. Today, he is the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program Director here at The National Center for Outdoor and Adventure Education (NCOAE), where he teaches EMS courses in order to equip the next generation of emergency medical providers to become the best at what they do.
Chris arrived here at NCOAE in the summer of 2015 when he was hired as a part-time EMS instructor. But long before that, Chris had his eyes set on rescuing others on the trail or in the wild. He attended a community college right out of high school, receiving an Associate of Science degree in EMS in 1997 and became a paramedic when he turned 19 years old.
He later attended the Emergency Medical Care Bachelor of Science pre-med degree program at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., and continued to work as a paramedic until 2005 when he took a supervisory position at an EMS agency in upstate South Carolina.
Four years later, he was hired on as an anatomy and physiology lab instructor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, N.C., soon becoming the anatomical laboratory director at that college’s Levine Campus.
We asked Chris to fill us in on the rest of his life — particularly in regard to his work at NCOAE’s Wilmington campus and his lifelong career choice. Here’s what he had to say: