An Eastern Iowa flight paramedic is celebrating an amazing milestone-logging 3,000 patient flights.
Covenant Medical Center flight paramedic Steve Fuller reached the milestone on Sunday. Working at Covenant for two and a half decades, it's a job Fuller takes very seriously.
Along the way, there have been moments that have challenged him, like having to transport patients he knew personally. Flight after flight, his passion for helping people has kept his career soaring.
For Fuller, it's 3,000 flights and counting because he has no plans to retire anytime soon.
"Well it's been an amazing ride, I can say that," said Fuller. "You know 26 years ago, when I first started this- if you were to told me I'd be at this point-I'd say you're crazy."
Fast forward to today and it's easy to see how Fuller is far from landing.
"I've always said the day you stop learning is the day you need to get out of the job," said Fuller. "Everyday I come in, I always try to learn something."
He's constantly reaching new heights, but Fuller always manages to stay grounded.
"You know when we get involved, you're usually seeing a person on the worst day of their life," said Fuller. "We transport patients that are so severely injured you wonder how they survive their injuries."
At the same time, Fuller describes his job as humbling.
"A lot of time we'll take them to the University and they'll end up back here, especially in our rehab and we'll visit with them and the family and really get to know them well," said Fuller. "And that's fun to see that-to see the success of your work and how you contributed to their survival."
Along the way, Fuller has missed some milestones.
"Well matter of fact, when I was on my 3,000th flight my daughter had her second son," said Fuller. "So that makes that day very special."
Fuller isn't phased by much turbulence, because for him it's more than a "job."
"You find a job that you love, you'll never have to work another day in your life," said Fuller. "And I truly believe that."
Fuller says he's fortunate to work with such amazing people, calling them his second family. He believes in the value of constantly learning, and teaches basic life support classes at Covenant and Hawkeye Community College.