This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Rappahannock Community College. RCC graduates form the backbone of our local economy—our healthcare providers, bankers, lawyers, small business owners and trades-people. It’s hard to go through your day without being served by an RCC alum is some way. RCC’s Faces of 50 spotlights their alum, like Heather Brown.
It isn’t surprising that Heather Brown, paramedic and emergency manager for Lancaster County, became an EMT (emergency medical technician). Her parents were EMTs and her maternal grandmother was the first EMT in Gloucester County almost 50 years ago.
Her journey at Rappahannock Community College is a bit different from others as she already had a bachelors and a master’s degree before enrolling in RCC’s EMS program. “Self-motivation is required in the paramedic program. There is a lot of work you have to do on your own,” says Brown. “I was working two jobs, volunteering, and spending time with family while going to school. So I really fine-tuned my time management skills. But the best part of the program is bonding with classmates that continues through our careers and out into the field.”
The instructors are supportive because they were once students. They set a great example of “if they can do it, so can I,” she adds. Brown credits Ellen Vest, EMS faculty at RCC, with offering a lot of support. “We’re all family.”
Brown’s full-time job is with Lancaster County Emergency Services as a Paramedic and Captain of Emergency Management. She also volunteers with Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad as a paramedic and firefighter, where she has been a member for almost 16 years.
“I love what I do. It’s very rewarding. I’m helping people,” she adds.