From a young age, Kyle Butler always wanted to help people in tough situations.
“During my senior year at Glenbard South High School, I was able to do an internship with the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District. This internship allowed me to experience all different aspects of the fire service, from fire prevention to EMS and also administrative roles,” he said. “It really helped me decide that this was the only career for me.”
Butler first attended College of DuPage and completed an EMT B certificate. He also took the paramedic transition, trauma assessment and pediatric education classes, the latter earning him a PEPP Certificate.
He turned to COD because of its great reputation and high standards, and he had heard graduates are top candidates for job openings.
“The biggest help I got from COD was from the personnel that they employ,” he said. “Dan Krakora and all of my instructors are incredible. They were always there to guide me and always push me to give my best effort. The amount of knowledge and personal experience that the staff brings to the classroom is truly rewarding for me as a student.
“Being able to hear real-life events made it much easier to understand certain lessons. Instead of just reading what’s in the book, all of my instructors shared their experiences and always worked hard to make it a fun learning environment. Taking their experiences and going out to the street scene, where we worked our way through calls with real obstacles and real-time constraints, was amazing. There is no doubt in my mind that these are the specific reasons why COD students are considered so highly for positions in the fire service and EMS.”
Butler applied for and was accepted into Good Samaritan’s Paramedic program, earning a seat on his first attempt. Butler and five of his COD classmates were all selected for the class. He has since completed the program and received the Medical Directors award.
Having passed the state exam, Butler then completed the Fire Science Academy at COD, finishing as the class valedictorian. He currently assists with practicals at Good Samaritan and, after working as a part-time firefighter and paramedic with the Darien-Woodridge fire district, is now as paramedic for DuPage Medical Group and pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
To anyone considering EMS as a career, Butler said College of DuPage is the perfect place to begin that journey.
“I won’t lie – it is an incredible amount of work. You have to be prepared from day one and be ready to put in the time,” he said. “Of the two entrance exams I took for paramedic schools, both had many questions based on what I learned from the beginning of my EMT class. So the important information starts right away. Also, I would urge any students entering this field to help their classmates. My classmates and I relied a lot on each other, for study groups and helping with homework or tests, and that is a big part of our success. You are never alone in this field, and the classroom is no different.
“I would just like to say thank you to Dan Krakora, Rick Conner, Rob Losik, Gina Knight, Steve Sievers, Joe Gilles and all the great proctors who were involved in my classes. And also the ‘OHANA,’ my classmates who have really become like family. You know who you are, and I couldn’t have gotten here without you!”