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Daughter becomes EMT, following father's footsteps

Daughter following father's footsteps, becomes New Jersey EMT to work alongside him
Daughter following father's footsteps, becomes New Jersey EMT to work alongside him 01:52

National EMS Week is coming up, which means it's a time to celebrate emergency service professionals for their hard work and sacrifices. One father-daughter duo is serving their community in South Jersey.

 A 12-hour shift isn't so bad when you're working with family.

Socrates Kouvatas has spent 28 years as a paramedic in South Jersey. Now, his 23-year-old daughter, Alyssa, jumped on board to follow in her father's footsteps.

"This one finally decided to join me," Socrates said.

"I got into this because my father loves his job," Alyssa said. "I've always looked up to him for that because I want to love my job the way he loves his job."

"It's brought us closer together," Socrates added.

For much of her life, Alyssa watched her dad work two jobs, as a Pennsauken police officer by day and a part-time paramedic by night.

Since retiring from the police force, Socrates works full-time as a paramedic for Virtua Health.

"If I'm doing something, I have to do it 100% and just love fixing very broken people," Socrates said.

In January, Alyssa became an EMT through Virtua Health's training center, a free 16-week EMT and paramedic program, created in response to the country's shortage of EMS professionals. 

"It's a tough job, it's a demanding career. Individuals don't always have the ability to start in the program which is why I target and make the program accessible to anyone," said Jim Newman, with Virtua Health.

"They give you the education, they give you the job, they give you tuition reimbursement. So, it was a great avenue for her," Socrates said.

And it doesn't hurt to learn some of the most important lessons from your own father...

"My dad is very calm in any situation, regardless," Alyssa said.

"Lives are in the balance, so, be the person you want taking care of your family member," Socrates said.

Alyssa has decided to continue her education and pursue a degree in nursing.

National EMS Week is from May 21 to May 27.  

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