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Arizona paramedic and Never Quit winner was first inspired by fifth grade teacher

By AFSCME Staff ·

Keith Lowry is a paramedic for LifeLine Ambulance in Northern Arizona and a member of AFSCME Local 2960.

Like many AFSCME members and front-line heroes across this country, Lowry serves his community despite the risks to his safety and well-being from the COVID-19 pandemic. For nearly a year, front-line workers – from nurses and EMTs to correctional officers and day care providers – have been at the forefront of the war against the virus. They have put their lives and those of their loved ones on the line to make their communities safer.

“COVID-19 has really hit us hard,” Lowry says. “Our call volumes have increased, our severity of calls has increased. … The only way we’re going to beat this virus is if we get everybody vaccinated. We need to get the funding, we need the support from the federal government. They need to do everything that they can do to get people back to work, get people vaccinated, get our kids back in the schools.”

Lowry, who has a 23-year career in emergency medical services, was first inspired to become a paramedic by his fifth-grade teacher, who was a volunteer paramedic in upstate New York. The last 30 minutes of class, he recalls, were devoted to first aid. .

“The first day of class he taught was amazing,” Lowry says. “He got me into that type of attitude of public service.”

For his service and sacrifice, Lowry is a winner of AFSCME’s Never Quit Service Award, which recognizes public service workers who go above and beyond the call of duty to make their communities better.

“I’ve never met anybody who loved EMS as much as he loves EMS,” says Ashley Kirwan, a co-worker of Lowry’s who has known him for nearly 14 years. “The fire department, PD [police department], they all know that when Keith comes on scene everything’s going to be OK, that he’s going to do what’s right for the patient, what’s best for the patient, and I have seen him do that time and time again.”

Lowry calls his service to his community as a paramedic a “dream job.”

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” he says.

Know a co-worker who goes above and beyond the call of duty to make their community better?

Nominate them for AFSCME’s Never Quit Service Award.

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