Erik Schanssema

About me

I Turn My Experience
into a Story.

Erik Schanssema is an exceptional individual who has made a significant impact in the field of emergency medical services. With a remarkable 36 year ambulance career including serving as a paramedic and later as a mobile intensive care ambulance (MICA) paramedic in Australia, one of the best-trained and highly skilled emergency first responders.

Throughout his career, Erik dedicated himself to providing exemplary patient care, saving many lives and improving the health outcomes of many others. His extensive training and unwavering commitment to excellence allowed him to respond swiftly and effectively to a wide range of medical emergencies, demonstrating his exceptional knowledge and expertise in the field.

Having retired from his distinguished paramedic career, Erik has transitioned into a new chapter of his life. He remains incredibly active and engaged, pursuing various passions and interests. One of his notable pursuits is his passion for writing. Erik utilizes his wealth of experience and profound insights to share his knowledge and experiences with others, offering valuable perspectives on emergency medical services and the importance of optimum pre-hospital care.

In addition to his writing endeavors, Erik’s zest for life has led him to explore the world through travel. Whether it’s immersing himself in different cultures, witnessing breathtaking landscapes, or engaging with diverse communities, he seeks to broaden his horizons and continuously learn from the world around him.

Another artistic outlet that Erik has embraced is painting in watercolours. With his keen eye for detail and the ability to capture emotion on  paper, he creates stunning works of art that reflect his unique perspective and life experiences. Through his paintings, Erik communicates the beauty he encounters and invites viewers to see the world through his artistic lens.

Erik Schanssema currently resides with his wife Geralynn in Alexandra, a picturesque small country town an hour and a half outside of Melbourne, Australia. Nestled amidst the natural beauty of the area, he finds inspiration for his creative pursuits while enjoying a peaceful and fulfilling life. Erik’s presence in the community continues to make a positive impact as he remains involved in various local initiatives and shares his wisdom with aspiring paramedics and emergency responders.

Erik’s dedication to serving others, coupled with his passion for exploration and artistic expression, truly sets him apart. His remarkable career as a paramedic, combined with his active post-retirement lifestyle, showcases a life well-lived and an unwavering commitment to making a difference in the world. Erik Schanssema serves as an inspiring example of what it means to live with purpose, compassion, and a relentless pursuit of personal growth and fulfillment.


My Best Seller

Signal 8

An australian paramedic's story

An ambulance races to the scene of yet another human tragedy. It could be a road accident, a heart attack, a shooting, drowning, suicide, or perhaps a very sick child. Whilst we might experience or witness such events in our lifetime, for paramedics these are routine events. But continual exposure to the work often comes at a significant, sometimes tragic cost to the paramedic and his or her family and friends.

In Signal 8, author Erik Schanssema, a retired front-line Australian paramedic, relates some of his experiences and his reactions to them. He provides graphic descriptions of a small sample of the many cases he and his colleagues attended with the intention of providing information rather than shock. Erik opens his heart and soul and tells us frankly and often with humour, albeit sometimes dark, what it was like for him to be a paramedic on the road and how it has affected him–as it still does today. The cases he describes are indelibly imprinted on his psyche. He shares his story in an effort to help former, current, and future paramedics and emergency workers who may feel alone or isolated by their experiences and to leave them with a sense of pride in their chosen work and, ultimately, hope.

This personal narrative offers a true account of a front-line paramedic’s experiences with human trauma and his struggle with and survival of grief and posttraumatic stress disorder.


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