Kelly Kjelstrom, United States Navy, National Guard, Army Reserves, Air Force Reserves

Community MIH Paramedic, AMR

Kelly Kjelstrom comes from a family with a long history of serving its country. In 1989 he joined the United States Navy to continue that legacy of service and to receive top medical training, upon which he could build a career. His military journey took him from the Navy to the California National Guard, the Army Reserves and, finally, to the Air Force Reserves. All of which have given him the tools and the capabilities that help him thrive in his civilian role as a Paramedic with American Medical Response.

His entire military career was centered on the medical field. His assignments included special ops medic, rotary flight medic, fixed-wing flight medic, Clinical Education, and Standards and Evaluations. He counts as his most interesting experiences working with special units around the world, knowing that the medical care and training he provided helped bring service members back home to their families.

Kjelstrom has worked for AMR the past 27 years in Stanislaus County, California as a paramedic, field training officer (FTO)/preceptor, crew chief, Mobile Integrated Healthcare Provider (MIHP), and as a National College of Technical Instruction (NCTI) instructor. He currently is working with his Service Dog, Halo, on a Quick Response Vehicle, responding to 911 calls and, when requested, providing in-field medical clearances for mental health patients. He credits the military for his success in EMS.

“My extensive medical training (in the armed forces) has helped me be a better healthcare provider for the patients in our communities,” said Kjelstrom. “Working as a Community Paramedic, my military background has helped me interact more effectively with other veterans who are experiencing problems.”

Years of Service
Kjelstrom served for nearly 30 years across four branches of the United States Armed Forces: the Navy, California National Guard, Army Reserves and Air Force Reserves.

Rank Achieved
Kjelstrom retired as a Master Sergeant.

Countries Visited or Served In
During his military career, Kjelstrom went to more than 36 different countries. He was involved in operations such as: Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Joint Guard, Operation Enduring Freedom, Global War on Terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

What do You Miss About the Military?
“Most of all I miss the camaraderie of the people I worked and served with,” said Kjelstrom. “I also miss traveling all over the world providing humanitarian and medical aid.”