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Matt Netski Celebrates 45 Years with AMR

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05/22/2020

In 1975, the most popular movie was Jaws. The top TV series was All in the Family, and Saturday Night Live debuted with musical acts Janis Ian and Billy Preston.

It was also the year that Linda “Matt” Netski transitioned from working as an ER nurse at a hospital in Las Vegas to joining the ranks of EMS. Now, Matt, as everyone calls her, is celebrating her 45th year at AMR.

“I was a pioneer woman, the first female paramedic on the street in those days,” says Netski. “Women were nonexistent as EMS, firefighters or police in Las Vegas at that time.”

Her transition from ER nurse began when she joined Mercy Medical Services to train paramedics in advanced skills courses. From that experience, she decided that working outside “in the field” presented much more variety and enabled her to have more autonomy in caring for her patients.

“One minute I was running a code in a casino. The next I was birthing a baby in the back seat of a car. And then I was responding to a patient with chest pain in his home. Every patient and each situation is unique,” she says, adding, “In the field, you are responsible for the well-being of your patients, you are in charge.” 

Over the years, she has witnessed and experienced many changes in emergency medical response, ranging from less cumbersome equipment and better medicines to advanced computer capabilities. “When I started, we had three EMS ambulances working 24/7 covering an area with 280,000 residents. Now, the population we serve is 2.8 million with 70 ambulances.”

Mercy Medical Services later became AMR in the mid-1990s. By then, Netski was working primarily inside the office following a severe facial injury she had sustained in the 80’s while trying to subdue a violent patient who was high on meth. 

The path to her current role came in 1994 when the office was looking for someone to track numbers and other data. “There were three of us being considered. Our boss asked us to bring our checkbooks to work. Mine was all lined up, you know, deposits, withdraws, totals.” Matt went on to explain that one of the other guys’ checkbooks was not so organized and the third person’s was evidently balanced by his wife. “He looked at mine and said, ‘you’ve got the job.’” She adds with a chuckle, “I’ll tell you; I haven’t balanced my checkbook since.”

Matt-Neski.jpgToday, as the Administrative Manager for Las Vegas AMR and MedicWest Ambulance, Netski is the gatekeeper of the data needed to run the operation efficiently and effectively and meet operational goals. The two entities cover the entire Las Vegas metro area and Southern Nevada, answering about 500 calls per day with more than 800 employees.

“Matt is the leading go-to person in the organization.  Whenever I ask her for background content, whether having to do with people, certifications, local politics, or response operations, Matt adds value.  Nobody has seen it all, but if there were ever someone that came close, it would be Netski,” says Regional Director Donna Miller. 

“We are so grateful to have her within our ranks and can’t even imagine what life around the stations would be like without Matt here,” Miller adds. 

Through her efforts over the years, beginning with Mercy and through all of the evolutionary transformations leading to AMR and Medic West, she’s been so instrumental in shaping the careers of hundreds of former and present employees and in turn, saving thousands of lives.”  

Damon Schilling, Government and Community Affairs Manager, has worked with Netski for about 16 years. “She is very intelligent, quick-witted and jovial. However, she will lay down the law if needed.”  

Over the years, according to Schilling, Netski has trained many of Clark County’s paramedics. “The fact that we have an EMS pioneer working in our county in one of AMR’s busiest areas is a rare and great asset.”

How does Netski feel, at age 72, about her 45-year anniversary with AMR? “Ask me in five years. I’m going for 50; that’s my goal.”