A Career-Conscious Waitress Shakes a Leg, Finds Job Satisfaction, Honors as Paramedic

More than 11 years ago, Sandra (Sam) Bradley was making good money as a cocktail waitress, but she longed for a career change.

“I enjoyed my job, but I started wondering what would happen in several years when my legs were gone,” Bradley said. “I was concerned. I also needed something where there was more advancement,” said Bradley, whom everyone calls Sam. (She got the nickname as a teen-age tomboy and it stuck.)

When a television series about paramedics piqued her interest, Bradley took a course in basic emergency medical training at Santa Ana College. Soon she was hired as an emergency medical technician by American Medical Enterprises Inc. in Whittier.

After working for several years as a medical attendant and ambulance driver for American Medical, Bradley graduated from Daniel Freeman Paramedic School in Inglewood. She has worked since then as a paramedic, field supervisor and instructor of emergency medical training for American Medical.


“When I started, females were rare. Men 18 and 19 were getting into the business. I was 32,” Bradley said. “I have not regretted the change in careers. After more than 11 years, I’m still here.”

Recently, the 43-year-old Whittier resident was named the 1990 Emergency Medical Services Employee of the Year. The honor was given by the California Ambulance Assn., a private association representing about 70 companies throughout the state.

She was recommended for the award because of her dedication to the job, a continuing quest to become more knowledgeable about her field and her volunteer work, American Medical founder and owner Joan Woehrmann said.

Bradley currently is assigned to the Vernon Fire Department as a paramedic. The city contracts with American Medical Enterprises for paramedic services.


“She is very good. She is one of the best out there. She is a dedicated person,” Vernon Fire Chief Larry Spadt said.

Four Long Beach City College employees have received the school’s annual Outstanding Colleague Award. They are Virginia L. Baxter, executive director of the Long Beach City College Foundation; Margaret O. Brown, a counselor; Mary Jean Kolasa, an instructor in the English as a Second Language Program; and August I. Luuga, a programmer analyst.

The director of the Whittier College Center of Mexican-American Affairs, Martin Ortiz, has been appointed to a three-year term on the National Assn. of Independent Colleges and Universities Commission on Campus Concerns. Ortiz and others on the 19-member commission will address issues affecting independent colleges and universities.

Norwalk Mayor Luigi Vernola had a moving experience recently while vacationing with his family in Rome. While attending a reception at the Vatican along with 5,000 others, Vernola was greeted by Pope John Paul II with a handshake.


Lacreta Scott has been appointed instructional dean of the liberal arts division of Cerritos College. Scott has been a member of the college’s English Department since 1980.

Tenants of the Hermitage Village senior citizens apartment in Commerce spent five months assembling a 7,500 piece jigsaw puzzle of New York. Then they dismantled it, because the 8-foot-by-3-foot puzzle took up too much space in the recreation room.

Former residents of Denison, Tex., will hold their annual reunion picnic from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 12 at Recreation Park in Long Beach. Former residents of Sherman and other nearby towns are invited.

* Miss Long Beach Wendy Leigh Christensen, 20, will compete in the Queen of the World Pageant, an international beauty competition, in 10 West German cities in October. After the three-week tour of Germany, Christensen will visit Paris.


* Kamiran S. Badrkhan is the new dean of instruction at Long Beach City College.

* Noriko Gamblin has been appointed curator for the Long Beach Museum of Art.

* Cal State Long Beach history professor David Cressy has been awarded a visiting fellowship to Oxford University for 1990-91.

* The new Downey Community Hospital Auxiliary president is Nora Hauret .


* Harvey Hoyo is the new principal of Faye Ross Junior High School in Artesia, part of the ABC Unified School District. Hoyo replaces Joseph Baird, who retired.