March is Women’s History Month and here at IA MED, we will be highlighting the work of a small handful of women who have blazed trails in the field of EMS.
First up: Marie Marvingt, a world class multi-sport athlete, aviator, surgical nurse, and all around badass. She was the third woman IN THE HISTORY OF AVIATION to earn a fixed wing pilot’s license and was the first woman to pilot an aircraft in combat, flying for her home country of France in World War I. During her time at war, she recognized the need for medically fitted aircraft for the rescue of military personnel and civilians alike. Check out this excerpt from Women in Aviation International:
“Marie’s greatest achievement was her life-long effort to make the airplane an integral part of medical support for both civilian and military casualties. As early as 1910, she recommended the creation of airplane ambulances, and by 1912 she had designed a practical one and collected public donations to order it from the Deperdussin Factory. World War I interfered, but after the war she eventually gave about 6000 public conferences on five continents, directed and acted in two films, and established civil air ambulances in French Colonies in Northern Africa. She recognized the need for Flight Nurses, and was instrumental in creating the first training program for this category of medical personnel. When formal training was established in France, she became the world’s first certified Flight Nurse.”
Her mind was brilliant and knew no limits. She outfitted airplanes with metal skis to facilitate landing in the desert when it was previously thought to be impossible. She wrote fiction books under a pseudonym. She established schools to educate women as pilots and as flight nurses. She maintained her athletic abilities throughout her long life, even cycling 217 miles in a single day at the age of 86!
Ladies, never let the expectations of others limit you. Be a modern day Marie Marvingt and blaze the trails you want to travel but there is no path.