40 Under 40: Kelly Russ (Indianapolis EMS – Indianapolis, IN)

40 Under 40 nominees were selected based on their contributions to the American Ambulance Association, their employer, state ambulance association, other professional associations, and/or the EMS profession.

Kelly Russ
EMS Educator
Indianapolis EMS
Indianapolis, IN


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Nominated By: Anthony Taylor (Indianapolis EMS – Indianapolis, IN)



With eight years of clinical experience as a Paramedic, Kelly Russ currently serves the roles of Lead Instructor of the Paramedic Science Program at Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services and as a volunteer faculty member at the Indiana University School of Medicine. After completing her Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University, Kelly continues to challenge herself in the workplace by working to expand EMS education and to advance paramedic science programs in Indiana. Currently, Kelly is in the process of applying to doctoral programs.


Reason for Nomination:

Despite facing challenges during her childhood and early working career, Kelly Russ took a leap of faith and dove headfirst into the field of Emergency Medical Services and immediately fell in love with the profession. With nine years of EMS experience, Kelly has chosen to pursue her passion of educating students and has been an instructor at Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS) for the past five years. In this time, Kelly has balanced teaching full-time, completing a bachelor’s degree, a Master of Public Affairs degree, clinical field time, and raising six children as a single mother. Early in her teaching career, Kelly earned the position of Lead Paramedic Instructor among our faculty and has continued to take on more and more responsibilities with each working day. It is safe to say that Kelly is the super glue that holds our paramedic program together. Whether engaging with community members, designing fundraiser events, developing innovative curricula, facilitating psychomotor practical examinations, or coordinating the program accreditation, Kelly continuously goes above and beyond her job responsibilities and demonstrates an unmatchable work ethic.

Passion is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.” Through Kelly’s work and the ongoing success of her students, it is easy to see that she truly embodies what it means to be passionate for EMS. Kelly has devoted much of her career as a Field Training Officer, Clinical Preceptor, and Paramedic Educator to further advancing the EMS profession and to preparing students to take on the role of providing Advanced Life Support care in the mobile health care setting. Kelly personally identified a geographic shortage of educational opportunities in the southern portion of Indiana and through collaboration has launched the first satellite paramedic education program in the state, incorporating live online courses. As one of Kelly’s former students, I can attest that her knowledge and positive outlook on the profession is remarkable and that she instills a sense of responsibility, confidence, and clinical knowledge in each of her students. Though all of these components are part of an educator’s role, Kelly distinguishes herself by truly caring for each student as they progress through the program, complete required examinations, obtain their license, and advance in their careers. From the student perspective, Kelly has an innate maternal instinct that allows for inclusion and cohesion within each cohort of students. Kelly forges a personal connection with each student and remains in contact to discuss runs and simply ‘check in’ post-graduation.

Kelly has fought hard to overcome many challenges and continues to put that determination into her teaching to help mold the best paramedics possible so that they can continue to provide high quality mobile health care. In the past decade, Kelly has continuously advanced her career and those of her students. Kelly’s legacy will leave a lasting footprint in Indiana. It is with utmost excitement and confidence that Indiana EMS nominates Kelly Russ for distinction as one of the American Ambulance Association’s “40 under 40” honorees.


View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40, Indiana, Indianapolis EMS