Emergency medical technician shares experiences; Volunteer work creates new opportunities

Erica Otte, Reporter

  Health care workers in emergencies, most notably Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and paramedics, have several key differences between their lines of work.

    EMS workers are usually volunteers. In this case, a high schooler named Faith House went through medical training through a class. With her local fire company, Jarrettsville Fire Company, she enrolled into a six-month course where classes were only once a week. However, her instructor took a much longer time to complete the class than originally intended, so her class ended up being around two months longer. 

    Along with that class, she had to study nightly, and still does, to learn the material necessary to ride an ambulance and help the people inside it in any way she can. Within her EMS course, there were also many tests. Three were in the class and to get a certification, she needed to take and pass a “very difficult” national exam.

  She has several reasons for choosing this career path, motivating her to continue working hard. House stated, “I chose this career path because I have family in the medical field and I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field for as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved trauma and medicine. I want to be in shock trauma, so this is perfect while I wait for college.”               

    As she is preparing for her future in medicine, she has gained a lot of knowledge to help her in the future. For instance, “I have learned how to not only properly care for people physically, but also provide emotional support without getting emotionally involved. I have learned that every person you come across is not always nice, and that is okay. That is on them,” House explained.                                                

    When riding the ambulance, House has come across many moving stories. “My most impactful event was being there for my partner after a traumatic call. While watching my partner go through that, there is not much you can do besides be thankful for the life that you have been given,” House said.                    

    Even though becoming an EMT requires a great deal of work, a paramedic is a much longer commitment that requires more complex skills. More importantly, “being an EMT differs from being a paramedic in the sense of skill. EMT’s are BLS (basic life support), and paramedics are ALS (advanced life support),” House explained. 

    Paramedics usually are paid employees instead of volunteers, though EMTs can get paid depending on the place and firehouse. They differ on mainly an experience basis, but that also means that a paramedic is able to do more medical procedures, especially since they are in charge of and the superior of EMTs.

One of Jarrettsville Fire Company (JVFC)’s ambulances that EMS volunteers and paramedics ride in when responding to a call.
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