SPARTA, NJ – Sparta High School students have had a history of volunteering with the Sparta Ambulance Squad. For students with an interest in and passion for the medical field or for those who are simply looking to improve their people skills this has proven to be an undeniably impactful experience.
Currently there are eight volunteers from Sparta High School; Maddie Arcuri, Kirsten Scott, Amanda Sansone, Julianna Riehl, William Nichols, Henry Flint, Erin Finnegan, Nadir Hassan, Kayla Edwards, Jamie Rennie, Connor Gormely, Anthony Esposito and Michele Scaglione.
Regular duties of an EMT include stocking the ambulance, comforting patients and recording vitals like temperature and blood pressure. They are limited by age and level of experience beyond those duties.
Newcomers start by observing and learning how to handle different situations before moving on to doing assessments with the oversight of a certified EMT. Potential EMTs hear lectures and practice on mannequins before joining the team and must be supervised by an experienced colleague before working on their own.
While working in the Ambulance Squad is desirable to many students, all volunteers can confirm that the process is no easy job. EMT school can be challenging and shifts can ranging anywhere from four to twelve hours. Time management is a key for a healthy work experience.
Despite the struggle, students volunteers say love it and many people even say wish they had signed up sooner.
Scott’s experience taught her about the bigger picture, reinforcing the idea that grades are not always as important as teenagers sometimes feel they are.The EMT experience can be life-changing. Scottwas able to bring back a man's pulse in the back of an ambulance. Although he eventually passed away a few weeks later, thanks to Scott, he was able to spend a little more time with his family.
Riehl, an aspiring nurse, believes that she will have a step up when she begins studies in college as she has learned how to appropriately handle patients and tackle certain scenarios. She feels that working as an EMT has not only made her more confident as a person but also gave her a place to feel comfortable
"I'm not really sporty, I'm not really super smart... so in that aspect, EMS really helped me find my place," Riehl said.
Direct advice from other EMTs was immensely helpful, according to Arcuri. In addition to the medical experience, being a student EMT teaches students time management, with school, extracurricular activities, EMT school and a possible job.
"If you really love something, you'll make time for all of it," Arcuri said.
Each volunteer can vouch for the immense impact they have experienced working as an EMT. They encourage fellow students to join up as soon as they can to make a difference in the Sparta community.
Editors note: This article was written by Sparta High School journalist for the school paper The Oracle.