National First Responders Day is celebrated annually on October 28 to honor men and women who serve as firefighters, police officers, EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and others who are first on the scene when tragedy or disaster strikes.
For students like Singley Academy senior EMT student Gayda Mohamed, the day has a special significance, as it is a calling she, too, hopes to answer one day.
“First Responders champion the necessity of volunteerism, saving countless lives each day and helping their fellow citizens when they cannot help themselves,” she says. “Their dedication to serving their communities represents the highest levels of selflessness, and we should express nothing but gratefulness to those that incur sacrifice on our behalf.”
Due to this and her love for service, passion for helping others and interests in healthcare and emergency medicine, Gayda decided to enroll in Singley’s EMT program. Irving ISD partnered with Brookhaven College to offer the program, starting in 2009. The acceptance process is very competitive, only allowing 25 open spots, and Gayda was one of the chosen few. Dr. Harold Bradley currently serves as the EMT coordinator at Singley and aims to equip all of his students with the proper skills to handle high-pressure situations in a calm, decisive manner.
“Whether they continue in this field or not, the skills they learn will be helpful in every aspect of their lives, and they will have loved ones that will need care at some point in their lives,” says Bradley.
Some of the skills Gayda and her classmates have learned include: rapidly extraditing patients from vehicles, performing spinal immobilization, administering oxygen and medication and conducting physical assessments. Learning these skills along with fostering teamwork and leadership skills are beneficial to any student, whether or not they pursue a career in medicine. One of Gayda’s favorite moments from class was when she was extradited from a vehicle by her classmates.
For students who are considering the first-responder career path, they should understand how important this role is.
“Being a first responder, patients’ lives are dependent upon your quick reactions, instantaneous decisions, and competent care. They are always at the forefront of incidents and disasters, doing everything in their power to ensure the safety and well-being of the population,” says Gayda. “Exposing themselves to potentially dangerous situations in the process, their roles are vital because they volunteer at the ultimate level.”
To learn more about this program, visit IrvingISD.net/Singley.