Clinton, Miss. — The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) would like to congratulate the winners of its most recent scholarships for the upcoming spring and summer semesters.
Basic to Paramedic ($5,000): Steven Patten, Boyd, Wis., and Eric Cantor, Stoughton, Mass .
Paramedic to Advanced EMS Education ($2,000): Kyle Luckey-Smith, Clyde, N.C.
Steven Patten is an EMT-B with the Boyd-Edson-Delmar Fire Department based in Boyd, Wis. Heis studying to become a fire medic and paramedic technician. He joined the fire department when he was 16, and Boyd Ambulance when he was 17. He describes a life-shaping event: “This last year, the fire department was called to a car accident. As we arrived on the scene, there was a Spanish-speaking patient who was seriously injured. The fire chief called me on the radio that morning to turn me from a rookie firefighter to a Spanish translator in the back of the ambulance. I was the only one who could help the EMTs save the patient's life. I studied three years of Spanish in high school, and was able to genuinely help that person in need, along with translating for the EMTs. That accident was a very meaningful point in my life. I was able to help save a person's life because I worked hard and studied in school exactly for an incident like this.”
Patten says that he knew from that day that EMS was a career he wanted to further pursue.
Although he says he knows EMS jobs can be dangerous, he works well in emergencies and highstress situations. With a fire chief father, he says, “I have been around the public safety field my whole life, and I absolutely love helping people. Like the old saying goes, 'If you do a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life.' This scholarship will help me out tremendously for my future, and I'm very grateful.”
Eric Cantor is an EMT-B employed with EASCare Ambulance in Boston. He is studying to be a paramedic. He says: “During childhood many children say, 'When I grow up, I want to be a .....' As a young boy, I always said, 'I want to be a firefighter.' Turning a dream into a reality isn't always a possibility and may not happen as often as one would hope. It means getting past obstacles and accepting any challenges that come your way.” With a strong desire to help others, Cantor reached back to his original childhood dream last December when he completed his EMT-B training. There, he was inspired by his instructor, who shared many of his life stories that made him a hero in Cantor's eyes. “I have been on many ride-alongs with the fire department in my town, and now I work for a private ambulance company, which I love.”
“Getting my paramedic license would turn my childhood dream into reality,” he says. “I'd be able to use my passion of helping others on a daily basis, as well as attain additional skills. I am currently in paramedic school, and I love it. This scholarship means a great deal to me. I truly want to make a difference in life.”
Kyle Luckey-Smith is a paramedic with WestCare EMS in Sylva, N.C., and is a member of his community's volunteer fire department and of the Haywood County Rescue Squad. He recently completed his Applied Associate of Science degree at Southwestern Community College in Emergency Medical Science and started the Baccalaureate program in Emergency Medical Care at Western Carolina University) this fall to strengthen his qualifications and further his knowledge in the EMS field.
The program is extending his knowledge of emergency medical care and the EMS profession, he says. His end goal is to work as a flight medic/flight nurse. “I want to make sure that I attain the education necessary to represent the high level of professionalism that we should expect of those in the most demanding realms of emergency care, and of those serving in critical care.” In the longer term, Luckey-Smith says he plans to attend medical school and specialize in emergency medicine. “My ultimate goal is to work to meet the emergency medical needs of the people here in western North Carolina, and to help advance the profession of emergency medicine as represented by NAEMT. I have spent my life preparing for work in this profession, and NAEMT's help in supporting my further education will play a major role.”
NAEMT is the nation’s only professional association representing all EMS practitioners, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders and other professionals working in pre-hospital emergency medicine. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government service agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.