For my fourth co-op at Antioch College I am working full time at Miami Township Fire-Rescue (MTFR) and attending fire academy. I have been working at MTFR since my second co-op where I was trained as an EMT (emergency medical technician) and continued to work as a volunteer during the next year and a half. In an attempt to become a more valuable asset to this organization, I decided to attend fire academy here in Yellow Springs. I am also excited for the chance to work full time at MTFR this summer since it gives me more experience working in emergency medicine then my usual volunteer hours.
As a day shift employee my duties vary from data entry to going on medic calls. I help the usual day time employees with tasks like medic/engine checks in the morning, cleaning the fire house, and inventory. I also go on 911 calls whenever they happen (usually between 1-3 calls during my shift). As a volunteer, MTFR members are expected to put in at least 36 hours of service per month. That is a minimum of 3 night shifts per month. As a volunteer I work two nights a week, Wednesday and Friday nights. Even with these two nights a week of service I was not getting as much experience with emergency medicine as I am now by working every day along with my usual volunteer hours. I am finding that this additional experience has improved my skills and confidence in emergency medicine and patient care. I am also using my time during the day to become trained as a motor pump operator (MPO) for the medics, rescue, tanker, and engines. The motor pump operator is the crew member that drives the apparatus and runs the pump on the engines.
The second aspect of my co-op is the fire academy. MTFR is able to offer a fire academy through Clark State Community College training level 1 and level 2 firefighters. I am currently working towards my level 1 certification with hopes of completing the course by the end of August and taking my pro-board certification tests in September. I attend fire class three times per week, four hours on Monday and Thursday nights and all day on Saturday. Half of the class is lecture based where we go over tactics and strategies, as well as safety regulations. The other half of the class is practicals where we don our gear and air packs and practice what we had learned during lecture. The practicals so far have been going over how to theoretically fight fire, practicing the movements of attack lines, dressing hydrants, and how to conduct ourselves during forcible entry as well as search and rescue. Soon we will begin the live burn portion of the class where we get to practice ventilating, offensive, and defensive attack of structure, woodland, and car fires. We will also practice extrication techniques for automobile accidents and become rope rescue certified for rescues in the Gorge. This experience has, so far, been extremely rewarding, I have found that I love fire fighting almost as much as I love medicine, and I want to find a way to incorporate fire fighting into my career.
I have my heart set on becoming a physician. I want to be a surgeon or work in the emergency department of a hospital and work with Doctors Without Boarders. My training as an EMT has always fit well into my career path, it has given me a way to start working in emergency medicine and start interacting with patients. I have found this experience to be the most valuable of my time at Antioch thus far. Becoming trained as a firefighter has been a second dream of mine since childhood, and I cannot be more thankful for the opportunity to train as a firefighter to serve my community here in Yellow Springs. The training and experience that I have received and will continue to receive from Miami Township Fire-Rescue have been an integral part of my education at Antioch. I am honored to work as an EMT and soon to be firefighter for Miami Township.