By Natalie Bair
The NEISD EMT course not only offers career skills to those pursuing a career in the medical field, but unveiled itself as an asset to saving lives. The program enables its participating students to accumulate hands on experiences by dispatching themselves into real medical situations and on Friday, Jan. 23 senior Graciela Aguilar showed her abilities that ultimately saved a man’s life.
“The EMT class gives them the skills to turn around and perform life saving techniques,” EMT teacher Billie Tolbert said. “It teaches them critical thinking, it teaches them how to make a decision on the spot, and it teaches them how to use their skills in a real life situation.”
Aguilar rode along with an SAFD Medic Vehicle when the emergency call was received: the patient faced cardiac arrest, had no pulse, and could not breathe.
“I was at my ambulance ride on a Saturday night and my unit got a dispatch for a full cardiac arrest,” Aguilar said. “He was choking at first. CPR was performed on the patient as soon as the medics were on scene. In the ambulance, I was able to sit in head and maintain the airway open and manage his breaths.”
Upon arrival, Aguilar immediately went to work, taking place of his family in the act of resuscitating him, and continued to do so up until the arrival at the hospital.
“At the time, I remained calm and focused on my task,” Aguilar said. “During those moments, there’s no time to freak out or become nervous.”
“I’m glad to know the training worked,” Tolbert said. “[I feel] pride, actually, for her, because it’s a rare situation to happen. I’ve been in the business for over 18 years, and I have one save. She’s a student in the business and she has a save to her life; that’s pretty intense, actually.”
For a student still in high school to save another individual’s life, that makes an astounding achievement. Not only that, but the incident proves the exemplary capabilities taught in a pre-college course, reflecting on the founding high schools themselves.