Savannah is an EMT at East Coast and an aspiring Flight Medic. We recently chatted with her to learn more about what it takes to work in this field and how building connections is key to patient care. Here’s what we learned.
What’s your position here and how long have you been working at East Coast?
I’ve been an EMT at East Coast for a little over a year.
What’s a typical day look like for you?
It’s pretty busy. Running a lot of calls. Anything ranging from nursing home transports, hospital transfers, and discharges to hospice calls.
What’s your favorite part of being an EMT?
Getting to communicate with a lot of different people. Meeting new people and forming connections is important because we see the same people often. Communication is a big factor here when it comes to building relationships with patients. For a lot of people it’s the first time they get outside.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Getting to progressively watch people get better and helping patients get to their rehabilitation facilities.
Can you describe the atmosphere and company culture here?
It’s very positive and uplifting. And you definitely have to be ready to go because we’re always busy.
What is Mike Rosellini like as a boss? Can you describe his leadership style?
He’s really cool. Very polite, nice, and professional. Mike is always there for help when you need him.
What’s your advice to someone who’s thinking about getting into EMS but not sure they want to be an EMT?
Make sure you’re mentally prepared to deal with many different types of people. There will be people who are at their lowest, scared, and going through a lot. You have to be prepared to be there for them.
Do you remember your first day at East Coast?
Yes. I was very nervous, but my coworkers helped me push through and gave me good advice.
Did you work at another EMS agency beforehand?
No. East Coast is my first EMS career. But I used to volunteer at a 911 station beforehand and still do today in my hometown.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to volunteer at the 911 station and go over my skills. I’m a real workaholic.
What’s something you know now about your work that you wish you knew before?
Some things are going to be really hard to deal with, but it’s okay to talk about it to your partner and boss.
What does it take to be a great EMT?
You have to be compassionate and love what you’re doing. Make sure you hone in on your skills and you’ll be alright.
What are your career aspirations?
I want to be a flight medic. When I was little, I used to be in the hospital a lot --- just little things like the flu. I would watch the helicopters come in to pick people up and drop them off. One time I was outside and my stepdad took me up to the helicopter to say hello to one of the flight medics. The flight medic offered to let me go up in the helicopter with him in my little wheelchair. We went up and he explained to me what he did, how he helped people, and I just thought it was awesome. I have wanted to do it ever since.
What’s something patients are always asking you?
Most of the time it’s how long I’ve been working in EMS --- and if it’s hard. I say back, “Sometimes.”
What are some of the day-to-day challenges you face? How do you overcome them?
This whole job is about mentally understanding people --- why they might be aggressive or negative about a lot of things going on in their lives. It’s a challenge to take a step back and say this might be rock bottom for them. It’s hard, but you have to put yourself in their shoes and understand.
What would you say to someone who’s thinking about joining East Coast?
I’d say do it. It’s awesome and a great opportunity to practice your skills before you go onto anything else. In class you’re taught these basic skills like how to do manual blood pressure, but in the 911 field you don’t always get to practice that. Coming here it’s back to the basics of you and your partner doing a lot of lifting, communication, and skill-work.
Is there a strong connection between you and your EMT partner?
I would say so. I work with different people every day, which is another part that I love, so you get to know everybody. It’s a really good atmosphere.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Savannah. We look forward to seeing what the future has in store for you.