EMT student shares personal account of MST program

Photo by AJ D’Alessandro

When 2021 graduate AJ D’Alessandro was a senior at LHS, he went to the Manchester School of Technology (MST) in the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program. Below is a first-hand account of his experience. For more information on how you can be a part of the EMT basic program, see your school counselor.

My name is AJ, and I am a student at MST’s EMT basic program. This program is an amazing program if you are looking to get into this line of work, and it gives you a huge jumpstart over everyone else. These are some of the stories from my ride-alongs, I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed doing it!

Photo by AJ D’Alessandro

When you’re in your darkest time, you call us to see the light. We got a call for a dog bite and when we arrived on scene we saw a group of people standing outside the residence and a little fluffy white puppy.

At first we thought it was that dog that bit her but it wasn’t. At this time we started to hear the two Pitbulls fighting in the house, and we knew instantly that we were gonna lose one of them.

We took care of the patient and by then we went from hearing two dogs to just one. As sad as it is since the call was done it was time to leave. 

Photo by AJ D’Alessandro

When your blood hits the ground and you think you will too, we will be there to pick you back up. (The Soft Sack is filled with things like gauze and bandages and soft bleeding control materials like that so we have easy access to it on the truck.) We arrived on the scene of a patient who was drunk and punched through a glass-paned window and had a laceration to his arm that was arterial.

Thankfully, when we got there the cops had already put a tourniquet on and somewhat controlled the bleeding. We put another bandage over the wound and loaded him into the ambulance. He was wasted and throwing racial slurs at us and the cops and we had to do everything we could to calm him down and make sure he didn’t get violent again.

After I talked to him, I got him to calm down and lower his blood pressure, so that it wouldn’t bleed through as much. When we arrived at the hospital and got him into the bed the whole fight then started back up again. He wouldn’t let them do anything to help him and became a pretty big problem for the nurses. We left soon after they started putting him under for surgery. 

Photo by AJ D’Alessandro

Speed is something that can save a life or take one. It definitely helps increase your chances of surviving though. We arrived on scene for a patient who passed out from a seizure, and when we got there you could tell he wasn’t doing well. We were talking to him and asking what happened that night before he had his seizure.

We loaded him into the ambulance and started taking vitals, and they were normal for the most part besides a high blood pressure but low pulse rate. We hooked him up to the EKG and saw that he was having a heart attack.

Before we told them though you could see his color draining from an already ghost white to even whiter. We hauled to the hospital and got him there just to realize he must’ve moved when looking at the EKG and didn’t really have a heart attack. 

Photo by AJ D’Alessandro

First responders take the first actions that save lives. (The first in bag is the bag we take when we arrive on scene to any call and it has everything we need to get the patient stable enough to load them onto the ambulance) We had a patient that had her feet swelling like balloons. First thoughts were it was a cardiac problem because that is usually a good indicator that the heart isn’t doing it’s job.

The biggest problem was that she didn’t speak a word of English, so we had to show her everything before we did it. When we were bringing her out we needed to use a stair chair to get her down her stairs because she was on the second floor. We got her out there and started taking her vitals. They were all stable for the most part and we took a nice easy ride to the hospital.

Photo by AJ D’Alessandro

Sometimes you cut deep, but we are there to clot and keep you breathing. (The thing in the back left of the truck is our EKG machine that can also take blood pressures, blood oxygen levels and send reports to the hospitals as well as taking pictures of your heart and showing how your heart is beating.)

We had a patient that told her friend she was gonna end it all. So we then got called by the police to come transport her to the hospital. We got her in and I took her blood pressure and sbo2 (blood oxygen) levels.

She was looking great with just a high heart rate. Then we hear the grim sentence of “I’m gonna puke.”. \We start frantically looking for an emesis bag (puke bag) and right when I go to hand it to her she leans over and starts puking into it when IT’S IN MY HANDS. She then grabbed it and I now know I can watch someone puke…

Sometimes people just need a helping hand. We had a patient that was mowing his lawn and tripped over his sprinkler and couldn’t get back up. When we got there he smiled and waved from the ground and started laughing about the whole situation. I turned off the sprinkler and went to help him up with the other medics. We got him inside and he said he was okay, so we took his vitals and he was all set so we let him sign a release form and we got out of his hair. 

Photo by AJ D’Alessandro

Sad faces can be turned into smiles with the right help. After rough calls it definitely helps to be in the right environment with the right people.

For example after one call we all went back to the station and started eating and watching Monster Inc. That would definitely help after a rough call and definitely help to take the stress off everyone.

Either way though if you are with the right people, this incredibly stressful  job can always be made easier when you can talk about the calls with people that understand what you are going through. 

When looking into the eyes of death you tend to freeze up, we are the fire that gets you moving again. On my first ride along I’m not gonna lie it was nerve-racking. The thought of having someone’s life in your hands is a lot of pressure. After the first few calls though every time I got to hop onto that ambulance it was an adrenaline rush I would never forget.

Then the feeling of knowing you got them to the hospital alive, and knowing you did your job and got them there alive… that’s a whole other feeling words can’t even explain.