Gabriela, Julia, and Megan, who serve in the Ellington Rescue Post 512, made a trip to the State Capitol to demonstrate CPR and advocate for CPR training in schools. The three demonstrated their skills and discussed with legislators the importance of learning CPR during the American Heart Association’s legislative reception.
All three young ladies are leaders in the Ellington Rescue Post 512, a non-profit organization that is run by Ellington High School students. The program affords young people a unique opportunity to receive medical training at the EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) or EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) level and to have hands on experience in the emergency medical field. Post 512 is truly unique as it is the only program in the United States that allows high school students to respond to emergencies during school.
Gabriela, the Vice President of Ellington Rescue Post 512, also joined the program as a freshman. Gabriela was attracted to the Post in an effort to overcome a challenge that occurred in her life. When she was eleven, Gabriela lost her father due to a short term illness. It was a very traumatic experience. This was the first time Gabriela was exposed to the EMS community, during those numerous times when an ambulance was called to her home during her father’s illness. For Gabriela seeing all the flashing lights and loud noises was frightening especially since she could not help. Joining Rescue Post gave her an opportunity to give back to the community that had given so much to her and her family. As Gabriela so eloquently put it, “I am no longer the little girl who was scared when I saw the ambulance staff taking my dad out of the house on a stretcher, I am the girl who can jump into the back of the ambulance and know I am making a difference in someone’s life”.
Julia, a Membership officer in the Post, knew in 8th grade she wanted to join the program as soon as she was eligible. She has been able to respond to a variety of emergencies and has been able to take away valuable information from each emergency call. Julia is grateful for the opportunity to take part in this unique program and looks forward leveraging her skills and experience in a possible nursing career.
Megan, the President of Ellington Rescue Post 512, joined the post as a freshman in 2012 and was fully certified by the state of Connecticut few month later allowing her to start using the medical training while riding on the ambulance. During her time participating in the program, Megan has been called to numerous emergencies, ranging anywhere from a gunshot wound, to cardiac arrest, and/or difficulty breathing. Megan is considering the medical field after high school because of her experience serving in Post 512.
Because of their shared experiences learning and performing CPR as young as 15, Megan, Gabriela, and Julia are inspired to get their town to add CPR training to the school curriculum, with the goal of increasing the number of community member that can potentially save a life. They believe having young adults learn CPR can increase the number of bystander saves in their community. They know that early interventions of CPR can save someone’s life. Megan, Gabriela, and Julia are calling people to stop waiting for the help and instead take action. Learning CPR changed their lives and it can change the lives of their fellow high school students and the community of Ellington.