The opportunity to learn while serving her community drew Jeel to SBES. Her experiences helping others have inspired her to pursue a career in emergency medicine.
The opportunity to learn while serving her community drew Jeel to SBES. Her experiences helping others have inspired her to pursue a career in emergency medicine. The quick and confident actions of the EMTs were as hard to miss as the bright red ambulances they used to transport patients to Hunterdon Medical Center, where Jeel was a volunteer.
“Then I started to recognize some of the same faces at community events and I became very curious about EMS services in the community I live in,” she remembers. “I went on Google, realized many of these EMTs were volunteers, and immediately wanted to join.”
In spring 2018, Jeel joined what was then Clinton First Aid Squad – one of the organizations that have since merged to form South Branch Emergency Services (SBES). Because she was not yet 18, Jeel joined as a cadet, volunteers who train with full members, assist them, and ride the ambulance, all of which helps prepare them for EMT classes and the exam.
Jeel rode with the Friday night crew. “Whenever I was on-shift, we would get call after call after call, and no two calls are alike,” she said. “While I couldn’t do everything as a cadet, I got to live in emergency medicine and learn what was appropriate care. I loved that I was able to get that experience before I went to EMT school.”
Jeel took her EMT classes at SBES’s own training center. She earned her EMT certification in April 2019. In addition to providing emergency medical care and transport in her community, Jeel took on other roles at SBES. She mentors current cadets and has served on the membership committee.
After graduating from North Hunterdon High School, Jeel enrolled at Seton Hall University, where she is studying to become a physician assistant in the 3+3 PA program. Just as being a cadet gave her a leg up in EMT class, being an EMT has made her Seton Hall studies much easier, Jeelsaid. “The first day of PA school was about vital signs. Some people in class had never taken a blood pressure or found a pulse. But being an EMT, I had done those things many times in the back of the ambulance where it’s much harder to hear. Now, I’m getting ready to go on clinical rotations, and I’ve already had the opportunity to deliver patient care in emergency situations.”
Being a SBES EMT has shown Jeel how much she loves emergency medicine and trauma surgery in particular, and she hopes one day to work in an ER in Hunterdon County or nearby. “That would be coming full-circle for me,” she said.
She also hopes to continue volunteering with SBES. “I love how SBES is really a family and you all work together to provide care,” she said. “I also loving helping out at different community events we have.”
While being a volunteer EMT has helped shape Jeel’s career path, she recommends volunteering with SBES to everyone. “You’re really able to do whatever interests you – community events, EMS, rescue, water rescue – there’s something for everyone,” she said. “Also, age doesn’t matter – it’s never too early or too late to join!”
South Branch Emergency Services is looking for volunteers like you! No experience is necessary, and training and gear are provided for members. Visit sbes365.org to sign up or learn more.