Seniors Celebrate the Completion of their EMT Course at SVAC

SVAC1Did you ever wanted to become an EMT? If you’re about to be a senior at Scarsdale High School, it might be easier than you think. This year, the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps once again offered its EMT training course during senior options. Any senior who met the age requirements for the program was given the opportunity to spend six weeks completing their EMT certification, a course which otherwise might take anywhere from six months to two years to complete.

SVAC4On Wednesday, June 12, all of the “graduates” and their families were invited to the SVAC building on Weaver Street to celebrate their accomplishments. 19 Scarsdale students were there, along with 2 other students from outside the district. Everyone got to socialize and reflect on the progress made over the past month and a half. Posted on the patio were pictures of different moments along the journey. SVAC President David Raizen and committed volunteer and retiring SMS teacher Steve Rambone were there, grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone.

SVAC8When asked about the program, the seniors had nothing but good things to say. Overwhelmingly, they said that the best part was going on calls. “Class is kind of just learning… ride-along is where you apply the skills,” explained Alexa Widlitz. While most of the seniors had finished their ride-along hours, many still participated for fun. Senior Austin Tang commented that the best part was learning the life skills that they wouldn’t otherwise learn, and being able to use those skills to give back. Austin also remembered that he’d known he wanted to do the EMT program ever since seeing the posters around the school as a junior. Adina Mistry added, “We all got to work off of each other.” It was clear that the sense of community between the students, not all of whom had been friends before the program, was a big highlight of the program. Caroline Goldstein remarked that “yes, the program was a lot of work, but worth it”. The skills she’s learned have come in use already. “Just knowing you can say, ‘Hey, I know how to save someone’s life’... It’s a crazy feeling,” said Will Solie.

SVAC5Before the festivities wrapped up, Jim Gross, who helped run the program, got up to give a little speech. He admitted that he was nervous, having so many seniors participating in such a challenging program. However, the group blew him away. “Every day,” he said, “you guys came in, you were prepared, you were on top of the game.” He recognized the seniors for their dedication and skill, especially on the practical exam the Friday before. He reminded everyone how important these skills are. While he knows some of them will use the certification and some won’t, he believes the skills will last forever. “Every time somebody has a problem, you’re going to be the voice of reason,” he told them. Afterwards, the seniors called Caroline Osborn, another woman who helped to run the program, who was in Texas at the time so she was unable to attend.

SVAC6Last to speak was David Raizen, President of SVAC. He reminded everyone that SVAC is self-supporting, and does not receive money from taxpayers. He asked everyone to spread information about SVAC around town, since that’s the only way they can survive.

The celebration was well deserved by all of the seniors completing the program and everyone who helped them achieve it. It was truly a unique experience that none of the students will forget.

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Seniors pictured at top of article: (top row) Michael Romano, John Ceske, Bob Zhang, Emma Cahaly, Will Solie, Michael DiSanto, Austin Tang (middle row) Derek Chi, Michael Marom, Jack Rubbins, Adina Mistry, Kelly Rutherford, Sydney Mone, Caroline Goldstein, Allison Stafford, Ariel Feldberg (bottom row) Peter Godshall, Grace Vericker, Alexa Widlitz, Emily Lattman, Danielle Lemisch