BC EMT student saves life

Published 2:12 pm Monday, November 8, 2010

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A rookie Emergency Medical Technology (EMT) student at Bainbridge College earned high praise for work during her first hour of her first clinical experience with area Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals.

On the second of two back-to-back 911 calls, BC student Chelsie Owens helped save a life.

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The professionals she worked with in Seminole County reported about her excellent response to Instructor Randy Williams, who heads BC’s EMS programs. Owens followed their instructions exactly and without hesitation during the emergency, helping with cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other breathing treatments.

Her calm demeanor, even while being physically attacked by the resuscitated patient, definitely contributed to the positive outcome, they said in their report to Williams.

During that first clinical training as Owens rode with EMS personnel, they responded to the second 911 call while en route from the first call. Although as a lifeguard for three years Owens had rescued children from swimming pools, she had not had to perform CPR until that second call.

Throughout the situation she remained calm and focused, very helpful to EMS professionals, and to the patient, with whom she talked, definitely contributing to calming the patient, according to the report Williams received. She “exhibited a level of compassion and professionalism not often seen in EMS providers, let alone a green student,” the report said.

That experience, the exciting work and adrenaline rush, validated for Owens her career choice. She is following her mother’s footsteps into a medical field, although not as a registered nurse like her mother, Reba Huffman of Smith Northview Hospital in Valdosta.

“My mother is my guiding light,” the BC student said, adding that her mother pushed her to do well in school and taught by example as a working mother, who returned to school after many years to earn her nursing degree while rearing her two children.

“I want to make her proud of me,” said Owens, whose grandmother, Tina Brooks of Bainbridge, encouraged her to attend Bainbridge College. She said she knows she made the right choices for her career and her school, and she said her EMT instructor is “an amazing teacher and really brings EMT class lessons to life.”

“He drives you to want to do well, and he encourages his students,” she said, adding that Williams builds the class as a team.

“I love my career choice, and I look forward to the future,” she said with an air of confidence born from that life-changing experience. “I love the difference you know you make even if you only save that one person,” the BC hero said, with a big smile.