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Unexpected First Responders

The COVID-19 pandemic has left a shortage of many things, including medical supplies, volunteers & even emergency medical technicians. Some high school youth have picked up the slack to help their communities.(Photo courtesy of Jane Kenney)

During the last two years, shortages abound during the difficult time. As hospitals filled up while store shelves became empty, another pandemic shortage occurred in the emergency medical technicians field, otherwise known as EMTs. However, one New York Community found an interesting, innovative solution to address the first responder shortage.

High schoolers in Sackets Harbor have recently volunteered to take up ambulance services at a time when cities attempted to mandate vaccinations. When the regular volunteers were unable to carry out their duties, Sackets Harbor youth stepped in to fill the role.

Grayden Brunet, now 20, first joined when he was 16, saying “My whole time being an officer here has been COVID (laughter). So it’s definitely been a learning experience… We came in one day and realized we were the only ones coming in”, referring to a time when vaccine mandates forced them to be the only responding staff as some of their colleagues protested the mandates.

Like in last month’s post about youth stepping up to get vaccinated, youth have also been active contributors to the pandemic, both stopping the spread of & helping people affected by the virus. Not to mention that EMT services also help non-COVID patients get the emergency services they need.

When asked about what it’s been like being a young EMT in light of COVID, Brunet says ” it’s definitely been a learning experience”. It’s probably a lesson many youth are learning as the pandemic has shown they’re often more autonomous than they give themselves credit for.

If you can trust youth who don’t have a vote to save your life in an emergency situation, you can trust them to choose the next leader of a democracy.

Jеstеr Jеrsеy


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