Every Minute Saves Lives

Every Minute Saves Lives

When Varshini Venturupalle, an Enloe sophomore, attended the Wake County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Citizens Academy, she found that all her previously-held notions about the career were not completely accurate. Fascinated by the things she had learned, she decided to take her interest a step further; along with her friend and fellow sophomore, Sophie Khullar, she aims to bring attention to the issues EMS faces through a HOSA community awareness project.

“I don’t think people realize how many aspects there are to EMS,” Venturupalle says. “I feel like most people think of it as an emergency vehicle of some sort responding to emergency incidents, but it’s so much more than that.” EMS is a system of coordinated response and emergency medical services, involving many people and agencies. The work they do ranges from answering service calls, to providing natural disaster relief, to geriatric care. It is definitely not a normal 9-5 job—most respondents work in 12-hour shifts, something that requires dedication and a true love for helping other people.

“We talked to Jeffery Hammerstein, the public relations head of the EMS academy, and worked alongside him to bring this project to fruition,” Venturupalle says. They managed to poll a little over 100 active EMS respondents, asking them what their greatest issue with high schoolers is. Unsurprisingly, the majority of them answered “their driving”. Drivers are supposed to move to the right of the EMS vehicle to allow them to pass, but many high school drivers don’t know this. This causes confusion, resulting in delays to the emergency vehicles reaching the accident site on time. Even a small delay could cost someone their life.

To help high schoolers become aware of and correct their mistakes, Venturupalle and Khullar put together a presentation that contains information on what to do and what to avoid, and are presenting it to various classes.

“The presentations are my favorite part of the whole experience. They involve interacting with other students and faculty, and spreading awareness about something I’m passionate about,” Khullar says.

For more information, you can visit their website, found here.