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EMTeenager: Career course helped OCHS alum quickly realize dream

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By Tracy Harris

An Oldham County graduate is on her way to her dream job — thanks to classes she took at the Arvin Center.

 As one of the first graduates of the health science course cluster at the career center, Emily Millett is now working for Oldham County EMS.

Millett, 19, is a sophomore at Bellarmine University, where she studies biology on a pre-med track.

“I knew I wanted to be a doctor by the end of my sophomore year in high school,” she said. “I saw a flyer for the EMT class and thought, ‘I’m going to do that.’”

The South Oldham High School alum said the class — available to seniors at any of the three high schools — was a perfect fit.

It allowed her to gain medical knowledge and test the waters to see if medical school would be a good goal.

“It was a good experience to be exposed to the field,” she said.

Students are eligible to ride with OCEMS halfway through the year-long course.

Instructor David Price, a captain with OCEMS, said the field experience allows students to apply their skills, such as CPR, and to determine if the medical field is a good fit.

After her 10 hours of ride time and completing the course, Millett was eligible to sit for the state board examination to become a certified EMT — except she wasn’t old enough.

Candidates must be 18 years old at the time of the exam.

Price said that can be difficult for students who don’t turn 18 before completing the course.

Despite the material not being as fresh as instructors would like, Millett still passed the course. She’s the youngest EMT on OCEMS’ staff.

“She’s the first, but hopefully not the last, student to graduate the program and be hired by OCEMS,” Price said.

Renovated space for the program at the Arvin Center has made a big difference, he said.

Cost for the EMT course is split between the school district and OCEMS.

Price said hiring young candidates means they’re excited and willing to be trained to the department’s high standards.

“They don’t have any bad habits, like in driving or patient care,” he said.

So far, Millett loves it.

“I look forward to getting up at 5 a.m.,” she said. “I’ve never been that happy about a job before.”

In fact, she’s considering dropping to part-time at Bellarmine in the spring so she has time to take a paramedic course, which requires advanced training.

“It’s exciting to not just do the same thing over and over,” she said. “You’ve got to be on your toes at all times — you’ve got somebody’s life in your hands.”

Millett has learned the job isn’t without its pitfalls, though.

“What’s tough for me is that you can’t let your emotions get the best of you,” she said. “You have to block out the emotions and put the patient first and take care of them.”

Millett said other students interested in the class should take it seriously.

“Don’t just take it because you think it sounds cool,” she said. “If you don’t love it, you’re going to hate it.”

Read more about the Arvin Center online.