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ACC EMS Instructors - Touching Lives, Inspiring Others

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“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” –Solomon Ortiz

ACC EMS Students during joint simulation activity.
ACC EMS Students during joint simulation activity.

Every teacher I have encountered in my 19 years of life, has had some sort of impact in my life for various reasons. But up until college no one has impacted me the way my instructors, Bill, Peter and Jordan have. I’m not entirely sure as to why, maybe it’s because of their passion for EMS or maybe because they just impact everyone they meet. Whatever the reason is, I’m glad I’ve met them. Not only have they impacted me in my career, but also in my personal life. I have always been very interested in the medical field, but I didn’t necessarily have someone to look up to, now I have three. Jordan inspires me and pushes me to become better as an EMT since day one. She was intimidating because well, I am very shy, but she’s made sure that I broke that and made sure that I felt confident in the things I do as a student. I remember one day she implied to our lab class that she was going to make sure we were efficient EMTs once we were done with this program.

One week left of the program and she is absolutely right. 3 months ago, I would have never thought I would be able to think outside the box to save a life, now thanks to her I am positive our lab will have no issues in the future.

Jordan is young, she’s only 20 years old, but that girl sure knows exactly what she is doing; and she doesn’t play around when she is out in that ambulance providing care for her patients. I hope to stay in contact with her after we are done with the program, because I still have so much to learn from her; not only that, but she is such a great motivator, she sure knows how to push us to our limit to ensure that we know how to handle pressure. Now I know that out there in the field I will be prepared to control my adrenaline for each call thanks to her.

Peter is the type of guy who speaks the truth whether we want to hear it or not, but he doesn’t do it to hurt us, he does it to make sure that we become better. Peter was very intimidating when I met him, heck he still is intimidating today. See I am not the one to participate in class, nor be put on the spotlight; but he wasn’t going to budge and he was expecting us to participate as much as we could. There were many times I wanted to just run out of the classroom because I felt like I was his target. Not the case at all, he just want us to come out of our little shells and learn to communicate our ideas and thoughts with each other. He has helped me a lot with my stage fright, and he too has made me think outside the box. He has made sure I have spoken enough during class, that now I am sure to speak my mind in a professional matter that will come in handy once I’m out in the field. When I did my clinical rides, I thought there is just no way I’ll be able to talk with these people who are really experienced in EMS. But honestly thanks to the class Peter gave us, I was able to ask all the right questions whether it was about documentation, or about certain calls; I was able to actually understand dispatch way better after our radio communications lab.

Peter went out of his way to ensure that we were understanding absolutely everything we were learning in his class would be accurate and related to what we would see out in the field. 124 has taught me so much, and I believe it had to do with who was teaching it. I hope Peter stays teaching that class because he has a lot to bring to the table. He knows how to make it a very interactive class, and he also cares a lot about our careers; whether we are EMTs, Firefighters, or Police officers. He makes sure we understand how everything works in EMS, and will point us in the right direction. And I appreciate what he has done in my life because of that I was able to grow in my career as a future EMT.

Bill Spialek, ACC EMS Department Chair
Bill Spialek, ACC EMS Department Chair

And as always the best is saved for last. Where do I begin expressing the impact Bill has done in my life. Put it this way,  Bill is like my Paramedic step dad. He has taught me way too much that sometimes I’m amazed at how far I’ve come thanks to him. Not only is he a great instructor, he makes has ensured that we are comprehending the material and also makes sure we become great EMTs one day. Everyone knows him, and I finally understand why, it’s because not only is he a great Paramedic, but also because he is such a great human being. When I started the course I thought what the heck am I doing here, I thought maybe being an EMT isn’t for me, but now I am sure that it is thanks to him. Out of every single instructor I have had, Bill is the one I look up to the most. When he walks by I think wow, one day I want to be like him. And not just me, many of my classmates have also said that. It’s because we know that it takes a lot to teach student, and even more so training someone to save lives. He has the courage like I haven’t seen before, because maybe he has wanted to throw the towel in and give up, but because of his passion for EMS is the reason why this EMT program has became better.

Talking to an EMT tech at PSL, who actually went through the program before Bill took over was so glad to hear how improved the program has become. I gave her a breakdown of the program Bill has designed and she said there is no doubt that my instructor knows exactly what he is doing, and she can also sense that he is sending prepared and honest EMT student out there. I agree with her, Bill has put so much into this program, which allows us to have quality training compared. From the uniform to morbid humor, from the communication to the skills; no one else could train us the way we have been trained by Bill without being so passionate about what they do.

I am glad I am making it to the end of this program a better and improved human being, someone who is prepared to go out and make my instructors proud. My classmates and I are so thankful for being part of the ACC EMT program. Great people and great professionals receiving quality learning all start in the classroom, it all starts with a great and honest instructor with such passion about EMS.  

References: Spialek, William –Program Director/Instructor Brehm, Jordan –Lab Instructor Rousseau, Peter -124 Instructor Cesaro, Dana -EMT ACC EMT 121 -Program