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EMT Student Makes a Big Impact

November 2, 2020

When Heidi Ganshert says that small-town life involves wearing many hats, she knows what that means first hand.

Heidi is not only an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) student at Blackhawk Tech, but that is not her only hat. She helps her husband run their dairy farm, is a mom to three kids, teaches high school science, coaches softball, and serves as the Argyle School District's athletic director. All of those different hats have one thing in common - the risk of injury. Sports, large animals, and science experiments all carry significant risks for the people who interact with them. So being able to provide emergency care is a handy skill to have.

Heidi, in a blue sweatshirts, uses a stethescope on a mannekin

"I've wanted to be an EMT since I was very young," Heidi said. "Two times in my life, I witnessed EMS at work with both the loss of my brother and grandfather in farming accidents. I knew that I wanted to be one of the people there to respond and help those in need -- just like what was done for my family in our time of need."

(Pictured: Heidi in class on BTC's Central Campus)

She acknowledged the reward and the challenge of being an EMT in a small community. "It's commonly said that any day on the job for an EMT is likely someone else's worst day of their life." Meaning, as they provide life-saving measures while transporting patients to medical facilities, EMTs need to be calming, caring, and efficient, even when they are likely to be friends, neighbors, or coworkers. "I know it means a lot to people when they see a familiar face show up to help them. I am happy that I get to be the face that they see."

Heidi started by dipping her toe into the basic Emergency Medical Technician program. She enjoyed it and her work with her town's local Emergency Medical Services so much that she came back to finish her advanced EMT training.

"I chose Blackhawk Tech because I know they have an excellent EMT program that has prepared EMT students well for the National Registry Exam," she said. "It is also the school I took my basic EMT class at, and I had such an amazing experience I wanted to return."

Heidi has no plans to give up her day jobs to be an EMT full time. Instead, she plans to pursue a master's degree in biology or administration to advance her teaching position. However, that doesn't mean Heidi is not going to continue training in the medical field. She is still considering paramedic school, the next step up from an EMT. Paramedics can provide more extensive care like starting IVs, administering medication, and applying pacemakers, making it even more likely that their patients will have a positive outcome.

Heidi also serves as the president of the Argyle EMS. This position tasks her with ensuring the ambulances remain stocked and that the entire team is up-to-date on their training so they can continue to serve the Argyle community.

As opposed to being stressed about wearing so many hats, Heidi considers her EMT education an investment in herself. "Many adults think that they will not have enough time to dedicate to the work that goes into school," she said. "I thought the same thing, but somehow, someway I found the time. We spend time and money on so many other things; why not spend time and money investing in ourselves?" And there is no better investment than one that saves lives and improves the community. 

Click here for more information on BTC's Emergency Medical Technician Program.

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