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    Training First Responders

    By Alexandra S. Williams

    I am a first responder who is a supervisor on an ambulance. I also happen to be a person of color who is gay- subjects that have not been addressed much in my field, which tends to be very conservative.

    As someone who helps to launch others on their career paths to become firefighters or paramedics, I am therefore aware that I can serve as a role model to individuals like me. By just being myself, I become the person they trust when asking questions and, together, we work through certain problems.

    In the end, despite any personal differences, we as first responders all share goals in common. We want to help others and to excel in our fields. We thrive in teams and learn to work together, which takes time to evolve. Many of the situations we face require split-second coordination, so our ability to work through our differences allows us to get the job done, often saving lives.

    Alexandra S. Williams is a field training officer and EMT for Royal Ambulance in San Leandro.