Air Bear Visit Sparks Bio-Med Student Interest in Emergency Response

Shelby Cole has always been interested in a career in medicine, and a recent visit to NEOMED by the Akron Children’s Hospital Air Bear helicopter opened her eyes to more possibilities than she ever knew existed. Cole was among the juniors and seniors from Bio-Med Science Academy who was on the ground when the Akron Children’s transport team landed Air Bear on NEOMED’s soccer field to give them a close-up look at the emergency response profession. The NEOMED Police Department, Rootstown Fire Department and Portage County Sheriff and K-9 unit were also present for the educational event, which gave students the chance to sit in the emergency vehicles and ask questions about what a career in emergency response entails.

“Through my senior year internship and opportunities like the Air Bear event, I have been able to learn about the surprisingly wide variety of jobs in emergency medicine. The Air Bear event allowed me to learn a lot about the training and teamwork that makes these people successful,” Cole said. She is currently interning with the Kent Fire Department and is considering a career in emergency response.

Jeffrey Valli, a senior at the STEM+M high school located on the NEOMED campus, has always wanted to become a volunteer firefighter or EMT. “Meeting people in the industry cemented that decision for me,” Valli said. Although he is interested in becoming a software engineer, the event furthered his interest in volunteering within his community, he said, adding, “I really enjoyed getting the chance to hear from people who dedicate their lives to such amazing causes.”

This fall, Bio-Med juniors have visited the Wasson Center for Clinical Skills, where NEOMED students develop skills at interviewing and diagnosing patients by working with “standardized patients”—people playing the part of patients with a variety of illnesses. Bio-Med students will also participate in a school-wide career day later this fall.

--Gabrielle Biltz is a senior at Bio-Med Science Academy and an intern in the NEOMED Office of Public Relations and Marketing.

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