ERIN HURLEY via Crowdrise
August 03, 2012
Fast-forward to the end of Spring Semester. I had successfully completed and graduated from Valencia's EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) program. After that I went on to take the State exam to get my certification so that I could start working as an EMT. I was 21 at the time and partying for me had surpassed being a social event. It had turned into an obsession to find the next drink. Meanwhile, I took the state exam 3 times and failed it every time. I had a year to get my certification and I blew my chances. I would have to retake EMT and pass it again.
During the year I had taken my 3 state exams, I had enrolled in classes to become a Paramedic at Seminole CC. Paramedic is ALS (advanced life support), I big step up from EMT which is BLS (Basic life suppport. I had to drop out of the Medic program due to the fact that I had not obtained my EMT certification.
I have taken EMT three more times since my first attempt in the spring of 2005. I had wanted to be an EMT more than anything and see where my EMS career went from there.
I had my clinical rotations required for EMT at the Emergency Department and at the Fire Stations I chose. I had to complete so many hours at each place to be qualified to graduate the EMT program. I fell in love with EMS, and to this day it is my passion. I know I was placed on this earth to do this. I have a deep passion and unwavering conviction in the fact that this EMS is where I am supposed to be. I have never felt so strongly about anything else in my life.
Now, back to my drinking.
I had started going to College parties when I was 16 and I didn't stop the party until January 22, 2010. To sum it all up, I will say I went to hell and back. I have harmed many people in my quest to get the next drink, especially my family, and it is something I have regretted for a long time.
I came to Saint Petersburg, FL from Orlando to finally get help for my drinking problem.
I found what I was looking for. I have been sober since January 22, 2010 and life is great. I have had my ups and downs and am still working to make amends for all the damage I had caused while partying. I had neglected to be a useful member of society.
I am happy to say as of Fall 2011, and for the fourth time taking EMT, I have finally passed it again! Also, as of early February, I am excited to announce that I am a Nationally and State certified EMT! I cried when I had gotten the news, this is something that means the world to me.
I have not had a drink for a little over two and a half years now. Living a sober life has brought many rewards that have been unexpected. I have also finally acquired my AA-GEN and am working towards my AS-EMS. In the meantime, I want to go to the Fire Academy at St. Petersburg College. I can't afford the school on my own and financial aid will not cover it because it is a flat rate program instead of a credited class.
If you are wondering why I don't just get a private loan to go, I will tell you that I have very poor credit. Living the life I had lived, I had not been accountable to anyone and am making financial amends today to right all my wrongs.
This is why I am asking for your help.
The fire academy is run through SPC and costs a little over $4,000. The other costs I have to pay are for the required bunker gear and textbooks. Those can run up another two thousand or so. I still have to take my physical test and that costs around 60$, but I can't afford to take that chance if I can't afford to go. I will be working to raise money other ways and saving from the job I have now. I have the usual rent, car insurance, phone, utilities, gas, and grocery bills. It all adds up so quickly.
Even writing this now, I am in disbelief. I hate asking for help, especially when it comes to finances. But I as I have said before, I want to be a firefighter.
Again I will say thank you for reading this and hope that you can help. Any amount will help. I am skeptical about this whole thing but my mom has always told me, "you never know unless you try". So I am trying, and I am putting myself and my story out there. I hope that I am proved wrong.
I am now 27 and ready to get on with my career in EMS. Even though I am a female in the EMS field, I am not deterred in the least bit. This is my passion, this is what I was put on this earth to do.
Thank you again for reading,
Erin Hurley, EMT-B