Amelia Koellhofer: Teen EMT


You had a long night on the job, getting home around 12 a.m.  You stabilized  a screaming kid’s broken arm, were part of a crew that rushed a man to a hospital with heart failure, and cleaned and bandaged up extensive lacerations on an older woman that fell. You groan realizing that you have a stats test the next morning you weren’t able to study for and mounds of homework not done. Being in high school and a licensed EMT is difficult.

While this schedule may seem out of the ordinary, it is the norm for VHS Amelia Koellhofer. 

Amelia is a member of the Verona Rescue squad, having joined the group a little over a year ago. Many students in Verona participate in this volunteer organization, but what sets Amelia apart is that she is a licensed EMT.

“Although the process is very rigorous and hard, if you have the passion and motivation for it, it is definitely worth it,” said Amelia when asked if becoming an EMT is something she would recommend to younger members of Rescue Squad.

In order to become an EMT one must complete a five-month course with 12 hours of hands-on instructional time, and over 25 hours of studying. Once this is done, you must then complete a test that can be up to 120 questions called the NREMT. 

Amelia passed her class and test with flying colors on top of keeping good grades in her high school classes, playing club soccer, and being a member of the VHS track team.

“When someone has to call 911 it is one of the worst days of their life. However, you have the power to change that and help treat and make them feel better,” said Amelia, reflecting on her favorite thing about being a first responder.

Amelia works at least a six-hour shift every week at Rescue Squad, but the schedule is flexible. The number of calls received are completely random, some nights Amelia has none on her shift, but she has also had up to three in one night. Typically Amelia averages one call per shift.

“It’s a great experience for me because it is basically like training wheels” said Amelia. Since Amelia is under the age of 18 she has to have an EMT mentor that can step in and take over when she is unsure of something. This way she will be prepared when she can be alone on calls once she turns 18.

Being on Rescue squad is very time-intensive, but for Amelia it was her chance to explore the medical field, which has been fascinated with since a young age. One of her favorite tv shows is “Grey’s Anatomy”.

In college Amelia plans to use this medical experience to her advantage, wanting to major in neuroscience on a pre-med track.

Amelia said that participating in rescue squad and passing her NREMT gave her exposure to patient care and critical experience, which will help her once she gets to med school.