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Sirens blaring, lights flashing, Miami County’s Medic One barrels down the road, cars rushing to get out of its way. Behind the wheel, emergency medical technician (EMT) and senior in high school Daniel Blom drives lights-and-sirens for his first time.
“Let me tell you, that’s something else,” Daniel laughed. “Our policy is that we can go 20 over the speed limit, so you’re just flying down the road, everybody’s getting out of your way. You’re in command of the entire roadway.”
Growing up, Daniel wanted to be behind the wheel of a different type of emergency vehicle. A bigger one. Daniel’s dreamt of being a firefighter, like many little kids, since he was playing on the playground in elementary school. But unlike a lot of them, he never really grew out of that dream.
But his first step to fulfilling that childhood dream changed his mind.
To become a firefighter in the state of Kansas, one must first become a licensed EMT. Going into the second semester of his junior year, he enrolled in first responder program at Johnson County Community College so he could start on his way to becoming an EMT.
“After finishing that class, I kind of fell in love with the medicine side and decided that was the way I wanted to go,” Daniel said.
Last fall, he graduated from his EMT class and became certified to practice in Kansas. After graduation, he sent out resumes to multiple emergency medical services around the area. The first one he applied to, Miami County, offered to have him ride along with them on a shift, a requirement for the job.
“That was my first time in an ambulance out in the field with actual patients,” Daniel said. “That just solidified that this is what I want to do for a living.”
Daniel worked his first shift for Miami County on April 18. He brings an eagerness and excitement to learn to his job, according to his lieutenant Chaz Steele.
“He’s very eager to jump up and do stuff and train and work with his hands and help out and he brings a great positive light and encouragement to our particular shift,” Steele said. “I enjoy that he is so upbeat and he wants to work in the ambulance for the rest of his life.”
Daniel plans on continuing his education at Johnson County Community College next year. One day, he’ll move up to a paramedic, but for now, he’ll keep on learning and he’ll keep on driving the ambulance. It’s something he’ll be able to do for a long time.
“It’s exhilarating,” Daniel said. “Hell yeah, it’s fun.”