Victoria Peters, who completed Medina County Career Center’s Public Safety program in 2018, recently volunteered as an emergency medical technician to assist the New York City Fire Department with COVID-19 relief.
“When I received the email asking for volunteers, I replied immediately expressing interest. There has never been such a prominent situation where I can utilize my skills and knowledge,” said Peters. “This is a historical event that will set the standard for decades. At my fire department back home [Valley City Fire Department], I get an adrenaline rush every time a call comes in. Knowing how busy I’d be in NYC, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do what I love.”
Peters arrived in New York City April 11. Each day, the volunteer group she is stationed with is split into two groups. Currently, one covers interfacility transfers to decompress hospitals and the other works as a 911 task force.
“Recently, more than 5,800 calls came in in one day,” Peters said.
When asked what the most unique experience Peters has had so far, her response was, “I have seen things here that I’ve never seen before. If I had to choose the most unique experience, I’d have to say it’s the unity of all the healthcare workers. Everyone is exhausted and stressed, but they have all been incredibly motivated. It’s comforting to know we all have each other’s backs.”
Peters is willing to stay in NYC as long as it takes for this situation to become manageable.
“I want to reiterate the importance of social distancing,” said Peters. “This is not a hoax and no one is exaggerating how bad it is here in the epicenter of the virus. Social distancing works, and it’s hard for people to believe it without seeing it for themselves. I underestimated it myself until I arrived in NYC. I’m proud of Ohio for taking all the measures we have. It’s not easy, but it’s in the best interest of society.”
When Peters returns home, she is eager to share her experiences with MCCC students because it reiterates the importance of the skills they are learning right now.
“I’m grateful for the skills I learned in the Public Safety program,” said Peters. “I’ve used skills here that I never thought I’d need to use.”