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Full time student, part time paramedic

Freshman paramedic helps out those in need on and off campus

Danielle Brown remembers the day a man was rushed into the emergency room where they found out that he had cut his own toe off and tried to super glue it back on.

“I was working in the emergency room as an EMT, so this happened when I first started,” said Danielle Brown, a Humboldt State University freshman. “He was coming to us about two weeks after it happened, he was septic and ended up having a blood clot in his heart.”

Brown is a HSU freshman currently majoring in cellular/molecular biology but she’s also a licensed paramedic in Arcata.

“The toe was dead and we immediately had to cut off the foot to stop the infection from spreading,” Brown said.

Brown has been a paramedic for close to two years now. She started off as an emergency medical technician for six months where she completed the 1,700 hours she needed to become a licensed paramedic. As a paramedic she helped out in various different locations in Los Angeles, responding to all types of medical emergencies.

As a paramedic, Brown is trained beyond the requirements for an EMT.

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Danielle Brown’s paramedic equipment presented on a table. | Photo by Ross Milne.

“I have the ability to use over 150 different medications,” Brown said. “I can do CPR and I’m trained for any ‘in-field maneuvers’, anything you can think of that is needed in the field.”

Brown is always on call for the HSU campus as a paramedic. This means she responds to calls of people in need of medical assistance whenever her phone rings.

“I think I get a call at least once a week from some people next door needing some help,” Brown said.

According to Brown, the job gives her a high adrenaline rush. She’s literally always on her toes and no two days are the same.

“It’s always great to have the ‘go go go,’” Brown said.

In regards to the future with her career, Brown wants to go into emergency medicine. She hopes to progress from a paramedic to an ER doctor. She is doing this all because she not only likes helping people, but it also looks great on medical school applications.

Outside of the great parts of the job there are also some downsides, the main one being the fact that you never know what happens to the people you’ve helped afterwards.

“The EMTs and paramedics all have a saying which is ‘stitch em’ and ‘ditch em’,” Brown said. “You patch them up as quickly as you can and throw them on.”

2 Comments

  1. Joe Joe Friday, November 9, 2018

    I am confused about several statements in this article. First, I question the premise of this article, which is that she is a student and part time paramedic. There are many students at HSU that work part time in EMS or volunteer as firefighters, but the student featured in this article clearly is not employed or licensed as a paramedic. Second, you state “she’s also a licensed paramedic in Arcata”. Arcata does not license paramedics. Paramedics are licensed by the state of California and accredited by a local EMS agency, in this case, North Coast EMS which covers Humboldt, Del Norte and Lake counties. It appears that she is not licensed as a paramedic and never has been. She does have an EMT-I license (#E143143) that was just issued on October 24 2018 (a day AFTER this article was published), which is a very basic certification and is not at all equivalent to a paramedic. This information is publicly available and can be verified on the California EMSA website.

    She has not held an EMT or Paramedic license in LA County either, so I’m not sure what the experience she describes in LA County was.

    Additionally, the photos in this article raise other questions. The uniform she is wearing is not a uniform that is associated with any local EMS agency. I am unclear who her employer supposedly is. The second photo, showing her EMS “equipment” is all stuff that could be purchased at CVS.

    Finally, you say “Brown is always on call for the HSU campus as a paramedic”. HSU is not an approved ALS provider with North Coast EMS and could not possibly have someone work in the paramedic scope in their name and, again, per CA EMSA, she is not employed or licensed as a paramedic, so this statement is unclear.

  2. Joe Joe Tuesday, December 11, 2018

    I am confused about several statements in this article. First, I question the premise of this article, which is that she is a student and part time paramedic. There are many students at HSU that work part time in EMS or volunteer as firefighters, but the student featured in this article clearly is not employed or licensed as a paramedic. Second, you state “she’s also a licensed paramedic in Arcata”. Arcata does not license paramedics. Paramedics are licensed by the state of California and accredited by a local EMS agency, in this case, North Coast EMS which covers Humboldt, Del Norte and Lake counties. It appears that she is not licensed as a paramedic and never has been. She does have an EMT-I license (E143143) that was just issued on October 24 2018 (a day AFTER this article was published), which is a very basic certification and is not at all equivalent to a paramedic. This information is publicly available and can be verified on the California EMSA website. She is not nationally registered as a paramedic either. This can be verified with NREMT.

    She has also never been licensed in LA county as an EMT-I or Paramedic, so I’m not sure what the experience she describes there was.

    Additionally, the photos in this article raise other questions. The uniform she is wearing is not a uniform that is associated with any local EMS agency. I am unclear who her employer supposedly is. The second photo, showing her EMS “equipment” is all stuff that could be purchased at CVS.

    Finally, you say “Brown is always on call for the HSU campus as a paramedic”. HSU is not an approved ALS provider with North Coast EMS and could not possibly have someone work in the paramedic scope in their name and, again, per CA EMSA, she is not employed or licensed as a paramedic, so this statement is unclear.

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