Hello, my name is Chloe Looman and I am this year’s Captain of Michigan Tech EMS. Our agency certifies students and local community members to the EMT level, and in exchange, we volunteer as responders to the Michigan Tech campus and surrounding community. Our response time is mere minutes in comparison to the Mercy ambulance company, which can sometimes take 30-40 minutes to respond as they serve the whole Keweenaw Peninsula.
As Captain, I oversee the three to four responding squads that rotate being on call every 72-96 hours. My journey with the agency began when I was lucky enough to be selected as one of a handful of incoming first-years to the EMT class. The course each year trains about 16-20 students to be EMTs (the lowest level certification that can work in an ambulance) in exchange for volunteering as a responder for a full academic year afterward. Coming to MTU I had my sights set on medical school. I love creative problem solving and people, despite being an introvert, but had little evidence that medicine would be where I would truly thrive. I joined the program not only as a way to gain experience prior to med school but also as a way to explore the clinical side of things.
Through my involvement with the agency, I got just that, and so much more. The EMT course for me was like 3D school. Our tests were practicals where we had to physically demonstrate our skills with the equipment and learn how to ask all the right questions as well as think on our feet. The personal growth I got during the course was immense, and it confirmed that medicine was absolutely the right path for me. After earning my EMT license I got a job as a medical responder at Michigan’s Adventure where I got to treat patients all summer long. This set me up to be very prepared for the next academic year when I was responding with MTU EMS. Living in the dorms gave me the extra advantage of often being the first responder on the scene many times. I got to initiate and direct patient care as well as establish how to take a good care report.
In my second year responding, I got to take the role of Squad Leader. With this position, I got to take a more directive role with my squadmates. In the second semester of that year, I got to move to Lieutenant of my own squad, where I was in charge of driving the EMS Tahoe to scenes and overseeing the patient care. I loved that in this role I got to use my leadership skills to delegate tasks and allow my newer responders to also get the same formative experiences I had gotten as a general responder.
For my final year at MTU as Captain of the agency, it has been incredible to get to direct the inner workings of the agency having served every role at some point myself. I love that with my experience as an introverted leader, I get to use my role to encourage the participation and ideas of every member as well as work closely with the class of students that may someday take my place. Michigan Tech EMS has allowed me to develop strong leadership skills as well as discover that medicine is where I feel most at home. I am currently on three medical school waitlists and eager for a lifetime of treating patients.