There are 23 students at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and other colleges in the area that volunteer for McGregor Memorial Emergency Medical Services, according to McGregor volunteerism coordinator Joe Haviland. McGregor is “regional, non-profit organization providing emergency healthcare and education to the New Hampshire Seacoast Region,” according to McGregor’s website. It is the ambulance service for UNH, Durham, Lee and Madbury, where it has served in these communities for over 50 years.
Student emergency medical technicians (EMTs), like Alexander Moir and Nicholas Brown, serve their community and go to school full-time. The number of hours that they work each week differs on the amount of calls that they receive. Moir and Brown enjoy serving the community, and enjoy being able to help a community they live in.
Moir volunteers for McGregor Memorial EMS during the week and works for Henniker Fire and Rescue during the weekends.
“Working in a community I live in and go to school connects me with some of the locals and other students,” Moir said. “The students may not remember me or want to later on, but they remember the care I provided for them. The locals in Durham have appreciated all that McGregor Memorial EMS has done for them.”
Moir said it is difficult to find a balance with school and some of the stress on the ambulance. He said there are other ways to relieve these stresses like hanging out with friends, going to the gym, or going to sleep, but he works nights at both McGregor and Henniker Fire and Rescue. At McGregor, he normally works from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and gets a quick nap before class. There are, however, sometimes where he’s on call for a long period of time and when he gets home, he must go straight to class.
“What is great about working night shifts that helps with school is I am always up doing homework in between calls,” he said.
Brown said there is a huge amount of pride and satisfaction from being able to serve the students of UNH, and residents of Durham, Lee and Madbury.
“I work with some of the smartest and most selfless people I know they help to share the weight of what can happen and make every shift a blessing,” Brown said. “I think most EMTs would agree, we love what we do, and there is no greater joy than to help someone in need.”
To him, it’s priceless being able to serve others despite having a hard time balancing work, going to class, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and his social life. The shifts vary depending on how many calls there that night. Brown said there are some days where they’re so busy they can hardly catch their breath at the station, where other days there aren’t any calls for twelve or more hours.
The chair of McGregor EMS, Matthew Willet, said that it’s vital to the organization’s operations that they have new student EMTs volunteer. According to Willet, the majority of the active EMTs are UNH students.
“The students at UNH bring an unrivaled energy, enthusiasm and time commitment that we’ve come to rely on,” Willet said.