McGregor Memorial EMS is fortunate to have a large cadre of volunteers comprised of local residents, staff and UNH students. We pride ourselves in giving all members the opportunity to advance their clinical, social and leadership skills. This is especially true for our UNH students. Many of them come to us as first-year students or sophomores where we have their services for some two to three years. It is enormously rewarding to see them mature in all aspects of McGregor and college life.
Our students are typically those who excel academically as many have aspirations of continuing in the health care field. With desires of medical school, physician’s assistant schools, advanced nursing studies and paramedic schools, our students work diligently toward their goals. Remarkable is that many carry full UNH course loads while still devoting the requisite monthly 32 to 40 hours of volunteer time with McGregor. Providing around-the-clock coverage requires that these students spend day, evening and overnight times at the station. Frequently, a call or two disrupts sleep yet they arise the next morning and head to class. Many students far exceed the minimum volunteer times by devoting some 80 to 100 hours of service in a month. In 2015, all members devoted over 30,000 hours of service – an enviable record for any organization.
Each UNH Commencement is a bittersweet time for me as Executive Director. On the one hand, I witness graduates moving on to their respective careers – many of who were selected as a result of their experience with us. On the other hand, we lose immensely talented people who provided excellent patient care and who mentored others moving up through the ranks. Letters of resignation are heartfelt and reflect what they have learned while with us. Frequently mentioned is the culture of inclusion that we work so hard to nurture and preserve. Camaraderie is often mentioned as are life-long friendships that have been developed.
As May 21st approaches, my demeanor becomes somewhat melancholy knowing I will sincerely miss the presence, professionalism, caring, compassion, mentorship and contributions of these dedicated students. We wish each of them the greatest success in their careers.