Joey Ybarra didn't hold back as he shared his personal journey with 60 students in the Corona High library. He started off working for a pizza parlor and a tuxedo shop in high school and HATED it! He knew he wanted to do something in the medical field but didn’t know what so he decided to take the EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) program offered at the Ben Clark Training Center. He worked for three years as an EMT before continuing his education to become a paramedic. He impressed upon the students the importance of taking English, Medical Biology, and Medical Spanish and keeping their grades high. He also gave them some valuable tips - you have to write well to be a paramedic and many companies will pay you to get your training!
He was frank with students about his personal choice to become a paramedic - he doesn't care for the hospital environment, florescent lights, and being indoors all the time. He has been a paramedic for five years and LOVES going to work! When he is not running a call, he has the freedom to do things that are fun, but it can get very busy with as many as 20-24 calls in a 24-hour period! "It's a high stress environment," he shared, "but all the training helps you to not be scared and you know what to do when the time comes.” His most exciting experience was deliving a baby in the back of the ambulance while his partner drove. The baby had the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck and he had to think quickly to save it. On a more serious note he shared the gravity of his responsibility as a paramedic: “YOU are the one they are relying on to keep them alive and [still] you can’t save them all; some have died." The upside? "I love being a part of things like this and find it very rewarding; especially when family come up to me and say thank you for saving their family member."
He closed by encouraging the students to get CPR certified (hands-only training is now offered through IHPC), and go on to become EMTs. "You can even work for sports teams and meet lots of people", he said. Did you know? EMT's can also work for cruise ships, oil rigs, ski resorts, and other exciting places!
Joey Ybarra works for AMR (American Medical Response) in Lake Elsinore. We thank him for taking the time to speak to our students about this important and exciting career!