ProAction Emergency Services Institute
For most people, fire stations are simply associated with putting out fires. For Sarely Santa Cruz, a visit to a fire station was the spark that started a fire in her to pursue a career in the medical field. And at ProAction Emergency Services Institute, she earned the EMT skills that continue to keep that fire burning.
Sarely grew up in the San Elizario area of El Paso, and after graduating from Eastlake High School, she enrolled in university courses. When not in school, she worked at an office supply store that was frequented by EMTs from the area. One day, one of the EMTs asked her whether she might be interested in a career like his and invited her to visit the San Elizario fire station in her neighborhood.
That was all it took. Sarely soon became a volunteer at the fire station, working under the watchful eye of two long-time fire chiefs at the station Michael Martinez, a veteran of 15 years, and Ray Trevizo, a 40-year veteran.
“If it hadn’t been for the fire department, I would not have enrolled and pursued the career,” Sarely said. “It was a challenging time for me. Martinez and Trevizo really inspired me.”
After examining her options and listening to recommendations, she decided to attend ProAction to earn her Emergency Medical Technician certification. She graduated from the program in 2020.
Sarely’s next goal is to become a speech pathologist. In the meantime, she is applying her training from ProAction in the emergency room of the Hospitals of Providence at the Edgemere and East Campus facilities, where she assists nurses and doctors in a hectic environment.
“I’m an emergency room technician,” she said. “I do pretty much anything that the nurses and doctors need – triage, taking vitals, helping set up the patients, setting up rooms, taking ECGs and labs. All of that stuff and more.”
She sees her goal to get a degree in speech pathology will be a close tie-in to her work as an emergency medical technician.
“I’ll still work in a hospital environment,” she said. “I’ll be helping out patients with speech impairment that may have come from a stroke or some other medical condition.”
Thanks to her training at ProAction, Sarely’s fire is still burning bright.