The Siren Call of Tenafly’s EMTs

The Siren Call of Tenafly’s EMTs

Amidst the bustling halls and engaging classrooms of Tenafly High School, a unique group of students stands at the ready to answer emergency calls in a heartbeat. These are not your typical teenagers; they are Tenafly’s EMTs, who are rigorously trained and committed to saving the lives of the people in Bergen County. Each siren call that echoes within the town is a reminder of how these students prove that age is just a number that makes no difference in one’s ability to positively affect the lives of others. Three current Tenafly EMTs are Mira Shah (’24), Anisha Gupta (’25), and Ellie Wodeslavsky (’25).

“I first became interested in becoming an EMT because I love medicine and wanted to take a step forward in that direction,” Wodeslavsky said. “It was challenging as the course was rigorous, but it was worth it. I love the community of people I work with and am so grateful for this opportunity.”

Before becoming full-fledged EMTs, students are required to take a study course to learn about the social and professional aspects of handling patients, as well as patient medical care. Students are expected to pass numerous tests and take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. The commitment level expectation is high, as students must be properly trained to handle taking EMT calls throughout the day and experience what it is like to actively be responsible for patients who need help. EMT volunteers are expected to be on call for six-hour shifts once a week and on call for six-hour shifts twice a month during the weekends. 

“The schedule is very flexible, Gupta said. “I can choose which days I want my shifts to be, and they change every month according to my schedule.” Gupta reflected how, although the initial training process was time consuming and difficult, it was worthwhile. “I would recommend getting involved with the EMT program because it’s a great experience, especially if you’re interested in medicine. One crazy story I have is about a man who needed CPR at 1:30 a.m. when I was on call. It was so scary because he fell, hit his nose, and stopped breathing.”

EMT provides volunteers with a glimpse into real medical emergencies and teaches them how to implement textbook ideas into reality. While theoretical knowledge gained from studying is important, it is only part of the equation. EMT volunteers must learn how to apply what they know while also practicing quick thinking and resourcefulness. Furthermore, each volunteer has the responsibility of ensuring that the patient feels safe. This extends beyond medical care; volunteers must also offer emotional support. 

“Being an EMT is very hands-on, and you get to put into practice a lot of skills you’d normally just be reading about,” Shah said. “It’s amazing to see how a few people can make such a difference in someone’s health outcomes. This has been a valuable experience for me, and it has pushed me further towards the path of medicine.” 

Tenafly’s EMT corps is a testament to the unyielding dedication and care each volunteer has toward his/her community. For students interested in pursuing a career in medicine or who are curious about this field, training to be an EMT volunteer can help provide early and valuable experiences. To apply or learn more, check out Tenafly’s EMT corps at

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About the Contributor
Kailyn Cho
Kailyn Cho, Senior Staff Writer
Kailyn Cho ('25) is excited to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. She enjoys playing tennis, traveling around the world, and chasing sunsets.