It’s easy to get caught up in the monotony of the daily high school experience. However, the Chatham Emergency Squad (CES) Cadet Program offers a break from this pattern. The Cadet Program is an opportunity for current sophomores to join CES and receive full Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training.
CES cadets do it all—respond to motor vehicle accidents, take vitals, perform CPR, and ride in the ambulance across town. Adults are your peers, and you will be held to the same standards. The CES Cadet Program is a gateway to an incredibly rewarding way to serve the community, learn lasting lifesaving skills, and explore the professional medical world.
Volunteering at CES is unlike any other experience open to high schoolers. Where most high school programs force kids to take a backseat and watch, the CES Cadet Program puts you right in the thick of it. As a cadet for CES, you will ride on a shift at least once a week, respond in the ambulance to emergency 911 calls, and work as a team with the adult members of the Squad.
The current cadet class includes 6 seniors and 6 juniors. Former cadet, Sam Cooperman, reflects that “I initially became an EMT because I wanted to be there to help my community members when they’re having their worst day and do my part to make the situation just a little bit better. Now, I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing people and gain knowledge and experiences that will always stick with me.” Aside from their weekly shifts, cadets give ambulance tours, staff community events, help run blood drives, and continue to ride when they are home from college. Things have certainly changed because of the pandemic within CES, but the Cadet Program has adapted as well to allow cadets to participate while staying safe.
If this opportunity sounds like something you would want to chase, consider applying. To apply, you must:
- Be a Chatham resident.
- Be a high school sophomore in good academic standing.
- Turn 16 years old by July 1, 2022.
- Attend the mandatory parent and applicant meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 7:00pm.
There will be an application and interview process to select the new cadet class. Accepted cadets will begin riding on a weekly shift in late June of 2022 and continue with their crews until high school graduation (where you can then become certified as an adult member). Accepted cadets will also need to complete a 200 hour State of NJ EMT initial training course and pass the NREMT exam to become nationally certified. Once certified, CES members can officially ride in 40 states, many able to continue their service in college.
For more information, head to chathamemergencysquad.org or reach out to anyone you see cruising around school in a cool EMT sweatshirt.