EMT student Madison Snyder assists Frisco firefighters with a routine check of the equipment and supplies onboard their medic unit. about communication and how impor tant it is in health care,” Olson said. “Teamwork is big.” Many FISD health science students have high aspirations, but the skills and certifications they can earn in high school offer the flexibility to go right into the workforce or get a job in the field while they continue their education. “It’s neat that we are able to show them the pre-hospital setting. Whether they want to be a nurse, surgeon or pediatrician, it’s a great opportunity for them,” said Battalion Chief Jake Owen, who oversees emergency medical services for FFD. “Some that have come through the program have completely changed their minds.” For Wakeland High School senior Madison Snyder, the experience with the Frisco Fire Department has only solidified her interest in emergency medicine. “They have kind of lit a fire in me,” she said. “I love the adventure and excitement of it.” Snyder is earning her EMT certification through a dual-credit course with Collin College. After graduation, she plans to take additional courses at Collin to become a paramedic and eventually, a nurse. Already, she is applying the emergency medical care skills and concepts she’s 44 | FOCUS learned in class to a real-world environment. “The expectation is for them to get in and practice the skills that they have learned,” Owen said. It’s an opportunity the students – and firefighters – don’t take for granted. “This is a really great program,” Snyder said. “We are super lucky to have it.” “Having something like this at their age is fantastic,” added Matt Sapp, a Frisco firefighter and paramedic who worked with Snyder. “I wish I would have had something like this when I was in high school.” For earlier generations, deciding what college major or career path to pursue after high school took more time or financial investment. “The real value is kids get to experience a career field that they are interested in before they have to make a decision,” Owen said. “For me, it was trial and error. It’s great seeing the kids get an opportunity to pursue their dreams.” n Snyder plans to continue studying emergency medicine and hopes to become a paramedic and eventually, an ER nurse.