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EMT Alison Carroll tells why being a volunteer is so important

Each winter, Alison Carroll assists in ski patrol at Song Mountain, yet her desire to volunteer doesn't stop there. She recently joined the Fayetteville Fire Department in January 2008 after becoming a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) just months before. She works in retail full-time and has plans to return to school eventually. Her time is precious -- and packed. In her own words, Carroll explains how and why she chooses to give back to her community.

What attracted you to become a volunteer for the FFD?

I wanted to become involved in some type of community service and was interested in Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

How much of time is involved in being an EMT? What are some ways you juggle your personal life with your community involvement?

The volunteers each have one duty night per week, with each night made up of a two-person crew. The duty shift begins at 7 p.m. and ends at 6 a.m. the following morning. I usually try to keep many of my nights free so that I am able to cover when there are open shifts.

What's rewarding about being a volunteer?

Before I became an EMT and was able to watch paramedics in action, I had no idea the amount of time EMS members put into training in order to provide quality patient care during emergencies. So, it's nice to see that time spent training is worth it. I enjoy helping people out in any way, so I have fun doing this.

As an EMT, has any one incident made a deep impression on you?

Although I am a relatively new EMT, it seems on every call I've done, there is a moment that makes me realize that everyone working in EMS is appreciated by the patients and their families -- whether it's spoken or not. I think people are always thankful for the service that EMS members provide during what can be a scary and stressful time, which to me is a big reason I like doing it.

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