Ben Muller’s biggest hobby is, quite literally, saving lives.
At 17, Ben is Weston’s youngest emergency medical technician (EMT).
The Weston High School senior has wanted to become one for as long as he can remember.
“Everyone is drawn to something,” he said. “A lot of young kids really love trucks, but I always liked to see ambulances driving by.”
Ben began his work by taking an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) class. An EMR has many of the same responsibilities as an EMT, but cannot become as immersed as an EMT can. The EMR class is about 60 hours to completion, while Ben’s EMT training took around 200 hours. He took the EMT class throughout his junior year of high school and met every Wednesday night for three hours and every other Sunday for six hours.
Even though Ben is officially an EMT, his age restricts him doing certain things, like driving the ambulance or signing documents.
Despite that, Ben’s mentors have nothing but praise for the quality of his work.
“He is an incredibly mature young man and has been a pleasure to have on the squad,” said Weston Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Human Resources Director Karyl McGill. “When he’s on a call he is very self-directed.”
JT Sollazzo, the chief of Weston EMS, described Ben’s personality as “very take-charge,” which he claims is an extremely important trait for an EMT to have.
“He shows all the right leadership skills,” Sollazzo said. “He has really stepped up to the plate and done a wonderful job.”
Sollazzo did mention that Ben needs to have a senior member with him at all times because of his age, but emphasized that he is “doing everything that the state will allow him to do.”
Ben loves EMS work because of the adrenaline rush and the fact that he feels like his contribution is important.
“You’re seeing people on the worst days of their lives, he said. “But I feel like I’m contributing something to society in a way that I really want to.”
While Ben declined to go into specifics because of ethical reasons, he mentioned he was proud of a cardiac arrest call that he went on where he felt as if he had a substantial impact.
Ben, the son of David and Diana Muller, has a short list of colleges he wants to attend next year, Washington University in St. Louis or Tufts University near Boston, for example. He wants to follow a pre-med track, but whether or not the school has a student EMS service is a crucial deciding factor for him.
“I definitely want to continue doing this in college,” Ben said. “It’s not only picking up drunk kids from parties.”
Ben currently works for Weston EMS and has some shifts with Westport EMS.
In Weston, he has some assigned shifts but doesn’t necessarily need to be on call to go on a call. He’s had times when he was hanging out with friends but suddenly left when he got notification of a call.
In Westport, Ben works Friday nights from 6 to 11., but occasionally picks up additional shifts when he’s available.
Ben was awarded the silver President’s Volunteer Service Award in both 2014 and 2015. In his age range, the award honors those who have completed 175-249 hours annually doing a service that helps others.
The award is given by the Corporation of National and Community Service and the president of the United States.
But it’s clear that Ben isn’t doing this for the recognition; he’s doing it because he naturally wants to do something to make the world a better place.
“You know, I guess you can say I try to be a helpful person,” Ben said modestly.
He guessed correctly.