A young man with a strong interest in public service and helping others has paved the way for Weston teenagers to become certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
Aaron Pomerance, 17, was recently approved as Weston’s first EMT under the age of 18.
“We are happy to bring Aaron on board. He has great enthusiasm and a great work ethic,” said J.T. Sollazzo, Weston EMT chief. Aaron will be welcomed to the group at the next EMS meeting in November.
Working with Weston High School Principal Lisa Wolak and Mr. Sollazzo, Aaron proposed the creation of an EMT program with Weston EMS modeled after the Explorer’s programs in Westport and Darien.
Weston’s program took about a year to fully develop, but thanks to Aaron’s efforts other Weston teens are now eligible to become part of the town’s emergency services scene.
Although Aaron received his EMT certification last year from Bridgeport Hospital, he soon learned he could not assist Weston EMS because he was under 18, and there was no program in place for minors in the town’s EMS program. So while waiting for Weston to accept teen EMTs, he volunteered in the EMS Explorer Post 61 of Westport.
In Bridgeport and Westport, Aaron worked alongside regular EMTs in training drills and also went on ambulance calls. He helped people who were ill, suffered heart attacks, or needed trauma care.
“I realized that being an EMT was a good thing in order to save a life. It is an experience most people don’t have and it creates special bonds,” Aaron said.
In Westport, Aaron was allowed to do things other EMTs did such as give out medications, administer oxygen, and affix bandages. The only thing he wasn’t allowed to do was drive an ambulance.
“Now that there is a procedure in place in Weston, I hope other teens will be interested in becoming EMTs,” Aaron said.
Aaron is a modest person and calls himself “a regular kid.” His father is Hy Pomerance, head of human resources for New York Life, and his mother Susan is a manager at TD Bank in Wilton. He has one brother, Ian, a freshman at Weston High School.
Aaron is one of six captains of the Weston High School football team and is a section editor of The Journal, the school newspaper. After he graduates, he plans to attend Tufts University and study medicine, biology, English, and writing.
Lisa Wolak, Weston High School principal, supported Aaron’s proposal to allow teens to become certified EMTs in Weston. She had experience with teen EMTs in Darien, where she lives, when they answered a call to her home to help her husband.
“I thought the Darien program was wonderful and it would be something good for Weston, too,” she said.
Ms. Wolak called Aaron Pomerance an “ideal candidate” to be Weston’s first teen EMT. “He’s the perfect person to bridge this program. He’s very serious and understands confidentiality. It’s a wonderful opportunity,” she said.
Mr. Solazzo, who Aaron calls his mentor, started out as an EMT at a young age, too. He said bringing teens into the Weston’s EMT program, which is an all-volunteer organization, is a wonderful stepping stone for the younger generation. “It’s a way for them to pay things forward,” he said.
Weston EMS is a squad of 40 men and women trained in the latest life-saving techniques. They are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provide free emergency care services and ambulance transport to the hospital. The group has regular practice drills and organizational meetings.
Mr. Solazzo helped Aaron get involved with Westport EMS and looks forward to having Aaron join Weston EMS. Even after Aaron graduates from Weston High School, Mr. Solazzo said Aaron can still work with Weston EMS because the group has a special membership program for college students. “I look forward to a long career with Aaron,” Mr. Sollazzo said.
Through the special membership program, students up to 21 years old may work with Weston EMS on their breaks and vacations. Weston currently has four slots open for college students interested in joining the squad. “It’s a great opportunity for students who are homebound,” Mr. Sollazzo said.
For more information about college or teen EMT membership call Mr. Sollazzo at 203-515-1963.