'I made a commitment': Student volunteeers brave coronavirus to serve others

A small group of student emergency volunteers has decided to wait out the coronavirus pandemic by remaining on campus and working as volunteer paramedics and firefighters.

About 30 students compose the volunteer group at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. Alongside their online courses, these students are ensuring that the fire and rescue departments of St. Michael’s Fire & Rescue are fully capable and ready to respond to any emergency during the pandemic 

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“I made a commitment to be here and help out this community.” aid Coline Redeker, a St. Michael’s senior and crew chief with St. Michaels Fire & Rescue. 

“I actually was on spring break. I went to Carolina. I was called and told that if I didn’t get back soon enough, I wouldn’t be able to come back and help. I decided to come back and help because of what this organization means to me,” Redeker added.

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In the uncertain public health conditions, the student volunteers are dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) while responding to emergencies. 

“Every time we go out on calls, every time we respond to something, it’s certainly a thought in my mind saying, ‘Oh, are these people that I’m helping afflicted with the coronavirus?” said firefighter and EMT Maxwell Zwiener who volunteers with the department.

“Saint Michael’s is so proud of the student volunteer paramedics and firefighters who have been serving our campus and wider community for 50 years as of 2020,” St. Michael’s Marketing & Communications director Alessandro Bertoni told Campus Reform.

“They represent the heart of Saint Michael’s as they live out the College mission in their self-sacrifice and service to others, especially during this pandemic crisis which we are all facing today,” Bertoni added.

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