Local non-profit give timely EMT classes to teens

MEDFORD, Ore.– 20 year old Angel Alvarez is a student at Rogue Community College and a volunteer at Mercy Flights Explorers.

The program trains kids ages 14 to 20 on emergency medical procedures.

“The Explorer Program provides a program to bring up the next generation of EMT’s and paramedics, but it also provides community service,” says Ed Sutton, instructor with the program.

Alvarez was just 5 years old when he had his first experience with mercy flights EMT’s.

“When we first started out here we did speak a lot of English, couldn’t understand English, couldn’t really communicate well; my mom was a diabetic and having a Mercy Flights paramedic who could speak and reassure us was a great blessing,” says Alvarez.

Alvarez now volunteers as a Spanish translator for Mercy Flights.

He, along with his fellow students, spent over 100 hours each volunteering at the Jackson County Expo since the Almeda Fire.

“Life really came full circle when I finally got to be that person that was translating like that Mercy Flights paramedic did when I was younger.”

Alvarez is now providing the same kind of help his family received a long time ago.

“Translate at such a young age and help your parents fill out government documents while your friends are playing tag or playing video games is just a different reality than some people live.”

Mercy Flights Explorers Post 131 is the official name of the group of students and instructors.

Sutton says over 7 hundred and 60 hours were volunteered collectively at the Expo until the American Red Cross arrived days after the fire started.

Alvarez will be receiving his EMT certification in January and says he hopes to volunteer with the Jackson County Search and Rescue Team.


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