From a young age, Firuz Barotov always knew that he wanted to work in the healthcare industry. Driven by a passion to help others, Firuz Barotov played a vital role in making quick and decisive decisions for patients in emergency situations during his time as an EMT. Having recently shifted his focus to helping schools monitor students for COVID-19, Firuz Barotov continues working towards his goal of becoming a nurse anesthesiologist. With the ability to leave his emotions at the door and focus on the task at hand, Firuz Barotov is beyond grateful for his experience as an EMT.

Firuz Barotov shares insight into what it was like working as an EMT, how he handles stressful situations, and what he does to prepare for the day ahead.

What inspired you to become an EMT?

At first, it was the experience of working in healthcare and helping people that initially drew me towards the profession. However, over time, I became intrigued by the job setting, meeting different people every day, and being able to make a real difference in the lives of the individuals I serve. This continues to be my focus as I continue on my career path towards becoming a nurse anesthesiologist.

Where do you get your motivation from?

I have always wanted to make my parents proud, which has continued to be my primary motivation as an EMT worker. Another motivation is the satisfaction of being able to provide hope to patients on what is often the worst day of their lives. In crisis situations, a little bit of kindness can go a long way, and I felt like I was able to make a real difference in our patients lives. My current motivation is being able to support children, parents, and teachers as the school year begins in the middle of a pandemic.

Other than medical training and knowledge, what attributes make a great EMT?

You have to be mentally strong enough to be able to handle the situations you will face in that line of work. The hours are long and the pay is fairly low, so you have to love what you do, because it is physically, emotionally, and psychologically draining. You need to be level-headed and ready to see anything and react accordingly. One minute you have a well breathing and calm talking patient and the next he is having a stroke. It can be extremely scary, but also rewarding when you are able to turn things around for them.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

While there is very little ‘typical’ about a day as an EMT, there are some commonalities. A typical workday started with equipping myself with personal gear (ID, scissors, pen light, stethoscope etc.). I would then check to make sure the ambulance was fully stocked, the light and sirens were functioning correctly with a full tank of gas and none of the warning lights were on in the speedometer. Then I would tell dispatch that we were ready over the radio and heading to the neighborhood we usually sat in (unless the dispatch assigned us a call to go to from base).

We would then go to the calls, assess the scene and determine if police, fire or additional EMT was necessary, assess the patient(s), determine if transport was necessary (emergency or non-emergency). Depending on the shift, we would go to 3-12 calls a day. After you are done with all the calls you could then come back to base to park the ambulance, do paperwork if you need to and go home.

How do you mentally prepare for the workday?

When I wake up in the morning, I take the time to attend to all of my personal responsibilities. From meal prep to doing the laundry and checking in on loved ones, this allows me to focus all of my mental energy on being present at work. I do my best to leave all of my personal affairs at home in order to be my best self at work.

How did you get involved with conducting COVID monitoring for schools?

I wanted to be able to use my skill set to respond to a greater need in my community. In hopes of keeping our children safe as they return to school, there was a great need I felt I had to fill.

What advice would you give readers interested in becoming an EMT?

If you are interested in becoming an EMT for the money or as a career, I would not recommend it. The profession of EMT is a stepping stone for something else in the health field that requires more education and experience. It is difficult to maintain for long periods of time due to the emotional toll it can take. You need to be able to separate yourself from the situations you face on a daily basis. Ultimately, you must be passionate about what you do, to be successful in this line of work. 

How has this pandemic affected your daily commitments?

The pandemic has completely uprooted the lives of many individuals; however, my job tends to remain constant. Through COVID testing, I now have a job that I would not have been able to have otherwise. As I am still leaving my home to attend to my work commitments, very little about my life has changed, other than wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing, and using hand sanitizer on an hourly basis.

What trends are you most excited about in the medical world?

The COVID-19 pandemic has showcased the incredible efficiency that medical experts, immunologists, and biotechnologists have in being able to coordinate efforts to come up with a test and vaccine. The rate and speed at which we are able to communicate has increased our response efforts. This will not be the last pandemic our generation will face, and this preparation gives me great hope for the future.

How do you suppress your emotions when arriving at the scene of an accident?

It takes time, patience, and practice. I have always been good at keeping my emotions at bay in high stress situations, and that has served me greatly as an EMT. Emotions can turn a bad situation into a worst one. Whether you are a CEO, customer service assistant, or barista, keeping calm under high pressure situations will help you make thoughtful, calculated, and better decisions.

What is your proudest moment as an EMT?

There are so many moments that stick out in my mind. However, one of the stand-out moments was when I helped a mother who could not stop bleeding through her nose and she was very thankful for my help. Thanking me and my partner non-stop because we were able to transport her quickly before she lost too much blood.

What’s next for Firuz Barotov?

As COVID-19 has shown us all, it is difficult to create a concrete plan and expect everything to go accordingly. However, I am going to finish nursing school, become a nurse, further my education, and build a career as a nurse anesthesiologist. While things may change along the way, I know that I will end up working in the healthcare field helping people.