Fire Technology and EMT Program

Student Successes

Tai Li Harrill

Tai Li has had a long-time interest in medicine; however, after high school she wasn't ready to commit to attending a four-year university. She took the EMT course at Cabrillo and "really really loved it."

I absolutely loved the program and the fantastic faculty," says Tai Li. "The faculty is 100% committed to the students' success and ability to find a fulfilling career.

She has continued her career path by working as an EMT for two years and then attending paramedic school in Livermore. She is now a paramedic in Santa Barbara. Both at Cabrillo and in Santa Barbara Tai Li has taught in EMT labs.

She loves her job. "When starting this job, you don't know what it entails. In the program I had the opportunity to hear real-life stories and work with great instructors who encouraged my education in EMS. I love everything about the work, the good and the bad."

Tai Li still dreams of being a doctor, focusing on becoming a surgeon. As she works as a paramedic, she is a full-time student working on pre-requisites for medical school.

The program and my jobs greatly shaped my decision to focus on trauma," says Tai Li.

Alex Walther

Alex started at Cabrillo as a journalism major, but as it became time to transfer he felt deeply that it wasn't the right path. With Alex having one more semester left at Cabrillo, a friend suggested taking an EMT class. He took the class, with no intent in going to paramedic school.

Turned out I loved everything I was learning that semester. For the first time, learning was interesting and homework not a chore.

Alex at first thought paramedic school would be too hard, but at the end of the semester he wanted to learn more and go deeper. Faculty encouraged him to think about paramedic school, knowing that he would succeed. He took all of the pre-requisites at Cabrillo while working on an ambulance and as a TA in Logan Goettsch's lab. He considers Logan a wonderful mentor.

I love being able to give students my own take on what I used to struggle with and watch a light bulb turn on," Alex says.

He just graduated paramedic school, still works in the lab, and works in the ER for 12-hour shifts. He plans on applying to fire departments in the future.

Alex finds it rewarding "to be there for somebody on possibly the worst day of their life, even if it's just holding their hand or getting them a blanket. It is a tremendous privilege to have the opportunity to help folks out in their time of need.