Danielle Fauteux never knows when the call will come that sends her racing out the door and off to an emergency in her neighborhood. It could be in the middle of dinner or while she is doing homework; one call came right before a school pep rally.
But as a certified Emergency Medical Technician and a volunteer with the East Marion Fire Department, Fauteux, 18, knows that when the call comes she has to go.
“I am ready for anything,” said the East Marion resident. “You can never gauge when it will be. It will be a school night and I would get a call at 3 a.m. and I would go to school; that’s happened multiple times . . . I had a call where I was out til 5 a.m.”
But Fauteux considers being an EMT a calling, and she welcomes the responsibilities that go with it. She will attend St. John’s University and is considering majoring in biology. As she prepares to become a college freshman, Fauteux said she is most looking forward to living in a large city and taking advantage of all that it offers. Her goal is to become a physician assistant. She would also like to continue as a volunteer EMT while working on her degree and even do so after she graduates.
“I would really love to live in a city, just to get more of a city experience,” she said.
Fauteux was only 10 when she joined the East Marion Fire Department’s junior program, which educates young children about the workings of the fire department. Her father, Thomas, is a paramedic and her mother, Laura, is an EMT with the department.
“I would see my parents leave while we were eating dinner,” Fauteux recalled. “I would say, ‘I can’t wait to hop in the car with them and go on that call.’ ”
She became a certified first responder when she was 16 and then spent most of her senior year preparing to become an EMT. She trained in Port Jefferson, which meant driving more than 60 minutes each way to eight hours of training about once a week from October to March, sometimes on school nights and weekends.
Yet her schoolwork did not suffer, said her guidance counselor, Brandi Hopkins. Fauteux is a cadet in the NJROTC and works two jobs on the weekends, as a waitress and as a salesclerk in a Greenport boutique.
Danielle “puts herself to the side so she can help others,” Hopkins said.
Helping others is what motivated Fauteux to become an EMT. “Someone needs you there and you have the training to get them where they need to be and to provide them comfort at a time when they are at their most vulnerable,” she said.
WHAT MAKES YOU EXTRAORDINARY: “It [being an EMT] is a huge part of my life . . . and the hands-on experience makes me a stronger person as a whole.”