Monday, March 12, 2012

The Power of Passion

  This past weekend our middle son Aron received his EMT certification. An EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician who works on an ambulance and fire truck.  It is a process that began eleven months ago, when Aron joined the Rockville Volunteer  Fire Department.  He has volunteered at the fire station and on the ambulance  every Wednesday night after school until 11.00pm, juggling 11th grade schoolwork and his father’s illness and brain surgery.  He has  gone on  emergency calls from 5.00pm until 7.00am the next day, on Saturday nights and during  school breaks. He has attended calls to attempted suicide victims, car crashes and sick infants, fall and  stroke victims and a pregnant woman whose  water had broken. On top of that time commitment, he has also  completed 131 hours of classroom  training and 12 exams  to become a state of Maryland certified EMT.

In this age of helicopter parenting and being connected to our children 24/7 via phone, text, email and Facebook,  it came as quite  a shock to us, to wave Aron off,at the age of 16  into the belly of the local fire station.

Unlike a  teenager on a sports team, where, as parents,  you meet the coach, other players and their parents, we did not meet the people who have taught Aron or his fellow EMTs aged between 16 and 65.  From the moment Aron sent off the application to fulfill a passion he has had since he was a toddler, he has been on his own, navigating the ropes of a new world.

Aron has always loved the emergency services. His most prized toys were his model fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles. Ever the pragmatist, even at three years old,  Aron argued vociferously with Benjy the imagineer, that dinosaurs did not  belong on his road  play-mat, along side his four wheeled machines. Whenever we were driving  in the car and we heard a siren, Aron would beg me to follow the sound. Now he is an EMT travelling in the ambulance and  the sirens are  blaring above him.

Aron has had to step out of his comfort zone to achieve his goal and this has been a big challenge. Any of you who know him, are aware that he is a homebody who  loves to sleep late in the mornings and  is all knowledgeable about the FBI,  Apple Mac products, CSI  and his friends. He  eats bagels and cream cheese at all hours of the day and night, is  empathetic and wise, very tall,   ( not sure where those genes came from) and incredibly funny  and is very hesitant  about delving into new situations. Therefore  training to be an EMT and all that  it  entails has been a huge leap for him, but one, that  due to his passion, he has not passed up.

And this weekend, at his graduation we  finally met Aron’s mentors and colleagues, including his working partner, Ian who  is a 55 year old engineer, originally from the UK, and alongside Aron, has also qualified as an EMT this weekend. We have had a glimpse into his new world, watched him mature as he has asserted himself  and solved logistical and practical problems related to his days on call and his training. As his parents, we  are very appreciative of the mentoring and training he has received and so proud of Aron for overcoming his fears in order to seize every opportunity to learn and grow in this environment. The power of his passion superseded his doubts and worries and desire to sleep in and stay home.

Aron has reached this milestone through determination,commitment  and sheer hard work and without any parental intervention.  No helicoptering for us, (ok we hovered at a distance), and now he is going to follow another passion; he has signed up for firefighter training this summer. But that’s a post for another time...


  1. Wow - that is really impressive. I can hear how proud you are of him through your words and rightly so. Kol Hakavod Aron!

  2. Hi Rachel,
    We are all very excited to have a fully fledged EMT in the house not least because we are a very accident prone
    family! Thanks very much for your good wishes.

  3. Wow! Mazal Tov to Aron; amazing at any time, but especially so considering the past year. Aron, you should be exceptionally proud of yourself and your achievement. You can all schlapp lots of nachus :) With love from us all........
    Oh, and by the way, I just love your blogs - it is a wonderful way of keeping up with your news. Don't stop!

  4. Thank you so much for posting a message Janice. I'll pass on your congrats to Aron. Hope you are enjoying your new home.
    Lots of love Gillyxx

  5. Wow! Yasher koach to Aron. One of the Upper School teachers (Howard Weinstein, maybe? Lizzy had him for anatomy.) invited his students to come to the B-CC Volunteer station for an evening to ride along with him during one of his shifts as an EMT. Lizzy took him up on it, and found it a very interesting experience.

    And I just started reading your blog (from the beginning, of course) today, and have been thoroughly enjoying it - especially already knowing the outcome of Jonny's surgery.

    Bill Landau

  6. Bill -thank you for your good wishes for Aron and for your feedback on my blog. I hope you will continue to read and enjoy!-Gilly