Posted April 29, 2013

Temple Made: Liz Schell

Name: Liz Schell

Year: Junior

School: College of Liberal Arts

Major: Neuroscience

Home town: Luzerne, Pa.

Why I chose Temple: "I only applied to Temple. I knew I wanted to come here. Everyone I knew who went to Temple never had a bad thing to say about it. I had my heart set as soon as I took a tour — I knew this was where I belonged. I fell in love with it. I come from a small town, and I wanted to go to an urban school. I wanted new experiences. And there are so many opportunities in Philadelphia, especially in medicine. The city is where all the cutting-edge medical research is."

Transformative experience: "I'm an emergency medical technician with Temple University Emergency Medical Services (TUEMS). I signed up as a freshman after hearing one of the student EMTs talk about it. It has been an amazing experience. I never in a million years thought I'd be riding through the city of Philadelphia saving lives.

"TUEMS is a student-run, bike-based volunteer organization working under Temple Campus Safety Services. We respond immediately on bikes to emergencies on and near Temple's Main Campus and provide initial triage and basic life support care until more advanced care arrives. The idea is to reduce strain on the Philadelphia Fire Department's medics. If a patient needs to go to the hospital, we prepare them. That reduces the time Fire Department medics have to be on the scene.

"I typically do two back-to-back four-hour overnight shifts — from 7:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. — about three times a month. I've had nights with no calls; I've had nights with eight or nine calls. We respond to everything from diabetic emergencies, asthma attacks, major trauma, car accidents — you name it, we've probably seen it. Have I helped save lives? Absolutely. But it's amazing just to help patients feel better. When we arrive, patients are relieved to see us. We have a calming effect.

"Being an EMT has impacted my future. I came to Temple undecided about my major. Now I know that I need to work in the emergency medical field. I can't picture working anywhere else."