The emergency services administration is turning a passion into a career.

by Kurt Gottschalk

“Now I’m sitting in the ambulance and I’m looking things up in my textbooks. You just want to do it.”—Patrick Meyers

Patrick Meyers knew he wanted to spend his life saving lives from the time he was a child.

“I remember—growing up—you have these childhood games when you’re playing outside,” he said. “I was always leaning toward police and firefighter and doctor and it just kept going.”

Raised in upstate New York, Meyers began finding employment in emergency services as soon as he got out of high school, working in fire and emergency medical services while attending community college. Twelve years passed before a lucky click on a website took him to Adelphi University’s B.S. in Emergency Services Administration page. He started to see a way to build a passion into a career path.

“I was taking a Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) class so I could get into the 911 system in New York City and saw a link for FEMA-recommended programs,” he said. “I started doing research on emergency management and thought, ‘That looks interesting, and, when I can’t keep up with the young bucks, I’ll be able to move off the street.’ I didn’t even realize this was out there. I never knew this was an option.”

Meyers, now a certified 911 responder working at Maimonides Medical Center in Queens while taking classes at Adelphi, hopes to move into police work once he graduates. The University’s flexibility for working students has made pursuing a degree possible, he said, and his enthusiasm is earning him the best grades of his life. He even allowed that he has unexpectedly become something of a bookworm.

“My wife has been trying for eight years to get me to sit down and read a book,” he said. “Now I’m sitting in the ambulance and I’m looking things up in my textbooks. You just want to do it.”

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