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In honor of #EMSweek2021, we want to pay tribute to a very special volunteer, Lauren Carey who became a paramedic at only 20 years old! “It hasn’t sunk it yet,” Lauren said 2 days after passing her exam. “I’m taking a week off and I don’t know what to do with my time until I go back to work next wek,” she laughed. 

Between going to college, volunteering for ACEing Autism Pittsburgh and working 600 clinical hours in one year, Lauren has been an inspiration to us all. 

She was drawn to volunteer 3 years ago for ACEing Autism through her personal experience with cousins on the spectrum and her love of tennis. “I love seeing them comeback, they all form friendships with each other, and they are so excited to see each other every time. It brightens your day and it’s nice for the parents to take a breather for an hour. 

Like everybody, nothing this past year was normal but Lauren persevered. She did more hours to get all her tasks done in the ER because of liability issues due to COVID-19 restrictions and she drove 45 minutes to take her cognitive exam. Another impressive note? Only 40 students were admitted into the University of Pittsburgh emergency medicine program!

So, what’s next for Lauren? Going back into the ambulance next week and starting her summer session. During her senior year, Lauren will take clinical classes, ethics, and legal understanding. “I want to add flight paramedic and take the critical care exam,” she said enthusiastically. “I hope to work for a year or two as an EMS and hope to go to PA (Physician Assistant) school to possibly stay in the ER or ICU. I love to spend time with my patients!”

Lauren saw her volunteer and EMS work play into each other. “Being an EMS, I use my people skills, how to handle certain situations to help kids” she stated. “I’ve also used situations that happened from ACEing Autism into work.” 

Congratulations Lauren on all your success and your future endeavors! We are so proud to have you as part of our ACEing Autism family.