Meet Rashi Gupta, a CJPVFD EMT. Here, she is interviewed by CJPVFD administrative member, Dave Sidhu.
DS: What led you to volunteer with the Department?
RG: I was driving home from school one day when I read the sign outside the department "Volunteer Today!" and I thought, "why not?" I had heard of my friends volunteering in their neighborhood as EMTs and I always thought it was remarkable that one could be an EMT and help people at such a young age. From this thought, I was inspired and I submitted my initial application the moment I got home. That was hands down the best decision I have ever made. I love Potomac and to be able to give back is truly gratifying.
What have you found to be the most rewarding or fulfilling aspects of Department service?
The most fulfilling aspect of volunteering at Cabin John is the community aspect of patient care. It is truly remarkable to see the positive impact that we can have on people's lives, whether it is simply placing a warm blanket on a patient when they're cold or lending them a helping hand while stepping down the stairs. Helping people find reasons to smile on what may be one of the worst days of their lives is truly a gift that I treasure greatly.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspects of Department service?
One of the most significant aspects of volunteering at the fire department is the time commitment and the sacrifice we all make to be dedicated EMTs for Montgomery County Fire & Rescue. To commit to EMT class two weeknights and all day Sunday with one's assigned shift, as well as monthly meetings, and weekly training, is a considerable time commitment. However, every second was more than worth it. Being a part of the fire department family is truly one of the most valuable devotions and for this reason I happily dedicate all the time it takes to be a dedicated volunteer to Cabin John.
Where did you grow up, what did you want to be when you were young?
I was born and raised in Potomac, just down the road from Station 30. I have always wanted to be a doctor and explore the medical field like many members of my family. When I was younger I would always wear my mom's white coats and walk around the house putting stethoscopes to my family members and listen intently even though I had no idea what I was hearing. My mom has truly been my inspiration; to be able to be inspired by a strong, powerful woman really motivated me to work hard for the future I want, and volunteering at the fire station only furthered that passion.
Do you find your service to be helpful or useful in pursuing your professional goals?
I am a high school senior at Sidwell Friends School and EMT class certainly provided insight into my introductory biology course. More than that, however, being an EMT, interacting with patients of all backgrounds and personalities has instilled in me confidence and composure. This has shown me the power of empathy and how to better connect with people and become a more well rounded person.
What message do you have for anyone thinking about volunteering with CJPVFD? Would you recommend volunteering?
For anyone who is thinking about volunteering, do it! If you have a passion for volunteering, trust that instinct and apply today. Volunteering is a great way to give back the community we call home and if you truly commit to being dedicated and putting in your 100% effort, your experience will be as gratifying and rewarding as mine. One day, we might even have the pleasure of working a call together!
What hobbies do you have outside of work and volunteering?
Outside of working at the department I love watching football with friends and family. I am also a nationally ranked chess player ranked in the top 9% of female chess players globally. And I love long drives with beautiful, calming country music.