A lot of cadets work hard to earn good grades and positive recognition. 1/C David Afienko (Norwell, MA), then a Marine Transportation major, changed a whole lot more than he bargained for after receiving his EMT certification. He thought the training would expand his employability when applying for shipboard positions. In the meantime, certificate in hand, he applied for a summer job at LifeLine Ambulance Services and, that was the beginning of what is surely a “lifelong” relationship!
As top student, Afienko, a 2009 graduate of Norwell High School, now an Academy senior with a new major - Emergency Management, was offered a weekend job by Bob Roderick, Vice President of LifeLine. While working thirty-hour shifts and keeping up with demanding academic requirements, Afienko, along with two underclassmen
2/C Ian Memmi (Hershey, PA) and 2/C Robert Krupa (Acushnet, MA), and upperclassman 1/C Kimberly Courcy (Warwick, RI), came up with the idea of creating an EMS service on campus.
“During one of my ambulance shifts, at Seekonk Speedway, I mentioned this scheme to Mr. Roderick, thinking he would be interested and have some good advice. He was more than impressed. Before I knew it, he had the owner of LifeLine, Brian Connor, visiting campus and talking about donating an ambulance to the cause. They both offered hours and hours of mentoring and guidance. They made the licensure process seem easy,” Afienko explained, “LifeLine has also been running a semester EMT course at the Academy, tailored to the cadet’s busy schedule, an important contribution to MMA’s EMS service,” he continued.
To date, Lifeline Ambulance Service has donated three to the Academy: a fully fitted, beautifully painted, basic life support ambulance; a Ford Explorer for logistical transportation issues and an extended cab golf cart for support service. This “emergency fleet” was dedicated on April 17, 2013, with Admiral Gurnon, Bourne Fire Chief Martin Greene, Bourn Town Administrator Tom Guerino, ComCad, Health Services, Campus Police and all MMA EMS members in attendance.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy is the second college in the Commonwealth and the only state school to own and operate a fully licensed Basic Life Support ambulance service. MIT was the first. Check back soon to read about its stellar cadet staff!