As someone who hated the sight of blood as a child, becoming an emergency medical technician (EMT) with the Red Cross in 2017 might have seemed like a bold step. But it gives me joy! My mum is a doctor so she encouraged me to sign up. After a few months of training, I qualified and started doing 12 hour shifts. From 2017 to 2019, I completed roughly 300 hours a year of volunteering with the Red Cross in my home city of Linz, Austria.
Physical first aid is normalised, but what about mental health first aid? Working as an EMT has shown me how many mental health or neurological conditions are linked to physical ailments and the impact these can have. Having gone through bad patches in the past when I’ve felt depressed, being a EMT makes me feel like I’m contributing to society: helping others when I wished I could have been helped too.
I’m now putting my experience into practice when working for Colt in Frankfurt: I’m a first aider in the office and I’m training towards being an EMT in the local community.
If you’re looking to do an act of kindness by volunteering, think about what you’re passionate about. See what organizations are in your city, or even start your own! You also don’t need to get physically involved: just being a friendly voice on the end of a phone for an elderly person, or donating to some of the amazing organisations out there can all help.
Alexandra Damianlieva | Advisor CRM Business Transformation | Frankfurt