Promise Alumnus Dan Romaniello deals with life and death situations as an EMT. He tells us what it was like for him to choose a field of study and a career path.
DAN'S PATH Dan's degrees & certificates: Emergency Medical Tech and Basic Fire Fighter led him to his career and service positions: • EMT-B at Scott Tonwship EMS • EMT-B/Rescue Technician at Ross/ West Emergency Medical Services Authority • Scott Township Fire District • Station 257 (Glendale Hose Co. No. 1) • United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
Q: Dan, you have a pretty fascinating job.
Did your interests growing up lead you to your current career?
A: Growing up as a little kid I was always into fire trucks and firefighting so it was a dream growing up to work in this field. Becoming a firefighter has become a huge part of my life and opened the door to the EMS field that I have chosen as a career path.
Q: The decision of what to study after high
school can be intimidating. Was that a hard decision for you? What inspired you to pick your study and career path and how did you know you were right?
A: I was originally going to college for a 4-year liberal arts degree but I wasn't sure what I wanted to major in. It was during my first year of college that I thought about being an EMT. I decided then to switch to a shorter program because becoming an EMT seemed like something I would actually like.
I started my EMS career in 2010 just a year and a half after I lost my dad to cancer. I choose the field because of how rewarding it is. I had the mindset that if I could just give one
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person an extra 15 minutes to live so a loved one could say goodbye, then my career would be worth it. I still remember the pain that my father, my family, and I went through and I wanted to keep others from suffering. I knew I made the right choice when in 2013 I was dispatched for a person who was not breathing and in cardiac arrest. Within 20 minutes of arriving on scene, the patient was awake and talking to us. She was released from the hospital a few days later with no further problems. Everything that led up to that point felt right.
Q: That’s a pretty incredible good day at
work! Every job has its everyday ups and downs. What do you love most about your job and what are some of your challenges?
A: I love that my job is ever changing. We
bring order and aid to people in their worst moments. That can mean treating sick or injured people, fighting fires, or cutting cars apart with the Jaws of Life. An everyday challenge in my work is learning all of the correct medications to give, as well as the other protocols set by the state. Of course, the biggest challenge is letting go of the tragic moments, but I believe it teaches me to appreciate the little things in life.
Q: You’ve been involved as a Promise Alum-
nus; you will even be our EMT for our upcoming Walk for One Promise event. Why are you passionate about The Pittsburgh Promise?
A: I came from a working middle class fam-
ily, and I thought I would have to depend on student loans. Instead, I was able to study liberal arts at CCAC with The Promise scholarship until I found the Emergency Medicine program at University of Pittsburgh and I don’t have loans to pay back. I appreciate that The Promise was an advocate of not only fouryear bachelor programs but of other post high school options.
Q: What is your advice for students who are trying to choose a study/career path?
A: Find something you love to do. If you like
what you're studying, it makes school so much easier and enjoyable.
Q: What about you, what can we expect in your future?
A: I’d love to further my education and be-
come a paramedic for the City of Pittsburgh or a career firefighter and move back into the city. This job has endless possibilities so only time will tell.