Saving Sirens


Keane Sanders, Reporter

Saving lives, taking care of others, and even putting your own life at risk are the duties that go along with being an Emergency Medical Technician. The EMT class, taught by Mrs. Lisa Davis, prepares students for the obstacles that they will encounter when they are on a call.

Davis’ interest in emergency services began in high school, after she was in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer. As you can imagine that was pretty nasty, pretty miraculous that I survived that at all, and after that I would try to help them do fundraising and stuff” Davis said.

-K. Conway Photography/Remington Virginia.
Mrs. Lisa Davis posing in front of a yellow engine

This was one of multiple situations that led her down the path of becoming a firefighter and paramedic. After her house burnt down several years ago, Davis visited some of the local departments and thanked them. Eventually, this led to her receiving an application from one of the departments; from there she took a CPR and EMT class, after being persuaded into it.

As part of the EMT class, students had to ride along for clinical rotations in the ambulance. “I’m like, ‘No, I don’t really want to do that, I’m not going to run calls this isn’t my thing,’ but of course I had to. So, I went and the first patient that I took care of, I was absolutely terrified,” Davis said.

In the moment that Davis was taking care of her first patient, she realized how important it was that it wasn’t what she could do medically for her patient, but holding her hand and getting the patient to stop crying that helped her more than anything else. From then on she worked her way up the levels of EMT and it became her full-time job.

“I started teaching pretty early in my career, just because I appreciated the people who took time with me. My EMT teacher is amazing. I still talk to her, almost 20 years later, all the time, she’s phenomenal, she teaches at Falls Church Academy, she’s just amazing.”

Davis’s’ job now is to inspire, help, and guide these students to do their best and succeed at what they want to do most. Davis’ teachers have been a huge influence that made her want to turn around and help the people just as they helped her. She described it as being contagious: that it made her want to do more and more of it because she thought it was fun and rewarding.

“It’s nice to see people develop and go from not knowing anything to being able to do amazing things that help people and make life better, so it’s pretty cool,” Davis said.

“I’m not sure that a lot of the kids in here knew what they were getting themselves into. 90% of them are phenomenal, 10% of them don’t take it seriously at all, and that part is tough for me because obviously it’s something I’m really passionate about,” Davis said.

April Fermanis and Stuart Kimball, students in Davis’s EMT class, both think that the EMT class can be difficult, but if you put yourself into it and work hard, it will effectively benefit you.

Mrs. Davis and her crew in front of an ambulance

You learn the most you can and you’re able to do clinicals, which show you real life instances of what you learn in the classroom,” Fermanis said.

Fermanis says that EMT class gave her the basic information she knows about medical and how to deal with patients. Fermanis is hoping to be a surgeon in the future.

Kimball likes that the class gives him the chance to get a head start on his future plans.

“When I do go from the pipeline for para rescue, it’s one less thing to thrash and throw me around, because I’ll already have the experience,” Kimball said.

“I love the kids here; they’re pretty great,” Davis said.

So far, Davis, is enjoying her first year teaching at Forge, and even mentions that the fire and rescue community doesn’t have a well supported program like we do here. Davis has had successful students in the past who have become firefighters or paramedics of such, and she hopes to see the same outcome here.