A True Life-Saver
Wake Tech Class of: 2011
“It’s a really good feeling knowing we made a difference.”
— Haley Swanson
By day, Haley Swanson (WTCC ’05) is a successful dental assistant. Her career is a rewarding one – but it’s her “other job” that gave her one of the greatest rewards of her life.
Haley is also an Emergency Medical Technician; she earned both her dental assisting degree and her certification in EMS from Wake Tech. “I had worked as an EMT in the past,” Haley says, “and I wanted re-certification so I could do part-time work at the Durham Bulls Athletics Park.”
During a game at the DBAP in the summer of 2008, Haley’s skills were put to the test. A Durham police officer directing traffic outside the park collapsed. “It was hot out,” Haley says. “I figured the officer was probably dehydrated.”
The situation was actually far more dire than that. While another EMT administered CPR, Haley hooked up the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which indicated the officer needed to be shocked. “It was kind of scary to have to push that orange button,” Haley says, but without hesitation, she shocked the officer and gave him oxygen; he quickly came to. It turned out the officer had a genetic heart condition he didn’t know he had. He was extremely grateful to Haley for saving his life. “It’s a really good feeling knowing we made a difference,” she says.