You in Motion is a career-driven program created by On Time to help its employees advance within their careers. This month’s spotlight is on EMT Jasmine Anaya from our Roselle, NJ base. We chatted with Jasmine to learn more about her journey from Ambulance Vehicle Operator (AVO) to EMT, why her EMS aspirations, and her overall experience so far. Here’s what we learned.
How did you first become an Ambulance Vehicle Operator (AVO)?
It’s funny. It all started with a mistake! I signed up for the EMT program at the end of 2020 and went online to see who was hiring EMTs near my house (this way I had an idea of where to go when I got my EMT certification). I found the On Time’s website and read they were hiring Mobility Assistance Vehicle Operators (MAVO) and AVOs. At this point, I had no idea of what an AVO was. I applied for the MAVO position because I had wheelchair experience, the role would help me gain patient care experience, and the opportunity to work with hospital facilities.
I got a call from On Time’s Recruiter, Marlene, because she was looking for someone who missed her interview. Turns out, it was actually an accident, and she meant to call someone else. Although I wasn’t the person she was looking for, I told Marlene I applied for the MAVO Driver role and she set me up for an interview a few days later. During our interview, Marlene informed me about an open AVO role which would help me get into the EMT program and switched my MAVO application to AVO. I liked that AVOs get to work side by side with EMTs and I’m so happy my experience turned out that way. I love my job and I have Marlene to thank for that!
How was the onboarding process?
Onboarding process is simple and fast. I got an interview three days later from the first time Marlene contacted me. By the end of my interview, she scheduled me for a CPR class and a driving test. I attended a new hire orientation class two weeks later!
What are the daily duties of an AVO?
Making sure the patient feels comfortable while driving, bonding with them, and assuring you will safely transport them. There’s also ambulance maintenance responsibilities including cleaning the trucks, checking for scratches, stacking all equipment, and filling the gas tank. Honestly my favorite part is changing the main oxygen tank. 😁
How does an AVO differ from an EMT? Is that a reasonable transition?
The only difference between an AVO and an EMT is the charting. Taking care of patients requires two staff members. It’s a reasonable transition because the AVO fieldwork helps you gain skills required for EMT class. Even before receiving my EMT certification, I learned a lot and helped my partner as an AVO.
What are some common mistakes AVOs make in the field? Can you share some insight on how to prevent them?
The mistakes I’ve seen some AVOs make is they feel they have to limit themselves to driving and setting up the stretcher. Some AVOs avoid patient interaction and hospital staff. My advice is, if you’re an AVO and want to become an EMT, starting at this point will help you tremendously.
Congrats on passing your NREMT exam! Do you have any tips for preparation?
To be completely honest I was so nervous I couldn’t sleep or study! The best tip I can share is, don’t second guess yourself. If you finish your NREMT exam thinking you’ll fail, you might just end up doing a great job.
Yes, I do feel safe working through the pandemic. On Time provides me with enough PPE and thorough COVID-19 protocols which makes me feel safe.
What are your career aspirations? How does On Time help you achieve them?
My career aspiration is to become a Paramedic. Working at On Time and seeing different diagnoses and patients helps me learn a lot of the skills and experience needed in the fieldwork of a Paramedic.
What do you enjoy most about working at On Time?
On Time is very flexible when it comes to scheduling. Everyone is friendly. Joe Borer, Director of North Jersey Operations, is a top leader in the company, humble, and an available contact you can have access to. On Time also has a Facebook Workplace account where we can all connect and share anything with each other!
Can you share some advice to people thinking about entering the EMS field, but unsure where to start?
A career in EMS is a great place to start. You’ll become experienced in so much you’ll have many healthcare career options available. It’s up to you what that next step will be.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jasmine! We are proud to have you as part of the On Time team.
Interested in becoming an Ambulance Vehicle Operator at On Time?
Want to become an EMT? Learn more about EMT training in New Jersey.