Leading by Example
CMU's EMS responders working at Spring Carnival 2013
At this year's National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation conference, Timothy Bach (CS'13) won the student speaker competition with his seminar entitled "Ramifications of Alcohol Amnesty Programs," using Carnegie Mellon University's program as a model.
The conference, held in Washington, D.C., was attended by over 1,000 representatives of campus-based EMS organizations from 102 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada.
As operations director of CMU's Emergency Medical Service, Bach has gained important leadership skills and the satisfaction of helping fellow students in their time of need.
"There are the really serious calls, and sometimes we'll get letters on our Facebook from people thanking us for helping them," he explained. "But a lot of people who come to CMU are living alone for the first time. So, sometimes it's not the medically challenging calls that give you the satisfaction of being there when you're needed. Sometimes you answer the call of a first-year student who's not feeling well, and they might not need to go to the hospital or need to call 911, but they're on their own and they're scared and it's the first time they're making important health decisions on their own. That's been an important part of the job for me, being there 24-7 to help fellow students."
Bach says the support on the Pittsburgh campus from administration for student leaders has been exceptional.
"I've had the great privilege of working with Carnegie Mellon Police Department Lt. Gary Scheimer throughout my year serving as operations director for EMS, and he has always been an amazing advocate for a student-led and student-run systems on campus," Bach said. "Both he and the rest of the CMU administration really make our jobs easier by treating us as professional colleagues as opposed to a student group, which I very much appreciate."
From his service as Interfraternity Council's vice president of Risk Management and Operations Director for the Pittsburgh campus EMS to his participation in Kappa Sigma fraternity and the CMU traditions of Buggy and Booth, Bach says balancing classes and extra-curricular activities at such an academically rigorous school like CMU is definitely a challenge — but well worth it for students.
"Consistently, when I was interviewing with companies, my experiences and leadership positions outside the classroom came up as a focal point for discussion," said Bach, who graduates in a few weeks with a job already lined up working in cybersecurity. "Taking on leadership positions enabled me to really develop the skills employers are looking for, such as critical thinking, problem-solving under pressure and communication."