She always knew she wanted to be a first responder — to save people and to get the adrenaline from being the first on the scene. But SJC Long Island freshman Sydney Furno never knew that working as an EMT could put her health and the health of her family at risk.
“Right now, the hardest part of my job is knowing who is actually infected and who isn’t,” said Furno, who serves as an emergency medical technician for both West Babylon Fire Department and Bay Shore Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance.
“But the most rewarding thing is still getting to help people and be there for them during this time,” the criminal justice major added.
A New Routine
With the current health crisis, Furno finds herself afraid of bringing COVID-19 home to her parents and little brother. So she’s implemented a new routine at home to keep her family safe.
“My uniform comes off in my garage, along with my boots,” the Bay Shore resident said. “I strip down into what I’m wearing underneath my uniform, and then as soon as I get into the house, I put what I’m wearing straight in the wash, and then I have to get straight in the shower.”
Even though Furno hasn’t knowingly come in contact with anyone who’s tested positive for the virus, she’s taking every precaution she can think of.
“I’ve had suspected COVID-19 patients, but I really don’t know the results of that, and it does make me nervous because then I have to wait four to 14 days to know if I get symptoms or not,” she said.
Staying Positive During Uncertain Times
Although it’s sometimes hard to find the light at the end of the tunnel, Furno is doing her best to remain optimistic.
“What’s keeping me positive is the hope that this will end soon,” said Furno, who plays women’s lacrosse at SJC Long Island. “I’ve been working out at home and playing lacrosse with my brother just to be outside and get fresh air.”
Furno’s message to the community? Stay home.
“When the media tells you to stay home ,that means to actually stay home,” the 2019 Bay Shore High School graduate said. “People aren’t really listening to that, and that’s what’s causing the numbers to continue rising. Just stay home, stay safe and wash your hands.”
This story is part of OnCampus’ “Answering the Call” series, focusing on St. Joseph’s College students and alumni working outside their homes in essential jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.