West Point Cadet spends weekends volunteering as EMT
September 28, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y., Sept. 28, 2011 -- As if cadets don't have enough to do with academics, athletics and military training, Class of 2014 Cadet Kendrick Ladd enjoys doing a little bit more.
On most weekends, Ladd can be found volunteering with the Town of Highlands Ambulance Corps.
Ladd received his emergency medical training in Lander, Wyo., and became a certified emergency medical technician before entering West Point.
"Once I finished Beast [summer training], I went to volunteer at the Town of Highlands Ambulance Corps," Ladd, assigned to 4th Regiment, H Company, said.
Ladd is the first cadet to work with THAC, which takes a certain amount of dedication in order to meet the daily obligations at West Point.
"I usually work on weekends and use passes to spend it at THAC, but I need to be back on post by Taps at 1 a.m. until 5:20 a.m.," he explained. "Most of the time one of the EMTs here will give me a ride or another cadet will lend me their car, but sometimes it comes down to the wire. I almost had to hitchhike a couple of times."
Ladd said he works well with his tactical officer and noncommissioned tactical officers.
"My TAC officer, Captain Melissa Steele, and TAC NCO, Sergeant 1st. Class Normand Paquin, help me a lot to be able to come to the ambulance corps," he said.
Paquin said Ladd does plenty on his own to balance all his commitments, while instilling a positive view of West Point cadets in the Highland Falls community.
"He's doing a great job of balancing the competing time demands of EMT duties and his academic, military and physical responsibilities as a cadet corporal at West Point," Paquin said. "His dedication to mission success not only in the classroom, but as a leader, has set a great example of what right looks like for his subordinates and superiors."
Ladd said he studies during down time when it's not busy.
"The weekends are the busiest time as far as 911 call volume goes," Ladd said. "I have responded to everything from car accidents, assaults, vehicle versus pedestrian and mass casualty incidents involving both civilian and Soldiers. At times though, it can either be feast or famine."
Mervin Livsey Jr. is another EMT working with Ladd and said he enjoys working with him.
"We admire Ladd for what he does here," Livsey said. "He comes and helps his community out."
Ladd said it's like a family, and he'll even attend his co-workers' children's softball games.
Ladd is hoping to start an EMT Club to provide training that is more relevant to cadets other than the first responder training.
"I think cadets need more field training than they get with the advanced medical training they currently receive, which is a PowerPoint presentation," he said. "There's nothing wrong with this training, but many people don't know if they can handle medical emergencies in the field until they actually do it."
Ladd said his EMT experiences goes along with his training as an officer.
"If you are an officer in Afghanistan, you have to make decisions and this is where the field experience as an EMT is necessary," Ladd said. "On the weekends, I might be called out to a car accident scene, which can be chaotic. Patients' lives are on the line and career police officers (and) firefighters may look at me and say 'What's the plan?'
"Thinking effectively under pressure, making decisions that mean the difference between life and death and bearing the legal responsibility for every decision I make is helping to prepare me for those situations I will face as a lieutenant, where the lives in the balance are those of my men."