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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

SJVC Student to the Rescue

August 27, 2013

SJVC Student Cindy Burgara Emergency Services and Safety Management (ESSM) student Cindy Burgara’s time at SJVC has exceeded all of her greatest expectations. Saving the life of a young child with the application of her training was a surreal moment of clarity that brought all of Cindy’s hard work full circle.

Cindy came to SJVC hoping to join the Criminal Justice Program, but because she was not old enough she enrolled into the Emergency Services and Safety Management program instead.

At first, she was not thrilled with how things were going, but as she looks back on her journey here at SJVC with only two months until graduation, she is able to see that it was the best outcome possible.

“The [Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)] academy has opened the door to so many different opportunities,” Cindy says.

The EMT academy prepares students for a future career in responding to emergencies by working as an EMT in an ambulance, a firefighter, or a police officer.

She is excited for what she will accomplish following graduation. Her hope is to become a K9 Handler. Cindy recalls a time when she was younger and her brothers affiliation with drugs resulted in a K9 unit searching their home. Even at such a young age Cindy could recognize the dedication it took to train the dogs.

“It’s amazing that a dog can figure that out,” she recalls thinking of how the dogs were able to locate certain substances within the house with such ease.

Her training has also prepared her to take life saving measures when swift action becomes necessary, a reality Cindy became very familiar recently.

While at a recent BBQ with friends Cindy saved a baby that was choking on a piece of fried chicken.

“Everyone was laughing and having a good time and I looked over and she was turning purple and I was just in shock and I started doing what they taught me. I was scared and it just came naturally,” she says recalling the intensity of the experience.

Because of her EMT training Cindy knew exactly how to take control of the situation. She quickly placed the baby over her forearm and gave her five sturdy pats to the back which dislodged the chicken and allowed the baby to breathe again.

That situation, although terrifying, has motivated Cindy to pay more attention because what she is learning can be applicable on any regular day.

With her fair share of economic issues and family struggles Cindy knows what it takes to persevere through hardships. In January Cindy had to temporarily withdraw from the program due to personal circumstances. Rather than giving up on her education Cindy returned to SJVC later on when things at home had improved.

Cindy is grateful for all of the support and advice from instructors like Ms. Cahill, a Criminal Justice and ESSM instructor in Bakersfield . Her encouragement has taught her that she holds the key to her future.

“They [the instructors] have always been on my side and telling me that if I don’t continue to work hard I will not be the person I want to be, no matter what happens,” Cindy says.

Cindy’s perseverance to overcome any challenge she faces is very admirable and it ensures that the future she is creating for herself will be full of success.