Women First Responders Are Becoming More Common


Photo contribued by Megan Romasanta Selfie of Romasanta in her EMT gear

Ernesto Leon, Assistant Features Editor

For eight weeks it was nothing but constant studying and a job to do. Studying trauma and medical assessments there was a goal to become an EMT and join EMS. It was her dream to become a first responder, and in January of 2022, she did it. She was now going to serve the public and become synonymous with the ambulance siren that is known throughout the country. A sound that has importance because it carries the significance of people trying to save a human life.  

Megan Romasanta is a 19-year-old EMT here in Kern County as well as a student at Bakersfield College. She attended BC’s EMT program and did the accelerated training that ended with her passing the exam in October of 2021. This allowed her to get her license and begin her work as a first responder.  

She describes the program as extremely difficult with constant studying. She wanted to make sure to pass all her course exams and be prepared for her state and county exams to get her license.  

“I would be studying non-stop. I would have study groups with friends at the riverwalk. I would literally wake up studying as I went to work, and go to bed studying too,” said Romasanta.  

A fellow student in the EMT program, Pablo Flores also went through the training and passed the exam in December of 2021 gives his experience,  

“It was fun and hard. You need to put the time to learn all the important stuff they teach you and will be using in the field,” explained Flores.  

Romasanta also discussed the gender ratio between women and men in her classes. She explained that at most there were just a few women compared to the number of men. She continued by talking about how the classes and workplace are male-dominated, but she has always felt treated fairly by her classmates, coworkers, and teachers.  

Diversity is important to Romasanta, which is why she explains she is so inspired to see and meet women who are also first responders. 

“There were a lot more men in my classes and now workplace. I remember meeting women who work in the fire and rescue, and that moment inspired me so much. My professors also meant so much to me, and make me a better person. I ran into one the other day on the field and we gave each other the biggest hug,” giggled Romasanta.  

According to a study by The National Fire Protection Association in 2020, women make up about 21% of the workforce when it comes to EMTs and paramedics, but there is a slow increase happening within the field.  

Romasanta discussed how passionate she felt about always wanting to work in the E.R. room, and how working as an EMT can give her insight and experience. She first began working in January as an E.R.-based EMT, but now works with 911. The differences between the two. E.R EMTS are more fast-paced, get to work with doctors and nurses, and are constantly on their feet. With 911 it starts by getting a call by dispatch on where to go and is just her and her partner which is a lot more independent.  

She works part-time, being 36-50 hour work weeks, and she also explains that EMTs can have crazier schedules than most are accustomed to.  

“Working as an EMT, the hours are different. We can be on a lunch, but if there’s no one to take the order from dispatch we need to go. It could be a minute before your shift ends, and if you’re needed then you have an obligation to go even it will take another hour,” said Romasanta. 

Picture of her offical EMT license     76%
Photo contributed by Megan Romasanta Picture of her offical EMT license


She also talked about the responsibilities she holds as an EMT. There’s driving, talking to dispatch, patient care, and lots of documentation. Patient care is talking to the individual to figure out what’s going on. As an EMT you are trained to give basic life support through interventions. This term means to stop a patient’s condition from getting worse.  

“If there’s a patient and it’s a drug overdose, we would administer Narcan. It’s not a permanent fix, it’s just to help the patient become more conscious and be able to move so we can help them get to the hospital,” said Romasanta. 

Romasanta needs 3 more pre-requisites before graduating from BC and obtaining her Associate’s degree. She plans to transfer to a four-year university to get her nursing degree and continue her work in the medical field. She explained that she would love to be an E.R. nurse and got all her passion from becoming an EMT.  

“I wasn’t even passionate about school before starting my first EMT course. Now I have so much passion and goals. I’m so grateful to everybody that has helped me here,” said Romasanta.