Pima County JTED EMT Student Saves a Life

Submitted by Greg D’Anna.

Pima County JTED EMT student Amanda Badilla saved a man’s life Wednesday at about 6 p.m. when she responded to a call for help while working at her part-time job on Tucson’s west side.

Badilla was working at Pump It Up, a recreational place for children, when a panicked coworker who knew Badilla was taking JTED’s EMT class begged her to help move a man who was having a seizure from his car. Amanda and a coworker found the man on the ground, and discovered he didn’t have a pulse. They both dropped to the ground and immediately started continuous chest compressions until paramedics arrived.

“I didn’t think that I could actually save a life. It was overwhelming because it’s not like I was trying to save his life, I just went straight to my training. I didn’t think I was going to save him, it was just worth a try,” says Badilla. “The difference between performing CPR on a person and practicing it on one of the mannequins is amazing,” says Badilla’s JTED EMT Instructor Gary Watson.

The patient’s family called to report that he was in ICU and they hoped he would be removed from a ventilator and begin breathing on his own. “It’s a Code Save.” says Watson. “With the new CPR standards we’re teaching students, we’re seeing better save rates.”

Badilla originally learned CPR in her JTED Sports Medicine Class at Tucson Magnet High School, and was recertified by JTED Fire Service Instructor Robert DiPietro when she took JTED’s Certified Nursing Assistant class this past year. “The most important thing I’ve learned from my teachers is to stay calm, because that keeps the patient and everyone else calm,” she says.

After Badilla completes her JTED EMT class at JTED this summer, she will attend Grand Canyon University, where she plans to earn a degree in Physical Therapy while working as an EMT. Following that, she plans to become a certified paramedic.

Badilla says her father’s battle with kidney disease inspired and motivated her to enter the health profession. “I’ve learned through Mr. Watson about how many people you can come into contact with and help out as an EMT or a paramedic, and that is what I want to do for a living.”

Media Interviews are available with Amanda Badilla, and her JTED Instructor Gary Watson. Please contact Greg D’Anna at (520) 331-5581.