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State Honoree

Samuel Sexe

Humboldt, Iowa

Samuel Sexe, 18, of Humboldt, Iowa, a senior at Humboldt High School, has responded to more than 200 service calls as a volunteer emergency medical technician in his rural community since completing the rigorous training required to become a member of the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital EMS squad. Samuel is carrying on a family tradition: His father has served as an EMT for more than 30 years, and all three of his siblings are EMTs as well. “I knew from my father’s experience the lifelong impact an EMT can have,” Samuel said. “I have many memories as a kid of some of his former patients stopping him in a grocery store or coming up to him at a restaurant to thank him for his service.”

As soon as he turned 17, the minimum age to become an EMT in Iowa, Samuel began riding along on EMS calls to observe and help with non-technical tasks. At the same time, he enrolled in a five-month EMT program at a local community college, attending four-hour night classes two or three times a week while keeping up with his high school studies. At the end of the class, he had to pass three challenging tests in order to become certified. The following summer, Samuel spent 40 hours a week on his EMT duties, helping with everything from simple transports to multiple-casualty car accidents. Now, while in school, he has permission from his principal to respond to emergency calls during the school day if necessary. “There is a national shortage of EMTs, which especially affects rural services such as our own,” noted Samuel. “I felt that becoming an EMT would be very beneficial to the community.”