PUC Student and Volunteer Firefighter Teaches Sacramento Preschool About Fire Safety

By Ally Romanes on March 10, 2023

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PUC senior Gil Fayard recently spoke to the preschool class at Sacramento Adventist Academy about how to behave in an emergency and his experience as a firefighter and EMT. The students were eager to hear what he had to say as they sat on a mat in the middle of the classroom. In his presentation, Fayard described how to call 911, stop, drop and roll, and escape a burning building. The students asked many questions as they were excited to learn about being a firefighter.

Their preschool teacher Natalie, Fayard’s sister, informed him that the kids were interested in the fire trucks he rides, so he showed them pictures of their units stationed in Angwin. At the end of his presentation, he showed the students how he rapidly donned his structured fire gear. They counted each second as he put his pants, suspenders, jacket, helmet, and gloves put on. “I told them that even though we look big and scary in our fire gear, we are here to help!” Fayard shared. “I was grateful for the opportunity to present to the preschoolers at SAA. They were attentive, bright, and excited to learn new things. I am not used to presenting to this demographic of students, so I had fun experiencing how they listen and engage.”

Fayard has been an EMT since March 2019 and a volunteer firefighter in Angwin since April 2020. He’s been training to become a paramedic since January 2022 and expects to complete his training in a few months.  “I decided to pursue a career in the field of emergency services because I want a job that allows me to help people who are in immediate need,” Fayard said. “I want a career that is different every day and keeps me on my feet.” When it comes to seeing teaching in his future, “maybe someday!”

Jeff Joiner, associate professor of nursing and emergency services and also director of health sciences, along with Matt Russell, assistant professor of nursing and emergency services, have both been instrumental in Fayard's professional development . As a freshman in 2018, he enrolled in their EMT class that introduced the profession of emergency medical services, which gave him a baseline for patient care and emergency management. Throughout his remaining years at PUC, Fayard built upon this foundation and learned more skills to become a competent responder learning from classes and real incidents volunteering for the Angwin Fire Department. "Without Jeff and Matt as instructors, I would not be where I am today," said Fayard.

Fayard is graduating this year with a B.S. in emergency management, with a paramedic emphasis. Upon his graduation, he plans to work as a paramedic for a few years and is eager to use his skills and gain more experience as an autonomous advanced life support provider. Though it’s his last year at PUC, Fayard enjoys belonging to the PUC community. “I have enjoyed getting to live in Angwin and involve myself in a community that engages me academically, socially, spiritually, and physically. I’ve made some of my best friends at PUC, and my education here is the foundation for my future career.”

When it comes to Fayard’s future career, there is more than one in mind. A career as a flight paramedic in an air ambulance is a possibility, depending on his ground medic experience. He also plans to advance his career by attending physician assistant school. He hopes to someday become an emergency medicine PA. Teaching and education opportunities will also be on his radar since he enjoys teaching. "I’d be interested in teaching EMT or paramedic classes. I will not say no to a career in EMS/healthcare education.” For volunteering his time at SAA and the work he continues to do in Angwin, his future is looking bright.