“Pumpkin Orange, and There is a Reason Why!”

“It’s Pumpkin Orange, So You Can Be Seen in a Thunder Bay Snowstorm!”
“It’s Pumpkin Orange, So You Can Be Seen in a Thunder Bay Snowstorm!”

If I was not stressed about Devon, it was becoming a member of the university Emergency First Response Team (EFRT).  And getting the ability to wear the iconic pumpkin orange t-shirt uniform.  This team was one of the reasons why I applied to Lakehead University.  They were a group of university students who wanted to do first aid on campus on a regular basis.  As well as receive extra training to be more like paramedics, yet without the ability to administer drugs.  Oh, and they did not have an ambulance to drive on campus.  They would run or bike from wherever they were on campus to the emergency.

I did apply in my first year of university.  I made it all the way to the final solo exam.  Yet was not selected.  Several my friends made it in our first year of school.  I was included in some of the in-services etc.  When I was away from Devon, I was with the EFRT, or in class most often.  I also helped the team with scenario testing by being a patient for them to practice their skills and so on.  It was a fun way to keep my foot in the door to the team. 

This was round two for me.  So, I knew what to expect.  I went into it more confident. “Thank you for your time.” One of the interviewers said to me.  He was on the team.  Big tall, short brown hair.  He shook my hand as I stood up.  He had on jeans, and the pumpkin orange t-shirt with the star of life on it.  Smiling back, I nodded “Thank you so much.”  I left the interview in a good mood.  It felt awesome.  The sun was shining this afternoon and I had a bounce in my step as I walked home to my room. 

A group of us were heading to the pub for the 80’s theme night.  I felt safe traveling in groups with others.  I was not alone walking to or from the pub.  If Devon did show up, I hoped he would do nothing. 

The pub was hopping!  Loud music, lights, and drinks.  Lots of drinks.  I stuck to pop and water.  A lot of the time I was the ‘designated friend’, so I got my pop for free.  It was a program that the university had set up.  The ‘designated friend’ got a free cup that was plastic, white with red lettering saying, ‘Designated Friend’ and The Outpost on the other side.  The Outpost was the name of the pub.

I spotted the pumpkin orange metal chairs that the EFRT sat on when they were covering pub nights.  This was one night where they were for sure needed.  The pub team was made up of one woman and one man on the team.  They sat or even stood on the pumpkin orange chairs for their shift.  They would go on walks in tandem around the pub about every hour.  Each would go into the respected washroom to check for feet.  Meaning making sure there was only 2 feet in a stall, and they were pointing the right way.  If there were more than 2 feet in a stall, then a Responder could knock on the door to see if everything was okay.

I made my way over to the team sitting.  The one who interviewed me came over to me.  “Aime I want to congratulate you.  You had one of the highest marks in the interview stage.  We’ll see you next weekend.”  He reached out to shake my hand.  Smiling back, I shook his hand and said “Thanks!”  The team member also in her pumpkin orange t-shirt smiled and waved back at me too.

During this time also I had a birthday, and Thanksgiving.  It was nice to receive phone calls from family, and a cake was ordered by my Mum from the cafeteria for me.  I loved fall; I loved the colours of the trees.  The maples with their leaves that would turn ruby red, or pumpkin orange were so pretty!  Over the Thanksgiving weekend we cooked the turkey as a house, and well ended up having the fire department being called because of the fire alarm going off as we burnt something.  The fire alarm automatically triggers the EFRT, Security, and a call to the fire department.  We offered them turkey. 

The following weekend was the EFRT training practical day, and final solo exam.  The team I was with was great.  We felt very strong, and confident.  It was great too because we were a team of 4 so twice, I got to sit out and watch.  Running around campus going to scenario’s in residence, different spots on campus it was fun.  I was so tired at the end!

The next day was the solo scenario. Keeping my breathing under control, I was nervous, I started the scenario.  I attended to a student who was having chest pains.  After I was finished the judges, who were wearing the pumpkin orange t-shirts and woman who was pretending to be the patient said good job.  I ran into a fellow applicant.  He was in first year and said that all the scenarios were to be diabetic patients.  I was confused. 

Monday evening, I was a ball of nerves.  The list for who made the EFRT was going up just after 7pm.  I had some water and walked over to the main campus to check the list.  The sun was still out and shining.  It felt warm on my face.  I went to the EFRT office looked on the wall, just by the closed door of the office and saw my name on the list!  Yes!!  I jumped up and down and clapped, I almost started to cry.  I wanted this so bad.  One of the EFRT directors stuck his head out of the office and said “Congrats Hutton!  What size of t-shirt do you need?”  I smiled and said what size. 

“Here you go, two pumpkin orange t-shirts for the team.”  He said to me tossing the shirts to me.

“Why are they pumpkin orange by the way?”  I asked.

“They are pumpkin orange so we can see you in a Thunder Bay snowstorm.”

I practically ran back to the dorm, and my room.  I called Mum and Dad.  “Mum I made the team!”

1 thought on ““Pumpkin Orange, and There is a Reason Why!””

  1. You go girl!
    Love reading your story, and an added bonus is that I went to LU for a year as well.

Comments are closed.