When she was young, there were three professions Sara Khurshid held in high regard: teachers, journalists and firefighters. In her eyes, teachers make the greatest impact on individuals outside of family members, journalists venture into dangerous places to report the truth and firefighters risk their lives to save others. If you had asked her when she was young, or even a few years ago, if she could imagine herself joining a fire and rescue department, she says, “I would have immediately said no.”
Khurshid describes herself as a “sheltered individual who did not venture far from [her] comfort zone in most cases.” It turns out, that lack of venturing is what ultimately drew her to her current volunteer position: an EMT/ambulance officer with the Stonewall Jackson Volunteer Fire Department, one of the nine volunteer fire departments that are a part of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue System.
Khurshid is originally from Pakistan, but has lived in Centreville, Virginia since she was 8 years old. “I had a memorable childhood filled with many experiences, but I was comfortable in my niches,” she said.
It wasn’t until college that she learned a lesson she now lives by: In order for her to grow as a person, she has to step out of her comfort zone and do the things that scare her. “It’s a simple concept, but as the old adage goes, it’s easier said than done,” she commented.
Khurshid graduated from George Mason University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a focus in microbiology. A few months after she graduated, she took a step outside of her comfort zone and signed up for an EMT certification class.
“Those four months were hectic as I worked three jobs and was taking the class three times a week,” said Khurshid. “I had only one day off every week, which I spent studying for EMT class, so it felt like the hectic world of college hadn’t really ended. I did truly enjoy the class, though, as I have always had a passion for science, especially in medicine in the past few years.”
She notes what she liked most about the class was that it wasn’t simply lecture-based. There was plenty of hands-on practice. “I learn best visually and through the application of skills, and getting to practice what I learned by doing, rather than just reading, reinforced the information better,” Khurshid said.
After completing the course, Khurshid went on to successfully pass her state practical and national registry exams. But four months later, she was so involved with work, she looked up and realized she had done nothing with her certification. So, she decided to take another leap outside of her comfort zone and applied at the Stonewall Jackson Volunteer Fire Department.
“I had done my rotation for my EMT class there and had a great experience, thanks to the paramedics I ran with,” she said.
And there she remains. Learn more about Khurshid’s experiences and story in part 2 of our series coming later this month.
Are you looking for a change? Ready to step out of YOUR comfort zone? Here in Prince William County, the volunteer departments provide fire and emergency medical services to the County’s citizens and visitors during weekday evenings, weekends and holidays. Prince William County’s volunteer fire and rescue departments are seeking motivated individuals who have the desire to make a difference and provide an important service to their community. Learn more now.
- Posted by ATW
- On January 23, 2018
- 0 Comments