Four students volunteer as EMTs

Unlike many students who spend their free time, sleeping or hanging out with friends, four Seton Hall students choose to give their time and efforts to those who need it by volunteering with the South Orange Rescue Squad.

Sarah Nocito, Joseph Zujkowski, Megan Furlong and Matthew Askin have recently been spending their free hours, volunteering with SORS.

The commitment to SORS asks for 58 on-duty hours every month, including a weekly night shift and a rotating weekend day shift. It also asks members to complete a training program at a local hospital.

Freshman occupational therapy major Nocito, who is new to SORS, is not new to emergency services at all. She volunteered with Saddle Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps in high school.

“I started volunteering as an EMT because I’ve always liked helping people in need,” Nocito said. “I’ve always admired people who volunteered their time to help others, especially EMTs because they give aid to those who are in the most desperate need of help.”

It is that admiration and dedication that drives Nocito who hopes to one day make her impression on the medical field and the people she helps.

Sophomore biochemistry major Zujkowski has been with SORS since August 2011.

Before that he volunteered in his hometown of Readington, N.J., and has always admired the field of emergency services.

Zujkowski grew up around the atmosphere of emergency services with his mother and stepfather being active members of his hometown rescue squad.

Since childhood he has been influenced by their work, which inspired him to pursue a career in medicine.

“My mom and stepdad have both been involved in EMS for decades and I grew up around that lifestyle,” Zujkowski said.

He plans to carry his desire to help others past college and into a medical career someday.

Junior nursing major Furlong has also been with SORS for a year and she said thoroughly enjoys her time volunteering with them.

Furlong initially came to Seton Hall as an occupational therapy major. After volunteering as an EMT, she decided that nursing was a better fit.

Unlike Nocito and Zujkowski, Furlong had never volunteered with a rescue squad before.

“I never considered the rescue squad until I was in college,” Furlong said. “I had a friend who convinced me to join. I’m really happy I listened!”

While she may not have started off planning onto a career in this specific area of the medical field, volunteering with SORS changed Furlong’s mind about what she wanted to do in life.

She plans on continue to volunteer for the rest of her time at Seton Hall and to help even more people as a nurse.

Askin, a junior majoring in finance and information technology management, has been with SORS for over a year and has enjoyed his time volunteering.

“I love the work I get to do with the squad,” he said. “It exposes you to an exhilarating side of life that few people get to routinely experience. It all adds up to a lot of responsibility and commitment, but every member does it because they love the Rescue Squad and believe in its mission.”

Even though he may not have decided to pursue a career in medicine or emergency services, Askin still volunteers and enjoys helping others when he can.

He said he learned a lot from this unique experience despite not having a career aspiration in the field.

“I saw it as an opportunity to challenge myself by entering a field that was entirely new to me,” Askin said. “Though my professional path may not lead directly to medicine, the skills and values required to function as a member of the rescue squad have proven relevant in every aspect of my life.”

Eric Hostettler can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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