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EMS student sees service to others as service to self

By Geoff CantrellDaniel Tizon 5

Daniel Tizon

Daniel Tizon has his sights set on the future, while firmly grounded in the present as a student emergency services technician at Western Carolina University.

“After graduation, I plan on applying for graduate school at WCU, specifically for the Higher Education Student Affairs Program,” Tizon said. “I feel that with my passion for teaching and mentoring, the master’s in education degree in the Higher Education Student Affairs Program is right for me. I intend to use that degree to further my career in growing and mentoring college students in the field of emergency services.”

Tizon serves as director of community engagement for the Student Government Association and assistant chief of training with WCU Emergency Medical Services. He joined with other students this semester through the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning to be a Catamounts Care Ambassador, working across campus to encourage safe behavior, such as wearing face coverings, proper physical distancing and other protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

And that’s not all - Tizon works full time as an emergency management intern with Cree-Wolfspeed, a wireless technologies company in electronic and lighting components, where he performs risk assessments regarding coronavirus. He also volunteers with Duke Healthcare Preparedness Coalition with logistics, coordination and distribution of critical supplies to health care.

But most often, Tizon said he sees his primary focus being his work with WCU EMS, consisting of full-time enrolled students to provide a basic life support service licensed by the state and operating in affiliation with Harris Regional Hospital’s EMS to provide 911 emergency response to the campus community.

“The highlight of working with WCU EMS is as simple as a single word: ‘students.’ That’s because that’s what it is,” Tizon said. “Our motto is ‘Students Helping Students,’ and that sums it up for me. What is more special than being a student, while serving students?”

As the fall semester winds down, Tizon said he can afford to give himself time to reflect and look ahead.

“I am of a minority group (Asian and Philippine-origins) and many times in the minority opinion, I’ve been that kid without a dad, the kid who didn’t fit in, who had dreams some people said I couldn’t reach,” said Tizon. “And, I’ve been that kid who failed lots of times. However, I changed all that with the help of others, the EMS profession I am in, and making people my ‘why.’ This profession helped me find myself, in the service of others – to see the change we wish to see in the world.” 

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