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EMS is in Smithsburg volunteer's DNA

Becoming a top responder came naturally to Gaudio

Becoming a top responder came naturally to Gaudio

May 07, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

SMITHSBURG - One might wonder how a girl from New Hampshire could find her way to a small town in Washington County, Md., and feel so much at home.

Krystina Gaudio grew up in a family where her dad was involved in emergency medical services for 20 years. "EMS comes so naturally to me," she said.

So when the 22-year-old was exploring career possibilities, it was no surprise that she would gravitate toward helping others.

"A friend recommended the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, program," she said. Already a licensed emergency medical technician, her roommate was from Prince George's County so she began exploring there.

There they wanted 12 hours a week plus fundraising. With no car, it wasn't a good fit for her so she looked elsewhere.

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"I wanted a more rural environment," Gaudio said. Her fellow student, Garrett Snyder, showed her Smithsburg and she was amazed at how similar it was to her native New Hampshire.

Gaudio has been with the Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services Inc. for three years now.

A student at the Community College of Baltimore County, Gaudio is finishing up her paramedic studies. She lives in Baltimore and spends her weekends in Smithsburg doing her clinical work at SEMS. She and Garrett Snyder are now a couple.

"I need to put in 24 hours a month to maintain membership with SEMS but I usually do 48 hours," she said, juggling that with her clinical hospital work and classes in Baltimore.

For that and other qualities, Gaudio recently was honored with the president's award at the annual SEMS banquet. She is in charge of personnel which involves recruiting, applications and keeping personnel files current.

"I streamlined the process, reorganizing everything when I started," Gaudio said. "I jumped right into it."

A new award this year, the president's award is presented by Joe Ralls, president of the board of directors and a lifetime member of SEMS.

Once she finishes her paramedic courses, Gaudio wants to go back to the University of Maryland in Baltimore County where she has a year left on her bachelor's degree.

"I am thinking about nursing, possibly obstetrics," she said.

Last year, not only did members respond to 1,152 calls, but SEMS members also logged a total of 37,362 hours of volunteer service.

Lt. Garrett Snyder was recognized as paramedic of the year at the banquet.

Also honored were Brian House, EMT of the year; Kaila Swartz, aide of the year; Jon Snyder, chief's award.

The top 10 responders are Brad Chambers, Brian House, James Ulrich, Tony House, Travis Routzahn, Andy Smith, Jon Snyder, Jennifer Barciz and Garrett Snyder.

The 2007 officers are Chief Rob Snider, Dep. Chief Jon Snyder, Assistant Chief James Ulrich, Lts. Andy Smith and Garrett Snyder and Gaudio, who is a sergeant.

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