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June 28, 2013

Blinn EMT Program grad honored after saving newborn’s life

Sarah Lundquist received her EMT certificate at College’s Schulenburg campus

Crew of the Year

Fayette County Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Sarah Lundquist didn’t have time to think when she helped save Kaylnn Song. With the newborn’s life in her hands, she relied on the training she received at Blinn College.

“You don’t have time to think because it all happens so fast, but then you look back on it and you’re amazed,” said Lundquist, who cared for Song just moments after she was born in a vehicle that was forced to pull over on the side of State Highway 77 in Schulenburg.

Meng Kea, Kaylnn’s father, was driving Eng Song to her obstetrician’s appointment when Eng began delivering the baby three weeks early. Kaylnn’s delivery was what doctors call a precipitous or explosive birth, in which a tear in the mother’s placenta allows the baby to be delivered suddenly.

Within moments, Kaylnn was born in the passenger’s seat. Then she turned blue from oxygen deprivation.

Fortunately, Lundquist and the rest of her crew were already on their way. As soon as they arrived, Lundquist and Paramedic Natalie Morgan tended to Kaylnn. Together, they used suction to clear Kaylnn’s mouth and nose of fluids, then turned up the heat in their ambulance to keep her warm. It didn’t take long for Kaylnn’s skin to lose its bluish hue and take on the healthy pink of a safe and happy newborn.

Earlier this month, Lundquist and her crew were invited to meet the family at Fayette County EMS headquarters. But instead of an informal visit, they received the 2013 Texas EMS for Children’s Crew of the Year Award for their heroic actions.

“This whole experience helped me realize just how much I enjoy my job,” Lundquist said.
It’s a career path Lundquist might never have had the opportunity to take if it weren’t for Blinn – Schulenburg Campus Director Rebecca Garlick’s visits to the bank where Lundquist worked in 2009. Lundquist earned her medical office management degree from Blinn years earlier, but had recently realized she was interested in a career as an emergency responder.

So whenever Garlick came by the bank, Lundquist peppered her with questions about the College’s EMS program.

“Sarah’s an energetic, dynamic person and she’s well-suited for an EMS career,” Garlick said.
In 2010, Lundquist took the leap. Most of her classmates were located on Blinn’s Bryan campus, but the College’s interactive video conferencing classrooms allowed her to conveniently participate from Schulenburg. She finished at the top of her class.

“Blinn gives its EMS students a very strong foundation to start their careers,” Lundquist said. “They teach you the information in a way that makes sure you know it and understand it. It’s not about just passing a test – it’s a thorough program and they teach you how to get the job done right.”

Once she graduated, Lundquist was determined to work at Fayette County EMS – so determined that she waited seven months until a position opened up. She was hired by Director Sharon Muzny, another Blinn graduate.

“We love hiring Blinn graduates,” Muzny said. “I graduated from the Bryan campus, so I know they’ve received the training they need to be successful.”

Now Lundquist is looking forward to enrolling in paramedic training so she can take the next step in her career. And after receiving her EMS training at Blinn College, there’s only one place she wants to go for her paramedic technology certificate.

“My schooling is what has allowed me to be as successful as I have been in my job,” Lundquist said. “I want to earn my paramedic certificate at Blinn because I don’t want to be just an average paramedic; I want to be a great one.”