A vast assortment of baked goods filled tables as the Student Emergency Medical Sciences Association held a bake sale Oct. 15. SEMSA holds bake sales to raise money for various causes, said Leaugeay Barnes, club sponsor.
“I think they are most known at the college for their bake sales,” Barnes said. “… What sets them apart, I think, is that it is donation only. Nothing is priced.”
Conner Thompson, EMS major and SEMSA member, said the bake sales are a great way to interact with different people within the school.
“It’s a good way to raise money for causes in our community,” Thompson said.
For the past four summers, Barnes said, club members have traveled to Colorado to participate in a 180-mile bike ride that serves as a tribute to EMS heroes who have died, visit the national EMS memorial and to provide supporting gear for the riders.
“It teaches them about the EMS community and it makes them part of the EMS community,” she said.
Barnes said SEMSA also raises money locally.
The club also has begun to host CPR classes and plans to train 500 people in the community this year. Forty people have already been trained. The classes help raise funds for the club, and gives students experience.
Barnes said, in the past, SEMSA has given classes on Boy Scout and Girl Scout first aid, sent teams for the OKC Memorial Run, participated in a golf tournament to raise money for scholarships, and held a conference at OCCC for EMS professionals at a drastically reduced cost. The club also allows students to build interpersonal relationships, have organizational structure, and help one another grow, she said.
“We really try to get them to value contributing to their community, contributing to their profession, and helping each other.”
Barnes said in recent years, students have started providing more leadership and have become more involved.
“I think the leaders of SEMSA now in the last couple of years have really stepped it up, too …We have a couple that have made it into the President’s Leadership Class. EMS has never been part of that before.”
Barnes said the EMS program is about helping students succeed.
“The bar is set pretty high here. I mean, we are the best EMS program in the state.”
SEMSA captures what EMS is all about — helping others. “Students are always asking ‘What’s in it for me?’ Well, you don’t get what’s in it for you until you get involved,” Barnes said.