By JANET FRANZ
Staying calm under pressure, multi-tasking, helping people in distress – these skills come naturally to Nick LeBeau. While working toward a bachelor of science degree in medical laboratory science, he serves as a cadet in University of Vermont ROTC and assistant platoon leader in the Vermont Army National Guard. He also works as an advanced emergency medical technician crew chief for Shelburne, Rescue and a firefighter/AEMT for Windsor Fire Department.
LeBeau started his emergency response career in high school, as a firefighter cadet.
“It turned into my passion, I love it,” LeBeau said. “When I came to UVM, I took the emergency medical technician course, and I knew I wanted to join a rescue team.”
LeBeau also felt drawn to laboratory science.
“Every day in the lab I see something new. I’m always excited to go to my clinicals in the hospital, because it’s cool to be able to make the correlation between what I learn in my classes and what I do in the lab,” he said.
When the College of Nursing and Health initiated the new Emergency Medical Services minor last spring, LeBeau eagerly enrolled in the program. He says his emergency medicine coursework supports his learning in the laboratory and with his fellow ROTC cadets.
“As a medical laboratory science major, my experience in EMS has allowed me to easily make correlations between what I learn in the classroom and what I see in the field. This has helped me become both a better student, as well as a better EMS provider,” he said.
LeBeau’s experience, education and interest prompted the ROTC battalion to assign him to a new position as the battalion medical officer.
“I am responsible for planning the medical evacuation, administration of treatment, and other aspects of patient care for simulated and real-world casualties sustained during training events,” he said. “I also frequently educate fellow cadets on tactical combat casualty care in preparation for cadet summer training.”
When he has free time, LeBeau enjoys traveling, skiing, exercising and reading. Upon graduating in May, he will remain in the National Guard and commission as a medical services lieutenant, training and leading the soldiers. He plans to continue his education to become a full-time firefighter/paramedic and to work as a medical laboratory scientist.
“These programs not only have a strong reputation, but they have also prepared me to become a well-rounded individual for prospective employers,” LeBeau said. “I’m looking forward to being able to make a difference in people’s lives and pass on my experience to others.”
Janet Franz, UVM Health Science Writer and Chair of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.