Beyond the Classroom: Senior Emergency Medical Technician Maribeth Novsak

Maribeth stands in front of an EMT vehicle.

Maribeth Novsak, a senior Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management major from Cape May Courthouse, NJ (Cape May County), talks about her experience as an EMT with Rowan’s Emergency Medical Services squad. 

What got you interested in becoming an EMT?

Growing up, my dad was a law enforcement officer and I watched him throughout his career. He actually got an injury in the line of duty. Through that whole experience, I saw how much he appreciated the help of the EMTs who responded. This really inspired me to want to be in public service. I always wanted to be in the medical field as well, so when I found out Rowan had an EMS squad, I took a shot and applied. I ended up getting hired and they paid for me to go to EMT school. 

Maribeth in front of a Rowan EMS vehicle.

Was there an influential person who has helped you throughout your experience as an EMT?

Chief Vern is really here for all of us. At some point, he has given us all advice along the way. There have also been a few upperclassmen who have moved on and graduated but were so helpful, too. Rowan EMS is a family and once you’re in, we all look out for each other. 

What has been the most meaningful experience you’ve had at your position so far?

In this job, you are really seeing students on their worst day. It’s meaningful to try to make them laugh or smile and try to make the situation even a little better for them.

Maribeth at the EMS station.

What is your favorite accomplishment as an EMT thus far?

In June 2019, one of the crews I was working with was rewarded with a life-saving award from the New Jersey College and University Public Safety Association for a call we responded to in February 2019. We had a life-threatening call and had no advanced life-support available, but the actions we took were able to keep the patient out of critical care and the patient was discharged from the emergency room just a few hours later. In that moment we thought it was just another crazy call and had no idea we would be recognized. When we got that email that we were invited to an award ceremony to be recognized for our work, it was a really great accomplishment. 

Maribeth in uniform on campus.

What knowledge or skills have you developed through this opportunity that you will take with you for future endeavors?

I have definitely developed great communication skills and have learned to communicate with different types of people. This job has also taught me to have empathy, time management. Another big skill is time management, we’re all balancing a 15-credit course load plus putting in a ton of hours to EMS each week.

Maribeth plans on working as a full-time EMT in Wildwood Crest after graduating from Rowan in hopes to get a position in the Emergency Management department there. 

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, junior public relations and advertising major

Photography by: Joe Gentempo, senior art major

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