On his flight back home over Thanksgiving break last year, ACEMs volunteer EMT Francisco Goldfarb ’18 came reasonably close to being a helpful medical professional. After a fellow passenger collapsed in his seat due to a heart attack, a flight attendant rushed over and shouted, “Is there a doctor on board?!” Goldfarb hesitated, looked around, and then jumped from his seat while shouting over his own radio “I’m going in!” to no one in particular. The “patient” was declared dead 90 minutes later by medical staff waiting on the tarmac while Goldfarb was still trying to ascertain the deceased’s pulse.
The inspiring story of moderate medical competence came to light after “Dr.” Goldfarb humbly told it to Katherine Langley ’20 outside of Jenkins Dormitory last weekend. “I just asked why he was carrying a radio on his belt, and he talked about this ‘ACEMS’ thing for 45 straight minutes,” she told Muck Rake in an exclusive interview. “I just thought the radio was for a weird mixer theme or something. Honestly, at the end of that story I was ready to kill myself. The only reason I didn’t is because he probably would’ve tried to save me.”
News of the near-life experience, which is the first known evidence of a possible application of ACEMS training, has sent shock waves through the ACEMS GroupMe as well as the ACEMS listserv. Jennifer Lin ’20, a prospective ACEMS trainee, said that the story had inspired her to go into medicine. “I just want to be clear – it was the medical staff on the ground, not the ACEMS EMT – who inspired me,” she said in glowing tones. “ACEMS is just the love child of my elementary school nurse’s supply closet and 30 navy blue fleeces.”
In his dying breaths, the patient expressed both gratitude and confusion. “I’m very greatful that you aren’t moving me for fear of spinal injury, but could you please just call an ambulance?” he asked. Fellow passengers reported that he took comfort in the knowledge that he wouldn’t have to awkwardly see his ACEMS responder in Val every day for the next two years.