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Meet Patrick O'Leary, Lower Mac Firefighter, Emmaus EMT

O'Leary has overcome a reading disability to achieve state- and national-level certifications in his field.

Name: Patrick O'Leary

Where do you live? Lower Macungie

Volunteer activities: Emmaus Ambulance, for about two years

"I am involved with the Lower Macungie Fire Department. I have been a Volunteer Firefighter with Lower Macungie now for about six going on seven years. I started with the department at the age of 14. I was the last Junior Firefighter that could join at the age of 14 due to a change in the department protocols."

Professional employment: Full-time EMT with Cetronia Ambulance

"I work in the paratransit part of the company, so I am often doing transports to and from different locations."

What is your training?

  • EMT-basic level
  • Training within the fire service

Tell us a little about what you do on a daily basis.

"My daily responsibilities include going to either hospitals or doctors offices to pick up people or drop them off. I often take people who need to go places and are unable to drive or need a ride because they are in a wheelchair."

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

"I often find that just helping people who are sick and/or injured is rewarding. Knowing that I am helping people, and that I am doing something that most people honor, is rewarding."

What is most challenging about what you do?

"Outside of my job, my biggest challenge is reading. I have grown up not being able to read as well as other people my age. I have a reading disability. However, I live day by day, not letting my reading disability bring me down in life.

"I have gotten multiple certifications that meet state and national levels, and I have gotten all of them on my own power without any assistance to help me read the final exams."

Tell us what you love about Emmaus.

"I love that the Borough of Emmaus is a place where people can get together for a good night out. I love that they have different events within the borough for everyone to enjoy."

What do you do in your spare time?

"In my spare time I am often found either helping the fire department with different events, or I am studying to take the military placement test."

Tell us something interesting about you that people might not know.

"I am planning on enlisting into the United States Navy. Also, most people do not realize that I have a reading disability because I do not let my disability run my life. I run my life."

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