Though James Sobieski came to Case Western Reserve to pursue an engineering degree, his work with CWRU Emergency Medical Services (EMS) prompted him to change his focus. Initially drawn to the organization’s role actively helping in emergencies and “standing strong,” he’s gone on to fill the roles of secretary and training director, managing many aspects of the organization’s operations, including driver training, coordinating large-scale, interagency drills and more.
His experience sparked a new passion.
“The more I did, the more I realized that my daily class schedule did not light me up the way that my nights on the ambulance did,” he said.
Ultimately, Sobieksi “made the life-altering decision to uproot my life as an engineering student and trade it in for a set of scrubs.”
He’s now transitioned his focus from responding to emergencies to preparing for them.
Sobieksi was instrumental in establishing the university’s Stop the Bleed campaign, a program that offered training to members of the campus community to quickly respond to injuries in a way that prevents blood loss by applying tourniquets and packing wounds. It also involved the installation of medical supply kits across campus.
After leaving CWRU EMS, Sobieksi, now a senior, was offered an internship by Megan Koeth, director of the Office of Resiliency. In this new role, he has helped deploy the university’s new automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which are wifi-enabled and offer such features as adaptive sound, analysis through compressions, re-engineered pads and the ability to check themselves for potential issues to ensure they will always be ready for use.
“This project was difficult for us to accomplish and took months of planning, coordination, and execution,” Sobieksi said. “But it could keep our community members safe for decades to come. I have always been drawn to patients and their stories, but I am constantly amazed to see the long lasting impact my coworkers are able to have on the community.”
Sobieksi, who also is involved with the Undergraduate Student Nurses Association, is secretary for CWRU’s chapter of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing and works part-time as an EMT for Physician’s Ambulance. He’s now considering a career in emergency management.