GMVRS Member Profiles for National EMS Week – Gillian Mayland
“I like all aspects of being a member of the rescue squad; the excitement of the calls I go on, treating the patients, and hanging out with other members at the Station”, said Gillian Mayland, in response to the question; What do you like the most about your EMS experience?
Gillian, age 19, has achieved what few other EMS providers have done, became a certified National Registry (NR) EMT-B at age 18, and one year later (May 2022) became an NREMT-P (Medic). She is an OMD (Office of the Medical Director) endorsed Basic Life Support (BLS) provider for the GMVRS and runs calls as the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Ambulance when on shift.
Her EMS journey began when she was attending Metz Middle School in Manassas and decided to attend “Fire and Rescue Camp” a two-week summer program put on by the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department (CMFRD), as a long-term recruitment tool for aspiring Freshmen and Sophomores. The camp provided hands on orientation and the opportunity to interact with Firefighters and EMS providers. “After attending camp, I knew what I wanted to do”, said Gillian. “I remember Lt Kevin Schafer, Elizabeth Grubbs, and Lindsey Blasius”, all of whom are current CMFRD employees. Elizabeth and Lindsey are Firefighter/Medics.
While attending Manassas’ Osbourn High School, Gillian enrolled in the school’s EMS program, offered to Juniors and Seniors at the time, which provided accredited EMT training and culminated with the opportunity for students to become certified NREMT-Bs. “I was very focused as a student and was able to Ace the class, and get my EMT before graduating from Osbourn in June 2021”, she said. “That last year (2020-21) was tough because of COVID, so all the classes were virtual”.
As a high school student, Gillian joined and became a member of the GMVRS Junior Squad at age 16, which afforded her additional training and the practical experience of being part of an EMS organization. Although her ability to run calls was limited for a period of time during the COVID restrictions imposed on non-essential members, afterwards she was quick to complete her required intern program to learn and demonstrate proficiency applying the CMFR System’s medical directives and protocols. She was “cut loose” as a BLS provider in November 2021. During her time with the Junior Squad, which ended in October 2021 when she transitioned to the Senior (Operations) Squad, Gillian was the Junior Squad Captain.
In July 2021, shortly after her high school graduation, Gillian enrolled in paramedic school at her own expense. The GMVRS, through its newly established scholarship program, awarded her a $1,000 scholarship to help with the costs, which are about $9,000 for the 9-month course.
“I’m not sure where my desire to become an EMS provider came from, perhaps is was my grandpa, who was a firefighter in Iowa,” she reflected. “I do know that once a person decides to do something like EMS, you can’t just half do it, you need to be all in or not do it at all.” Gillian was raised in Minnesota, whose family moved to Manassas when she was in the second grade. She is oldest of three siblings, and lives with them and her dad. Tragically, her mom died unexpectedly after a short illness in 2019.
“I like talking to my patients while assessing them, who are sometimes curious and ask me about my age. I understand, and tell them, but also let them know that I’m a certified EMT.” She went on to say; “Then there are those patients who are a bit altered, usually from alcohol, who attempt to hit on me. One even offered to buy me a Christmas present. I’m pretty good a deflecting their attempts, and feel safe when running calls knowing that other crew members have my back.”
Gillian plans to spend this summer in Yellowstone National Park where she’ll be employed by the Lodge, and hopes to use her EMS skills there before returning to Manassas to continue her pursuit of a full-time career in EMS.