Melanie Sellar is a 27 year old Emergency Care Technician who was born in Cape Town and grew up in the small Overberg town of Genadendal. She joined Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in 2008 through a learnership programme. Melanie completed her qualification as a Basic Life Supporter (BLS) in 2009 and followed this up with a qualification in Intermediate Life Support (ILS). At the end of 2014 she qualified as an Emergency Care Technician and today she can be found saving lives from Du Noon to Bonteheuwel.
Melanie fell in love with emergency services as a child while she admired her father who is a Rescue Technician. All she ever wanted to do was be like him and fly to mountain calls in helicopters and extricate people from accident wrecks amongst others.
As for challenges that come with this profession…Melanie says there are a few too many to mention and being a female in a previously male dominated working environment is something she deals with regularly. Being rather short of stature with child like features…it’s not always a breeze she says.
Melanie often has to deal with patients and crowds, families and bystanders who mistake her for a student until she starts with treatment. Her fears include entering areas with high crime rates. Areas she knows her colleagues experienced life threatening situations and especially when on night shift.There have been many incidents where Melanie says it was not possible to stabilize and save someone’s life due to the mechanism of injury a patient suffered…but in the end, she takes a step back and says to herself “I did what I could to the best of my ability…I did not just stand there and watch…I tried and gave it my best”.
Whenever asked what’s been her most memorable incident during her time as a medic…she can never really pick just one…there are way too many, but what she can say is…”whenever I assist with delivering a baby in the back of an ambulance or inside a house,it usually just makes my day! That moment of joy and happiness that comes with the baby’s first cry of life as it enters the world…is always a phenomenal moment.
Besides being a total baby/ birth lover, Melanie also loves treating the elderly/ geriatric patients…”most times all they want is company, someone to drink tea with and to reassure them that they’ll be fine…most of them are aging alone,without children and families…and it doesn’t hurt to spend a few minutes listening to them sharing their wisdom and stories…these are the little things that make Melanie’s heart smile…knowing she’s made that next person’s day just a little bit better.
Western Cape Government Health and Emergency Medical Services personnel, working Better Together.