Although Natalia Nucifore, EMT, celebrated her high school graduation just over one year ago (Arlington HS Class of 2021), she has already made great strides toward her professional goals. Now a Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at NDP EMS, Natalia is proof-positive that any young person who wants to jumpstart a career helping others need not wait!
Her story is also a reminder that childhood dreams come true when you have the drive, determination, and dedication that she does. Here’s more from our interview:
Natalia, tell us about your educational background.
I grew up in Hyde Park and graduated from Arlington High School in 2021. My education, however, went beyond the Arlington HS campus; I was a student in the Dutchess BOCES nursing program, which I loved. And before the end of senior year, I was already working toward my EMT certification through a training program at Dutchess Community College.
Did the pandemic impact your chosen career path? Yes, definitely. I think that anyone who lived through the pandemic, especially those of us who were still in school, realized how important helping professions are. I was working in Urgent Care throughout the global health crisis, and the more time I spent doing that and seeing the needs of my community, the more I wanted to do. While Urgent Care was a great experience, I knew I wanted to help people more directly, in their homes - so the EMT training presented me with a chance to fulfill that goal.
In what ways did your upbringing shape you? I grew up surrounded by people who are in the medical field (my mom and aunts are all nurses) and other family members who have served in the military - so everyone around me was helpful to others in some way, and I knew it was in my blood to do something in that vein too! Since I was little, I always looked up to my mom, who was an amazing special needs pediatric nurse (she’s now a travel nurse). She got so close to the families since she went right into their homes, and they would call her at different times to come over - so I often had the chance to go with her. Seeing her in action really inspired me; she was always so great with everyone and I saw what a difference she was making in their lives. I wanted to do the same: just help people where I can, like she has always done.
Tell me about your training to become an EMT.
As mentioned, I completed my training through Dutchess Community College. It took about 5 months, and although I had the option to register for either a day program or a night program, I picked the daytime option because it worked really well with my schedule. I met so many new people from all walks of life, and we learned so much together. I also got to meet people who came in to teach certain skills - from hospitals and agencies - and that was great too. It was easy to fit it all in, even as a student at both Arlington and BOCES - and I am so glad I did it then, because I was able to get right to work doing something I love.
What most excites you about being an EMT?
I like that every call is different - and as they say at NDP, every call is also a chance to make a difference. It’s also meaningful to think about the fact that while some calls may not seem like emergencies to our team, they probably feel that way to the person who we’re responding to. So, we have a chance to really be there for people - to calm them down, to talk them through whatever they are going through, and to provide them with whatever support they need. All of that is so rewarding. And this is a field where you constantly have to practice patience, which is helpful with everything else I do in my life as well.
What made you decide to pursue a role with NDP EMS?
NDP is the right size company - it is large enough to make investments into technology and sophisticated equipment - and it continues to expand, but it is small enough that the team really feels like a big family, and we know that we are all really going to be taken care of. Everyone is there for one another, and we can all depend on each other - whether we are at work or at home. I felt it as soon as I walked in the door - it is a place that welcomes everyone in and where we all feel comfortable and at home.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love being with my family; my sister and I are very close, so we go out together quite often too. I also like to shop when I can, and I find that because I’m with people all of the time at work, it’s nice to relax on my days off and even enjoy some alone time.
What do you envision for your future?
I plan to pursue a career as a special needs pediatric nurse, like my mom. I’m also thinking about becoming a licensed Medic too. I just need to figure out what I want to do first! I do know I always want to be in this field, and I love being an EMT; I plan to continue to find new opportunities to learn, grow, and advance.
Favorite part about the Hudson Valley? It’s beautiful - everywhere you go! There are so many places to enjoy, so many sites to visit - the river, the bridge, the walkway, the trails - it’s all gorgeous.
If you’re a high school student, recent graduate, or looking for a career change, consider our EMT training! Learn more at ndpems.com.