NEW PALESTINE — Caring about the well-being of others doesn’t always come naturally to some. For Claire Evans, it’s a way of life.
Claire, 18, New Palestine, may just be a teenager, but she’s already 100% sure of what she wants to do now that high school is behind her.
In June, Claire plans to begin training to become an EMT with officials from Greenfield Fire Territory. The New Palestine High School Class of 2022 graduate has high hopes of being certified by the end of the year. She will then continue with more medical training, including obtaining a paramedic license and advanced training in EMT.
“At the end, I will be a paramedic,” she says.
Claire’s dream of helping others in need came true over the past year when she had to care for both her parents, Greg and Trista Evans, who were hospitalized with serious cases of COVID. .
While Claire helped the two after they were released from long hospital stays, she also had to keep an eye on her little brother while trying to maintain a normal high school life with school and a part-time job.
Although the past few months have been some of the hardest of her life, the time has also been rewarding as it has given Claire confidence that she can do the hard work of helping those in need.
“My dad had a collapsed lung, and they had to put the tube in and stuff,” Claire said. “When he got home he couldn’t treat the injury, so I did.”
It was during difficult times like this that Claire realized she could really take care of people, and she felt that being a paramedic would be a first step into the healthcare profession.
“When I was doing this and also helping my mom, I was like, ‘This is what I want to do, who I want to be, helping other people,'” Claire said.
Last winter, it was her father who went to the hospital first with a bad case of COVID. Three days later, her mother had to be hospitalized.
“My dad was there for a total of 20 days and my mom was intubated there for 40 days,” Claire said. “I had family who helped me, but it was difficult.”
Things were dark. At one point, Claire took emergency custody of her 9-year-old brother.
“He needed a tutor for school, and I was like, ‘It’s me. I got him. We’re fine,'” Claire said.
It was during this difficult family time that Claire said she relied on the values her parents instilled in her about family – doing what is right and necessary.
“My parents always taught me to think more with my mind and not just with my feelings,” she said. “It helped me think more rationally at a really difficult time.”
Fortunately, Claire’s parents survived COVID. Claire’s mother was finally able to come off the oxygen supply about a month ago and is now able to work.
“It was all really, really scary,” Claire said. “It definitely was.”
It’s those kinds of moments that Claire said she thinks will help make her a better, more compassionate paramedic and paramedic.
Before COVID caused such problems for the Evans family, Claire had taken advanced classes in school and cosmetology classes through the Warren Central Walker career program. All of this had to be pushed into the background when the family emergency unfolded.
“I was homeschooling, but it wasn’t working for me,” she said. “I was too busy taking care of my family.”
This included preparing meals, household chores as well as being a caregiver, caring for her parents.
Still, with the support of school officials, Claire found a way to complete her homework, which allowed her to complete the requirements last week in time to graduate with the class of 2022.
“All of this really humbled me,” Claire said.
While Claire is sad that she wasn’t able to complete the cosmetology work she was doing at the Walker Career Center, she said she was grateful for the opportunity there because she learned a lot and can do this type of work. side job.
“It’s a really good program they have there, and I’m glad our school offered it,” she says.
As for her primary career choice, Claire first learned about EMT work through her father, who trained as an EMT and firefighter, but eventually got into law enforcement where he worked for many years before getting COVID. Claire’s father retired from the New Palestine Police Department after his battle with COVID and now works in the family business with his wife, Trista.
“My dad and a friend of mine who know the field told me it was a great job, and I saw how passionate my friend is about this field, so I know it will be for me,” Claire said. “I want to help people, and I’ve always been like that.”