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September 15, 2023

AHA Senior Earns Long-Anticipated EMT Certification

Olivia Roque was a Girl Scout of about nine years old when she caught a glimpse into her future. At the time, the Little Ferry resident met an older Scout who was a junior member of a Hasbrouck Heights emergency medical services team. Captivated, Roque was determined to serve as an EMT, and ultimately become a doctor.

Olivia Roque


In September 2023, just as she was beginning her senior year at the Academy of the Holy Angels, Roque passed the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians Exam, which allows her to practice. She is an active member of Moonachie First Aid and Rescue Squad, which she joined in December of 2022.


“It is a volunteer squad in which members are able to join prior to, or after, training,” she explained. “I earned my initial form of training, such as tactical skills, (with the Moonachie squad) before learning more in EMT school. Members are restricted on calls and are only permitted to shadow the technicians on calls. Now, although I am a member of the squad, my title is a technician. I plan on joining my hometown’s squad in Little Ferry shortly as an EMT, but my squad is in the neighboring town.”


In fact, Roque seems to be surrounded by EMTs: Several of her friends and family members have earned EMT certification, and two of her EMT cousins went on to pursue careers in medicine.


“During my training, I found time management to be one of my greatest struggles,” Roque shared. “Because I decided to take the accelerated program, there were times when I had to complete over 10 chapters in a week while balancing my summer work for school and other responsibilities. Along with this, there were times when we had multiple tests a week covering four to five chapters. The entire course is a total of 40 chapters.”


She explained that the New Jersey EMT course involves a minimum of 150 hours along with 10 hours of hospital rounds.


“This course took me nine weeks to complete, with a total of four classes a week lasting about four-and-a-half hours each. In order to officially obtain an EMT certification, I needed to pass my National Registry of EMTs Exam, which grants me national certification,” she said. “Being an EMT is one of the most interesting and rewarding jobs, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested. It is not an easy course, meaning it takes a lot of dedication and hard work. If you have a love and a passion for the field it will still be a challenge, but it will never be a chore. EMS is a family that I am proud to say I am a part of.”


Roque is also a certified lifeguard.


Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. AHA’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.