Centenary College student (and Benton native) Dylan Scott serves on the frontline as an EMT

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Shreveport, LA — Benton, LA, native Dylan Scott just finished his sophomore year at Centenary, and like all of his fellow students, completed the semester via remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Scott’s experience this spring has been anything but typical, as he has also served on the frontline against the disease in his job as an EMT-B with Balentine Ambulance Services.

Scott graduated from Benton High School in May 2018 and took a summer EMT training course at Bossier Parish Community College before entering Centenary in the fall. Due to the long hours and shift schedules, Scott has previously been able to complete his EMT work only during summer and holiday breaks, and sometimes on the weekends. Scott’s work with Balentine in the past few weeks has given him a first-hand look at the pandemic.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, policies involving personal protective equipment (PPE), patient interaction, and personal health have all changed,” explains Scott. “Health checks occur daily to ensure that those working and interacting with other healthcare workers and patients are healthy. N-95 Masks are worn everywhere now and during all patient contact, regardless of what they are being transported for. To minimize exposure COVID-19 patients are taken to halls and wards dedicated for the illness. It is certainly a drastic change from before the pandemic.”

Scott has encountered many local COVID-19 patients, most of whom were stable and relatively healthy at the time of transport. He remains vigilant about the disease and its dangers, however.

“My experiences do not subtract from the seriousness of the virus in my view, as some patients’ conditions could worsen or they could infect others,” says Scott. “Social media and the news play a large role in our lives, especially as we are navigating this pandemic. However, many different sources convey conflicting information. Having seen patients with the disease, I would advise to be cautious and really pay attention to how you interact with others and the world.”

Scott is majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry and plans to attend medical school after completing his undergraduate degree.