Family tradition drives 18-year-old to become EMT

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Tuesday's Teen - Bailley Vinton

By Anna Taylor

Bailley Vinton grew up around chaos. With a father who is an EMT and firefighter, an uncle who is also an EMT and a brother who is a junior firefighter, the 18-year-old knows a thing or two about helping out in a crisis.


"I've grown up with the fire department and EMS and it's just something that's a part of me," she said.

When Vinton found out Hardin County EMS was beginning to offer EMT program training classes last fall, she jumped at the opportunity to join the family tradition of helping people.

While in her class, Vinton learned skills including bandaging, splinting, shock management, signs and symptoms and even how to deliver a baby. Her class was every Tuesday and Thursday from October through March. 

Between February and March, she had ride time every weekend in the ambulance where she got to ride with the crews and go out on runs. Anything Vinton learned in the classroom, she could do in the ambulance.

During her experience, she had one patient situation that she only could describe as weird.

"I had this one lady," she started. "When we got there she couldn't feel anything from her waist down. She didn't know what happened."

Vinton said she got a pain in her side and when they arrived on the scene, the woman was laying in the bathroom floor, unable to do anything from her waist down.

"It turns out, we got her to the hospital and within 10-15 minutes she was in MRI and CT and they took her to surgery within four hours," she said. "She had a malignancy on her PD- L1 and PD-L2 that had wrapped around and pinched off her spinal cord."

So far, that was Vinton's craziest experience with EMS though not necessarily the most memorable.

"My very first patient told me that I looked like his granddaughter and told me I had the most beautiful smile ever," she said.

At 17, Vinton was the youngest in her class. She said getting to work with adults at least twice a week made going back to school at North Hardin more difficult.

Vinton admitted that her national written exam for EMS was the hardest test she had ever taken.

"I think I studied more for my EMT class than I did for school," she said.

Because the EMS class was a heavy commitment, Vinton gave up playing softball her senior year so she could attend.

Vinton realized she wanted to work as an EMT on Nov. 9, 2012, when she had a roll-over crash with her brother and cousin. Vinton said her brother was ejected from her car and the experience was surreal.

"So many people came to help us and I wanted to be that person for everyone," she said.

Today, Vinton is EMT certified to work in the state of Kentucky.

"It's just where I'm starting," she said. "In the end I want to be a trauma surgeon so this is just getting my foot in the door."

Vinton said her goal for the near future is to apply for an EMS job in Hardin and LaRue counties. She also wants to get in the emergency room at Hardin Memorial Hospital and attend college. Vinton will be starting classes at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in the fall. She said she wants to save money going there for two years before transferring her credits to Eastern Kentucky University to get her paramedic degree. She hopes to become either a trauma surgeon or a flight nurse.

"I just like helping people and it's chaos that I thrive in," she said. "I've always felt like I belong in emergency medicine."

Vinton said she has wanted to become a doctor since she was little. When she got older, her interest only grew stronger as she became more exposed to the industry and watched television shows such as "Trauma: Life in the ER."

For a senior scrapbook at North Hardin, students were asked to share their meaning of life.

"Mine was something to the effect of 'I find happiness in helping others' and that's my meaning of life whether I make an impact on somebody for five minutes or three hours, just knowing that I did everything I can to improve something in their life," she said. "Whether its holding their hand or fixing something, that's everything to me."

A Hardin Countian since birth, Vinton plans on staying in the area so she can be near her family.

Having already put in a few hours after graduation, Vinton doesn't want to waste time if it can bring her closer to reaching her goals.

"I'm ready to go to work and do something that I like rather than sit at home or go to school," she said.

Anna Taylor can be reached at 270-505-1747 or ataylor@thenewsenterprise.com.

Place of birth: Elizabethtown

Favorite music: I listen to everything!

Favorite movie(s): The Sandlot

Favorite TV shows: Criminal Minds

Favorite book): The Hunger Games

Hobbies: I help coach a 16U girls' travel softball team