June 13, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

CHC professor publishes book detailing the life of a first responder

4 min read

Crafton Hills College (CHC) adjunct professor Dave Molloy recently published a book detailing the life of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

According to Molloy, who draws from more than two decades of experience as a paramedic and now serves as a primary EMT instructor at CHC, there is a lot more to the job than what television dramas and movies depict. These depictions can lead to an inaccurate perspective of what it means to be a good pre-hospital care provider.

Molloy reflects, “My personal journey in emergency medical services (EMS) began as a child watching the television show EMERGENCY. I watched in awe as paramedics Johnny Gage and Roy De Soto responded to call after call helping people who were sick and injured.”

Later Molloy learned that although programs like this one lead many people to think that a typical day of an emergency medical technician is filled with life-and-death situations, that is not the reality.

Such is the title for his book EMS: It’s Not What You Think! published last September. The book details both examples of actual day-to-day operations of working as an EMT or paramedic while highlighting the “soft skills” of EMS — how to provide emotional and psychological care to patients and support people in their time of need.

His book is published at a unique and challenging time, particularly for health care professionals. He said the rise of COVID-19 further prompted him to publish the book, particularly following a conversation with an EMT who said the high-risk of exposure to the virus was “not what he signed up for.”

“When people say that, I have to ask, ‘what do you think you signed up for? This is exactly what you signed up for,'” Molloy said. “I don’t want potential students to invest time, money, and energy for something they don’t want to do. If you watch TV, EMS is portrayed as heroic, and there is no doubt that it’s noble work, but I want people to have the whole picture.”

Molloy, an alum of CHC, has responded to countless emergencies in his 27 years as a paramedic. One call stands out in his mind, however — the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack that killed 14, including a family friend of Molloy’s, and wounded 22 others. Molloy and his team responded to the call, and despite the mass chaos of that day, he kept his cool. “We’re the folks who have to be calm in the midst of the chaos,” he said. “We have to provide reassurance to people who are scared or hurt. They need some reassurance that things are going to be OK. You cannot give false hope either. That is such a vital part. These soft skills are a key part of the first responder work,” Molloy said.

Molloy does not sugar-coat the work and struggles future EMTs and paramedics will face and encourages students to fully understand what it means to sign up for CHC’s program.

“I want to see the future classes be passionate and set the tone for others to follow,” he said. “I’m training my replacements. I want them to be the best they can be, and a huge part of that is having the right attitude.” Molloy believes that Crafton’s EMT program provides an exceptional learning experience. “All of the faculty and staff have tremendous real-world experience as pre-hospital care providers. The majority of them continue to work in the field today. All of the primary instructors have a strong desire to see all students be successful in the program. There is a lot of heart and soul that goes into making a program stand out as top-notch.” Molloy added, “There is prestige that follows a Crafton Hills College EMT program graduate.”

Molloy understands the gravity of the work he does. He can pinpoint the moment he decided that he wanted to become a first responder. It was the moment his own father hovered on the precipice of death before his eyes. The responding paramedics revived him, and thanks to them, his father lived for another twenty-five years. Molloy knew he had to return the favor by stepping into the role of paramedic himself. Molloy recalls, “I wanted to help sick and injured people in their time of need, and hopefully give them more time with their families.”

Molloy completed the CHC EMT program in 1993 and began working as an emergency room technician until he was “old enough” to work for the local ambulance company. He graduated from the CHC Fire Academy in 1994 and CHC Paramedic Program in 1997, continuing to work very closely with the College’s EMS Department as a skills instructor, paramedic program field liaison, National Registry proctor, and adjunct faculty member. In 2012, Molloy developed a class for the program, EMS-025: Customer Service and Professionalism for the EMS Worker and began teaching that course. In January 2014, Molloy become a primary instructor in the EMT program. “It is a tremendous privilege to be able to teach in the program where my EMS career started,” concluded Molloy. In addition to his educational accomplishments at Crafton Hills College, Molloy also holds a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in business administration.

Molloy’s book is available in both eBook and paperback formats on his website at

To learn more about CHC’s EMT certification program, visit craftonhills.edu/ems.


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