BY SAM EHRHART | STAFF WRITER
Silva has enjoyed learning about the career of an EMT at KCC. He has especially enjoyed being around the unique Hawaiian style of teaching that’s unlike anywhere else. He wishes to stay on Oʻahu for as long as possible and has no interest in moving to another location any time soon.
“I enjoy this area of work for many reasons,” Silva said. “It’s really awesome being able to help people on their worst day ever. It’s awesome knowing that you’ll be there to comfort and support them during their time of need and hardship. I just like to help people.”
Mansfield Silva received his motivation from a unique source. The 26-year-old from ‘Aiea graduated from Kapiʻolani Community College this semester as a member of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program. Silva has been exposed to medical equipment his entire life, and he draws his drive to do well from both his father and the passing of his uncle.
Growing up, Silva’s father owned a medical equipment store that was a popular place for people to rent and buy equipment. As a child, Silva’s early exposure to these medical tools — such as oxygen tanks, defibrillators, and wheelchairs — gave him immense interest in the EMT career path. Silva’s uncle was also an EMT; the combination of his uncle’s job and his father’s medical shop interested the young Silva. However, Silva’s uncle would become his biggest motivation in life.
Silva’s uncle was a paramedic a couple years ago too. His uncle was traveling to Hawaiʻi Island to help transfer a sick child to Oʻahu for better treatment. However, a freak accident happened during the flight, and the plane crashed. Silva’s uncle was killed in the wreck, and this event proved to be pivotal in his career decision. Since his death, Silva has decided to follow his uncle’s path. He now wants to learn about the man that was his uncle and his job as an EMT.
“On the 10th anniversary of my uncle’s death, we went back to the crash site on the Big Island,” he said. “We took several photos of where the wrecked helicopter once laid, but we found a really strange thing in the photos. Where the wreck once laid, there were wispy-looking columns of smoke in our pictures. There was no smoke at the site, it honestly seemed like it was a paranormal thing. I think that smoke in the picture was my uncle telling me to follow his career from heaven. Many of my family members say that I’m just like a younger version of my uncle.”
Back in 2016, Silva made a huge decision. On the the day of his uncle’s birthday, Silva decided to get a tattoo on his wrist to honor and memorialize him. The tattoo that Silva decided on is the popular medical symbol of a snake crawling up a caduceus with a blue asterisk-looking background. The tattoo serves as Silva’s motivation to do well in life and to remember his end goals.
Silva’s future goal is to become a EMT recruiter towards younger people. He wishes to teach children and college students about the EMT career and to influence their decisions in the field. Silva believes that the best part of KCC’s EMS program is all the great friendships that he made with other students.
“I once witnessed a man get hit by a car,” Silva said. “Since I was the first person on scene, it was my responsibility to hold the guy’s head up until official paramedics arrived. People need to realize that the predictability and comfortableness of a EMT’s job is entirely gone. The job will constantly keep you on your toes and you must always work extremely hard.”
Silva hopes to return to KCC in the future to take more classes in the health field. In many instances, paramedics who are hired by the city and county of Honolulu will be paid to go back to college to take even more health related courses. Silva hopes that Honolulu will chose him as one of the lucky EMT personal.