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Dayton Engineer

Clayton and Sue Ducker posing for a photo.

Engineering Student Recognized with State Award for Work as Firefighter/EMT

Clayton Snider understands what it means to be busy. But he’s busy for a good reason: helping others when they need it most.

When Snider — a senior mechanical engineering technology student from Tipp City — isn’t in class, he’s at work as a firefighter/EMT in his hometown. 

He takes a full-time course load while working an average of 30 hours a week and remaining involved in Pi Kappa Phi, 4 Paws for Ability and various other student organizations.

But all the stress about finishing homework disappears when a call comes into the station. He knows that it’s time to focus on the task at hand. 

“I went through both firefighter and EMT training at Sinclair Community College during my senior year of high school through the CCP program,” Snider said, “My dad was also a firefighter/paramedic part time while enrolled in engineering at UD.

“The service to the community and being able to make a difference is what I like the most about the job.”

Snider and a team of first responders from Tipp City, New Carlisle, Miami County Communications Center and CareFlight were recently awarded the EMS Star of Life Award.  The award is given out annually to recognize outstanding achievements and honor those in Ohio’s EMS system whose accomplishments rise above day-to-day excellence.

They were recognized for their support and quick action on October 29, 2022 to rescue 72-year-old Sue Ducker. Ducker was riding her horse on the trails of Tipp City's Kyle Park when her horse got scared and threw Ducker from the saddle.

Luckily, a bystander saw the accident and called 911. Because Ducker was deep into the trail system, it was harder for dispatchers to pinpoint her exact location. It took crews approximately 75 minutes to extricate Ducker from the woods and transport her to the nearby helicopter. Ducker underwent multiple surgeries and spent 17 days in the hospital. Since then, she has fully recovered. 

Snider credits part of his confidence to the skills he’s built in his engineering courses.

“Every call we take is different and has its own unique challenges.” Snider said. “My unique background in engineering, as well as certifications in rope rescue operations, fire inspector and vehicle extrication give me a great skill set to succeed in any given situation.

“I use the skills I have learned at UD everyday whether it be looking at weak points in a car to extricate a patient, calculate PSI and GPM for an engine to pump water at a fire or understand building construction and mechanical systems to determine the safety of the building.”

As graduation this fall approaches, Snider is still determining his next step. He’s interested in working in engineering fields like medical, safety or project management. 

No matter where he goes next, one thing is for certain — he’d like to continue serving the community.  

“UD has allowed me to be more comfortable at what I do,” Snider said. “The engineering skills I have learned at UD have helped me to better problem solve in any given situation and make analytical decisions to best serve the patient or scene.”

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