Meet the Newest Members of the Aetna Team: Aetna Hires Ten, 2015

HARTFORD — On August 14, 2015, nine EMTs and one Dispatcher were added to the Aetna team. As part of our continued growth Aetna and ASM seek out only the best candidates. We look for employees who are focused on high-quality patient care, are team oriented and conduct themselves in a professional manner. During the orientation, employees learn about company philosophy and goals, quality assurance, and policies and procedures.

Mark Correa:    FULL TIME, EMT. Hello my name is Mark Correa and I am a 23 year old currently residing in Springfield, MA. I have been an EMT in Springfield since 2011 and I take great pride in the work and care I provide to each patient with which I interact. I’ve worked as lifeguard for  seven years, a Dialysis Technician and an EMT at semi-pro football games. This allows me ample opportunity to work with those in need. I am currently in school working on a Bachelors of Science in Fire Science with an ultimate goal of becoming a Firefighter/Paramedic. I like to be active, I’m a sports guy, and I play semi-pro football as well as being an EMT at the games. I am excited and grateful for this new opportunity. 

Kelsey Gross:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Kelsey Gross.  I am 22 years old and live in Manchester, Connecticut.  For the first two years of my college career I attended the University of Wilmington in North Carolina, and then transferred back to my hometown of Storrs to finish obtaining my degree.  This past May I graduated from UCONN Storrs Campus with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology.  My interest in the field of emergency care began when I took an EMT course at UCONN during fall of my Junior year, as well as when I shadowed my pediatrician throughout my summers in college.  In the future I plan on attending a Physician Assistant program in the hopes of becoming a pediatric Physician Assistant, thus combining my love of children and of the medical field.  Before joining Aetna I worked in a childcare center during the week as well as at a winery on the weekends.  In my spare time I enjoy hiking, playing volleyball, and traveling.  In addition, one of my favorite activities is playing with one of my many dogs; right now there are 5 in my house!  I am very excited to join the Aetna family, and cannot wait to meet all of my fellow coworkers!

Ariel Mazara:     FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Ariel Mazara, I am 29 years old and currently live in Bristol, CT. I grew up in Queens, New York. While in high school, I joined multiple Volunteer Ambulance Companies, the Manhasset-Lakeville Volunteer Fire Department and was a founding member of Medical Explorer Post # 7380. At the age of 16 I became a New York State Certified First Responder (NYS CFR), later becoming an EMT at the age of 18. After working several different jobs ranging from afterschool programs, to a private non-emergency transport company, to being a supervisor for the Starbucks Coffee Company I enlisted in the Marine Corps. I served four and a half years as an intelligence analyst specializing in legal compliance and oversight. While on active duty I graduated from Excelsior College with an Associates of Science in Liberal Arts in January of 2015. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice.

Brianna Middel:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Bri Middel and I’m from East Lyme, Connecticut. I am 24 years old and I graduated from Springfield College in 2013 with a degree in Biology. I hope to attend Nursing or Physician’s Assistant graduate school in the future, with hopes of becoming a cardiac perfusionist eventually. In my spare time, I love to be outdoors, whether it is to run, hike, kayak, or travel somewhere new. I love meeting new people, and I’m excited to be a part of such a great team!

David O’Brien:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is David O’Brien and I recently became an Emergency Medical Technician. This past year I have dedicated myself to changing my career to helping others. I enrolled in an EMT course, became a volunteer firefighter and a substitute teacher all since February of 2015. My background includes 18 years of working in warehouse and transportation settings and through those settings I have learned that my heart truly yearns to helping others. I graduated from Northeastern University with an Athletic Training degree and during my time at Northeastern I was assigned to the Tuft University Athletic Training room; NU AT room; and both the NU basketball and football teams. I also did a co-op at Natick High School as the Assistant Athletic Trainer. I pride myself on being a results oriented, hands-on individual. During my time in Operations, I realized that because my management style strongly emphasizes communication and the principles of team building, I want to get back to helping others. Within Aetna I feel that I will be a valued addition to the team. I continue to train as a Triathlete, having completed the REV3 a few years ago, and I maintain a healthy lifestyle with a wonderful wife and three active children.

Roberto Rizza:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Roberto Rizza. I’m 38 years old and from Meriden. I studied Criminal Justice in college and shortly after I obtained a career as a Correctional Officer for 12 years. I pursued my education at Wolcott Fire School where I received a Firefighter-I certification. I then completed an EMT course in which I also received a certification. I have been a South Meriden Firefighter Volunteer for the past three years. I’ve always had a passion for helping those in need especially with quick response in emergent situations and most importantly, in saving lives. In my spare time, I enjoy going for a run, working-out, playing sports, going to the beach, hanging out with friends, and spending time with my family. I also speak Italian. My parents were born in Italy and came here for better opportunities. I’ve been brought up with a strong work-ethic and ambition to achieve my goals. I am thankful and look forward to this opportunity.

Blake St. John:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Blake St. John and I am 29 years old. I reside in Vernon, CT and have spent most of my life in the Hartford area. I got my start in emergency services with the Town of Vernon Fire Department in 2006. I was instantly hooked and knew I had found my calling. I have been a fully active member ever since. All the while, I maintained full time employment while concurrently working towards my degree from CCSU in New Britain. I have been employed full time in the Information Technology field since 2007 and with the same firm since 2008; a great software company located in the Hartford area. In my time in the Town of Vernon, I was inspired and encouraged to take on new roles and responsibilities, the latest of those was my EMT certification. For a long time I had assisted at EMS calls from the periphery and was excited about the opportunity to “get in there” and perform my own patient care. I attended the New Britain EMS Academy in 2013 and certified as an EMT in 2014. While precepting in New Britain, I learned a ton of information, met a great group of people, and immediately became hooked on EMS. A while after completing my program, I started volunteering as a primary technician with Ellington Volunteer Ambulance Corps; another great EMS organization and a great group of people who I enjoy working with. In my time volunteering with EVAC, I found that EMS was definitely where I wanted to be. For the first time in my life, I am following my heart into a career path rather than my wallet. I am very excited to be able to turn my part time volunteer vocation into a full time career at Aetna Ambulance.

Tomasz Sopel:    PART TIME, EMT. I am a 23 year pre-med student at UConn pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology. Born in Leżajsk, Poland, I came to the United States when I was three years old and have lived in Connecticut ever since. I completed my training with Bristol Hospital EMS and have experience working with the Town of Newington. It’s always been my life goal to learn as much as possible about the human body and to use that knowledge to save lives, so becoming an EMT was a perfect decision for me. I take my studies seriously; as I’m work towards an ultimate career in neurosurgery. In my time away from the books I like to train martial arts and compete in a few competitions throughout the year. I welcome any kind of new experience, be it skydiving, cliff jumping, week long hiking trips, I love experiencing new things and adapting to challenges in real time. Knowing this, I do my best every day to learn and grow from these day to day challenges so I can be the best version of myself I can be, both in the uniform and out. I am very eager to use this mentality to learn and grow with everyone at Aetna!

Bethany Sullivan:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Bethany Sullivan, I am 22 years old and I grew up in Bolton, Connecticut.  I graduated from UConn in 2015 with a double major in Pathobiology and Animal Science and a minor in Molecular and Cell Biology.  I began riding horses at the age of four and I have my own horse that I train and ride almost every day.  In college, I enjoyed being on the UConn Equestrian Team and was also part of a research team conducting genetics and muscle biology research as part of two broader studies at the university.   During this time, I also worked as a veterinary technician at a local equine practice and enjoyed helping treating horses in both emergency and primary care.  These experiences actually helped foster my pursuit of human medicine.  In 2014, I received my EMT certification from Hartford Hospital and I am now an EMT on-call with the Bolton Fire Department.  I enjoy the human interaction and ability to help people in need.  Presently, I am taking a year off while applying to medical school, and am excited to be part of Aetna Ambulance!

Tom Winterbottom:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Tom Winterbottom and I am 22 years old. I am from Burlington, Connecticut where I’ve lived for most of my life. I graduated from The University of Connecticut in May 2015 with a bachelors degree in Communication. I have been a volunteer firefighter in Burlington since 2010 and received some firefighting certifications. This past summer I decided to take the EMT course through Bristol Hospital and start my EMS career. In my free time I enjoy volunteering at the fire house and training with my friends. I also enjoy doing anything outdoors such as hiking, fishing, and water sports. In my future I wish to become a career firefighter or a paramedic. I look forward to meeting you all and I am proud to be apart of Aetna’s team!