"As long as I can remember, I've always wanted to save lives," Orinda resident Erin Field says. At 18, her memory doesn't travel back far, but, though young, she has already had a full life of learning to care for others.
When Erin was only 7, her father was diagnosed with lymphoma, which was wrapped around his heart. The prognosis was dire, she says, but the doctors never gave up and soon thereafter it was discovered the cancer had disappeared.
“We still believe it was a miracle,” she says. “But without the doctors, my dad probably wouldn’t be alive today.”
That inspirational experience prompted her to pursue medicine and this fall she begins the pre-nursing program at Cal State East Bay.
Meanwhile, she continues to grow as a SAR member. The medical aspects of SAR are what attracted her, but she has found plenty more to keep her interested. Currently she is choosing to remain an Explorer (they do have fun), but for her second year on the team, she will begin coaching a new Academy student Explorer. It fits with her M.O., which is to connect with others.
“I guess you could say I’m a people person,” she says.
One could, indeed, say that. She enjoys making friends from around the world; in fact, her best friend lives in Germany. In order to converse, she learned German, but she didn’t stop there. She also speaks French, is learning Japanese and Italian, and can understand and communicate in sign language.
In addition to having a wide social life, Erin also has a variety of interests and hobbies. She babysits, draws, sings, dances, plays guitar and flute, acts and likes to “organize” (good for logistics). She’s well acquainted with physical exercise, favoring tennis, swimming, snowboarding, horseback riding, ice skating and a number of team sports. Of course, she also likes to hike and explore, which suits the SAR mold well.
As one who knows from sports what it means, Erin is most impressed with the teamwork aspect of SAR.
“Everyone in SAR plays a big part, whether they’re good at reading maps, talking on radios, hiking in the roughest terrain, or helping someone who’s losing a lot of blood,” Erin says. “Every person contributes something of importance, and when people work together, using their special talents, it’s amazing … I can’t think of one member who is not willing to help or teach a skill that they know to a new person on the team. SAR is a truly incredible organization that I’m lucky to be a part of.”