Timur Alimov isn't your average high school senior. While most students participate in after-school activities such as sports, theater and arts and even after-school academics, Columbia High School's Alimov chose to go in a unique direction. After school, he saves lives.
Alimov is the youngest member of the South Orange Rescue Squad. Since becoming an EMT in June, he has been on over 70 medical calls and hopes his squad experience leads to a career in medicine.
“I started EMT school because my mom wanted me to,” said Alimov. “Once I got into it, it sort of pulled me into the emergency medical field. I want to help people.”
Alimov is continuing a family tradition of being involved in the medical field. His great grandmother was the head of the Department of Health in Kazakhstan in the 30’s and 40’s. His grandmother worked in a hospital in Kazakhstan and his mother is currently a nurse at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
“My mom decided to move here to start a new career as a nurse, because everybody in her family was in the medical field and she wanted to try something new,” said Alimov.
Following in the family tradition, Alimov is hoping his work at the Rescue Squad leads to a career in medicine, saying “completing EMT school is the first step in achieving a big goal.”
“I’ve watched Tim grow up as an EMT since joining the squad,” said Melanie Troncone, a squad member who is the Crew Chief of the shift Tim rides on. “He certainly has a passion for helping people.”
Born in Uzbekistan, Alimov moved to Moscow at age 7. He came to South Orange in August 2009. With a limited English vocabulary, Alimov found himself in English as a Second Language classes during his first year at CHS. He managed to master the English language within a year and now he is in multiple honors and advanced placement classes.
Despite being only 18-years-old, Alimov has already learned the importance of volunteering. He says the most rewarding experience of working at the squad is “helping in the community.”
“I think it’s great that at such a young age, Tim has already realized the importance of volunteering in the community,” said Joe Zujkowski, who rides with Alimov on Wednesday nights. “Tim is definitely an asset to the squad.”
Established in 1952, the Rescue Squad has responded to more than 50,000 calls and celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. Last year, volunteers, who contributed nearly 17,500 hours of emergency medical service, responded to more than 1,200 calls.
“Residents depend on squad members like Tim to step up in the community,” said Rescue Squad Captain Will Harris. “We hold ourselves to high standards and Tim lives up to them.”
For Alimov, he is just happy to be helping in a community he loves in a country that he now calls home.
“In Uzbekistan and third world countries, there is really no hope to become anything big,” said Alimov. “Here, almost anybody, even the most average person, can achieve their dream.”