2 years later, Class of 2020 Alum is now helping save lives

Posted September 30, 2022

About a year ago, Nic Bregman received a call to treat a gunshot-wound patient in Aurora. As he and his partner arrived, he remembers seeing a Honda Accord decorated in bullet holes sitting in the driveway. 

“We got him out, started compressions, attached an AED to shock and monitor his cardiac rhythms. We ran the whole gamut,” he says. Bregman even describes using an intraosseous (IO) drill that drills a small incision in the patient’s knees to circulate fluids. This is done when getting into a vein isn’t possible. 

“I then swapped out with a doctor, I cleaned myself off, and walked out.” Bregman runs anywhere from 4 to 8 calls a week. This was just one of them.

“Being in the back of an ambulance…it’s an environment I am extremely familiar with,” says Bregman, Class of 2020 alum now 21-year old emergency medical technician (EMT). “You are active. You are engaged. It is just my area. It’s exciting.” 

The Denver native can’t help but smile as he thinks about all of the reasons he loves what he does for a living. More specifically, the adrenaline and excitement attached to being in an ambulance. 

It’s such an awesome thing to have a school like DSISD support me. My teachers wanted to set me up for success.”

When asked about his time at the Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design (DSISD), he can’t help but make connections between his current profession with the project-based learning (PBL) model that DSISD uses.

“This job is all about getting better through experience,” he says. “[DSISD] helps you with those fundamentals before sending you out into the world. You are ready to be a professional.” 

Like the projects he completed in high school, Bregman describes being an EMT like being a pioneer. He is constantly thinking about new and innovative ways to treat his patients in high-stress situations. He is always learning what is and isn’t working. 

Working together. Solving problems. It’s a process he knows all too well from his time at DSISD. 

“When you leave high school, it can be scary and intimidating,” he says. “I chose this path because I felt like it fit my personality best. I love helping people. I love having a day that is never the same.” 

He knew he wasn’t meant to have a desk job after completing his internship with 9 Health Fair just down the street. Then he jumped into the early college at DSISD with a criminal justice focus.

“During my senior year I was really into the first responder world. I found out policing wasn’t for me and everyone around me recommended that I look into fire,” he says. 

This led him to enroll at Red Rocks Community College the summer after graduation. There, he completed a 6-month course on the basics of being an EMT. His goal is to become a paramedic and eventually join a fire department. While retracing his career path, he mentions just how important it was to have a school like DSISD to support him. 

This place is really oriented towards setting you up for life after high school.

“It’s such an awesome thing to have a school like DSISD support me. My teachers wanted to set me up for success.”

Bregman is currently working as a field instructor for APEX Paramedics. Training others, he attributes many of the skills he has now to moments that his teachers would cultivate the leader in him. He vividly remembers how often his teachers pushed him to feel confident in himself and his abilities to communicate in front of an audience. Here, he says, he developed an identity that helped him believe in himself as a leader. 

“This school made me feel valued and capable. They pushed professionalism, held job fairs, and I remember people came in all the time to speak to us,” he says. 

“This place is really oriented towards setting you up for life after high school. They reassured me that I can work in a team, I can lead, and I can communicate with people in the real world.”