Seven students have decided to take on emergency medical technician training in addition to their high school studies, and they have had one very hands on semester.
“It’s stressful at first, right when you start you kind of forget but as you go on, you remember everything you learn in class,” Strasburg High school senior Jacqulyn Miller said.
The students are a part of Lord Fairfax Community College’s first EMS Academy that offers them the opportunity to earn dual credits which can transfer to any Virginia college.
“You can get an early start in your possible career,” Sierra Calvert of Clarke County High School said.
The program will also set them up to earn their EMS certificate, which is not only a benefit to them, but a plus to the communities that they may one day serve.
“With the EMS shortage, a lot of these students will either go on and do careers or some will volunteer. Communities always need volunteers. ems program, assistant director Paul Cissel says.
This semester the students meet two days each week and they have learned the basics of cardiac medical care.
“Make sure the airways are clear, they’re breathing adequately, and they have good circulation,” Calvert explained.
Their professors use real life scenarios to get them as prepared as possible for what’s to come.
“People do get sick when you’re doing this. Unconscious people do vomit, and you have to be prepared for that,” Cissel said.
Skyline High School student Seth Mills volunteers at his local station, and says the academy is an experience that only solidified his career choice.
“All of my volunteering that I’ve been doing over the summer and the EMS Academy, I am really getting into the fire department currently, I am liking it,” Mills said.
And Calvert says the class is showing her that the opportunities are endless.
“You can get a million different careers out of this, you don’t have to ride in the back of an ambulance you can do a million things.”Calvert says.
A Perkins grant, and high schools and local EMS departments coming together have made the experience tuition free for each of those students.