WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Rolling in a new ride: college’s EMS program teaches students how to handle emergency situations, receives new ambulance
By Jon Parton
The college’s Emergency Medical Science program (EMS) will soon have a new teaching tool. That teaching tool happens to be an ambulance.
Ray Wright, director, EMS, said that the new ambulance was recently retired from service and sold to the school by a government agency.
“We were very, very fortunate to get this one,” Wright said. “We had originally budgeted $25,000 for the new ambulance. Because it was government agency to government agency, we got it for $3,000.”
Although EMS already has one ambulance box located in SCI, Wright said that the extra one is needed to keep up with the necessities of the program. Students are trained to load and unload cots, as well as emergency vehicle driving.
“That’s not necessarily red lights and sirens, but it’s more mundane stuff like backing, where most accidents occur,” Wright said. “Just being able to handle that size of a rig because that rig, a lot of them, are on truck chassis.”
The program trains students who want to become Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) or Paramedics/Mobile Intensive Care Technicians (MICT). The EMR program requires about 200 hours of training while the MICT program requires about 2,000 hours of training.
“It’s full-time,” Wright said. “It’s one year, 47 credit hours, starting in January going through to December straight through. It is about 2,000 clock hours long.”
Wright said that an important part of the training involves hands-on experience. Students in the EMS program ride along with local paramedic services as observers before serving in hospital rotations in the summer.
“Learning to manage your adrenaline is a critical part of being a paramedic,” Wright said. “It’s like an actor or an athlete when you’re called to perform. Jitters, butterflies aside, you have to learn to manage that and you have to learn to be able to perform.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the median salary for all EMR workers is about $30,000 a year. That number is higher for MICT workers, whose median salary is about $42,000 a year.
Jay Hall, EMS student, said that the program is challenging.
“I think the information overload is the most difficult part,” Hall said. “But there are a lot of opportunities out there. It’ll be worth it when it’s over.”
EMS student Will Davis agreed with Hall about the difficulty of the training.
“Like our instructors told us, it’s like taking a sip out of the fire hose,” Davis said.
Davis said that although the program requires a lot of time and work out of students, he feels good about participating. Davis noted that EMS instructors Ray Wright and Kim Grubbs were among the first paramedics to be certified in the state of Kansas.
“The best part is the instructors,” Davis said. “They make us work hard to make sure we’re the best.”
Contact Jon Parton, news editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.