Pain, confusion, screaming, sirens…
“We are the very best chance you have on the worst day of your life,” Dave Timmons, department chair of Emergency Medical Service Professions said.
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics respond at a moments notice to get the injured to the hospital as quickly as possible and keep them alive.
“We are extensions of a physicians’ hands when we are in the field… we will do everything possible to keep someone alive,” Timmons said.
The program for a basic EMT is one semester, and to get a paramedic’s certification it is an additional year. EMTs perform basic life saving techniques in the field. Paramedics typically have a higher understanding of the situations and are able to perform different, more advanced actions on a patient.
Timmons said it is his goal that the students know everything he knows and more once finished.
The local hospitals see the benefits of the program first hand.
Arnie Spears, director of Champion EMS at Trinity Mother Frances, said that students who have received their certifications at TJC “are well trained and well prepared. We work closely with the program.”
Champion EMS has its own certification program also, but soon they might be working with TJC.
“We are currently negotiating with TJC to have night classes at TJC for Champion EMS,” Spears said.
It’s good for TJC, too.
“TJC will benefit from having (the students). We will get contact hours, and they will not have to jump through hoops for certification,” Timmons said.
An average of 50 percent of the students that complete their EMT certification go on to complete their paramedic training at TJC, according to Timmons.
Jared Mundock, a student in the paramedic class at TJC, is not stopping there. Once he has completed his paramedic certification, he plans to “go to Colorado for a paramedic to RN program.”
“I am looking forward to graduating and working somewhere, and of course the money,” said Courtney Castle, another student in the paramedic class.
Jamie Tilley is excited about “applying what we’ve been learning to the field and real life.”
These students were active during the two times evacuees stayed at TJC, volunteering to help wherever needed.
Timmons expects only the best from the students in the program.
“Absolute dedication is required. We are talking about people living and dying. I want my guys to do the very best job for every patient they come across.”