Photos courtesy of the Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Department.
The following story appears on WDBJ-7’s website. See video and the full story at: http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Roanoke-County-Schools-first-graduating-class-of-new-EMT-program-celebrate-422348333.html
There is a growing need of healthcare and emergency medical professions in our area. The hours of training and testing can be a deterrent for some. Roanoke County Fire and Rescue decided to engage potential hires at an earlier age. They teamed up with Roanoke County Public School to do so.
These 35 students just finished their first emergency medical technician class at Burton Center for Arts and Technology. "It is wild..it's so surreal," said Ethan Sweeney, graduating senior at William Byrd High School.
The partnership between Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke County Fire and Rescue and Roanoke County School was a win win for everyone.
Chief Steven Simon, Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department: "If you don't try it you don't know if you will like it or not. These students took that chance, they've had a great experience," said Chief Steven Simon, Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department. "It's the I want to learn how to do this so then you gotta study and read the books, it's way up there on the top of my most favorite experience of my high school career," said Caleb Hadfield a Cave Spring High School senior.
The program wasn't easy, students had hours of lectures and challenging activities like stabilizing victims to car rescues. “You can tell you are doing something for the community, it's not something you can't see. It's all tangible and in front of you.. I really like that about it," said Sweeney.
"It's exciting and it's fun, hands on second half, learning first half. They incorporate so many different techniques," said Hadfield.
Once they take their EMT certification, they'll be eligible to apply for volunteer or staff roles. Roanoke City Schools will also start a similar program in the fall.