EMT program preparing first responders
Blaring sirens in the middle of the night. It’s a sound most people ignore. But for Emergency Medical Technicians working the night shift, the sound might signal that the night has just begun. Whether it’s a frantic emergency call to a car wreck, or a desperate plea from the loved one of a heart attack victim, EMTs must prepare for all situations. Preparation is the key!
Robeson Community College provides that preparation with an award-winning EMS program that has produced hundreds of certified EMTs over the years.
Pay is $35,000-40,000 a Year
Most of the students who are taking EMT courses are concurrently working as an EMT, either on the basic or intermediate level. Licensed paramedics in this area can expect to make $35,000 -$40,000 annually.
Two Programs… Degree or Certificate?
RCC offers two programs for aspiring EMTs. Both programs qualify completers to work as EMT’s in North Carolina, but one also leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree in Emergency Medical Science. Both teach many life-saving skills required for the quickly changing world of Emergency Medical Services. The certificate program typically takes about one and a half years to complete and the associate degree program usually takes
two years to finish, depending on student class load.
Graduates of the program work at fire departments, private EMS companies and hospitals. In addition, EMT instructors at RCC work closely with Robeson County EMS and Southeastern Health so they can keep up with the ever-changing field.
The first semester of the certification program consists of an EMT basic course, anatomy and physiology and 72 hours of clinical rotation that consists of 48 hours on an ambulance and 24 hours in an emergency room.
“Once you get your basic EMT certification, you can go on to take your intermediate courses,” EMS program director Eric Freeman said. The intermediate courses include 144 hours of clinicals, as well as daily classes taught by Freeman and other instructors.
Prospective EMS students should take the first basic course to see if it is a career they will enjoy, as it’s not a career for everybody.
One Day On. Two Days Off.
Many paramedics work a 24-on and 48-off schedule, meaning that for every full day of work, two days are off.
“The best thing I’ve seen in this program is the combination of the academic classroom instruction mixed with the real-world field experience,” Freeman said. “You can do something here in the lab 100 times, but until you actually do it on a real person, it’s hard to understand. We get both sides (classroom and field experiences) with the program.”
A Rewarding Career
EMS instructor Toby Carter said that though the job is very fast-paced and can be very stressful, he is glad that he chose to take course work to become a licensed EMT.
“It’s really fitting to my personality,” Carter said. “I get to go out and feel like I make a difference which I didn’t feel with my previous career.”
Carter said his job is worth it every time one of his students is hired in the field that he loves.
“Watching my students get a job after taking EMT classes is so rewarding,” Carter said. “It’s great to see them go out and do what I did full time for years.”
For more information contact Melba Hester at 910-272-3407 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.