According to a Jan. 3 press release, the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) program offered to high school students enrolled as dual enrollment students has already proven successful.
Oneonta campus EMS instructor Casey Hackney said several students have transferred to four-year colleges using the credentials earned in the program or have used their credentials to obtain jobs at hospitals such as UAB after they graduated high school last year.
Hackney said that the class gives students more understanding if they are going into any type of healthcare profession, but he also noted that jobs in the healthcare field are not the only option for EMTs and paramedics. Wallace State’s Emergency Medical Services Program director Allen Patterson said that industry employees could earn additional wages as members of emergency response teams.
According to Patterson, outside of traditional healthcare routes, some plants such as Kia, Mercedes, and Alabama Power like to have employees with EMT certification to respond to emergencies; however, some plants such as U.S. Steel have their own police, fire, and ambulance services to handle emergencies.
Patterson pointed out that the EMTs and paramedics of today have come a long way from the early days when ambulance services were run by the funeral homes or wrecker services and their main goal was to get the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible. Now paramedics are trained to handle emergency situations by administering medications and performing medical procedures as part of life-saving measures in the field.
Although the Spring 2019 semester has already begun, Wallace State-Oneonta will be offering enrollment opportunities for the program each semester based on demand. The program’s basic EMT short-term certificate can be completed in one semester, and an associate in applied science degree in emergency medical services can be obtained in five semesters. For more information about the EMS program, contact Patterson at 256-352-8335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.