Take prerequisite courses this summer for fall admission to EMT paramedic program

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Photo: Allen Patterson is the head of the Wallace State Emergency Medical Services program.

HANCEVILLE – Students wishing to enter the Wallace State Emergency Medical Technician’s Paramedic program this fall are encouraged to take summer courses in order to complete prerequisites.

“We’re staring a fall paramedic program, so anyone interested in that would need to take their EMT classes in the summer,” said Allen Patterson, head of the EMS program at Wallace State. Curriculum changes now allow for students to enter paramedic training directly after completing these prerequisite courses.

Some of those prerequisites are the regular CPR for healthcare professionals, the Emergency Vehicle Operations course and the regular EMT course, which include classroom and clinical courses.

The EMT 118 and EMT 119 courses are the Emergency Vehicle Operations courses. Along with clinical experience with the ambulance service for hands-on training with patients, the students will learn how to drive an ambulance and how to work in the back of a moving ambulance.

“We use the CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) course on campus for the emergency vehicle operations course,” Patterson said. “Students have to weave through a figure eight serpentine, accelerate from one end of the course to the other and get up to 40 mph and stop the ambulance without running over cones and stopping a proper distance from the cones.”

All of this is accomplished while other EMT students are in the back of the ambulance, learning how to work on a patient in a moving vehicle.

“We do require all other students who also do the driving to ride in the back, like a patient would, so they feel what it’s like to be in the back so they are thinking of that as they are transporting patients,” Patterson said. “It also shows them to be a courteous driver to their partner working in the back.”

Students can also submit their applications for the Fall 2016 semester through August 1, Patterson said. For more information about the program, contact Patterson at 256-352-8335 or allen.patterson@wallacestate.edu, or visit www.wallacestate.edu.