Wallace State EMS Program adding state-of-the-art tool for student training

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HANCEVILLE – The nation recently celebrated National EMS Week, May 21-27; now, Wallace State Community College’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program is looking forward to the arrival of a state-of-the-art tool that will help their students as they prepare to take to the streets.

A simulator will soon be arriving on campus that will put students in the back of a life-size model of an ambulance, giving them a realistic experience as they train. They will be able to train loading and unloading patients, how to care for a patient in the confined space, and more.

Allen Patterson, chair of the EMS program at Wallace State, said the simulator will give the students a better feel of what to expect when they go into the field. Simulations up to this point have been held mostly in the classroom, which couldn’t give students a true-life feel for what they’ll face inside an ambulance. Instead of pretending they are loading and unloading a patient or treating them inside the ambulance, they will be inside a full-size model of an ambulance.

The students will utilize the high-fidelity mannequins they already have access to, to practice transporting patients, assessing their condition, and treating them in transit.

Patterson said the students will have simulations where they will be dispatched to a scene that could have one or more patients to assess and treat, choose which to transport, and safely load them into the ambulance. They will be told how long it will before they arrive at their destination, and will treat the patient accordingly until then, providing the next healthcare team with all the information about the patient’s condition and treatment up to that point.

“This new simulator will be invaluable to our students,” Patterson said. “EMTs and paramedics are on the frontline of almost every emergency situation, so providing our students with this advanced training will be very important to them as they begin their careers.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports employment of emergency medical technicians and paramedics is projected to grow 24 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Patterson said EMTs and paramedics are people who truly care about helping others, can stay calm in stressful situations, and have critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Wallace State’s Emergency Medical Service program offers an EMT Certificate that can be completed in one semester, and a Paramedic Certificate that can be completed in four semesters. An additional 10 credit hours can be taken to earn an Associate in Applied Science.

For more information about the EMS program at Wallace State, contact Allen Patterson at 256-352-8335 or allen.patterson@wallacestate.edu, or visit www.wallacestate.edu.