Career Center celebrates new EMT program with ribbon cutting ceremony

Shaun Gladney

October 26 – Today the Columbia Area Career Center held a ribbon cutting for the new Emergency Medical Technician-Basic class that is part of the ever-growing Safety and Security career cluster.
Those in attendance included Superintendent Dr. Chris Belcher, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce ambassadors and representatives of various local public safety agencies helping sponsor this program.
The growth of the EMT program is in part largely because of those sponsors. The Boone Hospital Center donated a retired ambulance for student practice. The members of the Chamber of Commerce also offered their help with improving the program.
“I had one Chamber of Commerce member asked what she could do to donate money to kids who cannot pay for the test,” said EMT instructor Dean Martin. “She gave me her business card and said, ‘Hey, keep me in mind.’ There are several of us who would want to donate funds to help put these kids through.”
Four years ago an advisory committee made up of local public safety professionals began planning how to teach fire protection, emergency medical and law enforcement services to high schools.
The 2010/2011 school year brought the first class, Core Essentials of Fire-Fighting and Public Safety. This class featured an overview of all of the public safety career fields. Upon competition of the class students were certified in CPR, emergency medical responder and HAZMAT awareness.
EMT-Basic started this year as a senior only course. 26 students make up the two sections of a highly intense curriculum that prepares students for the National Registry EMT test in the spring. Seniors can graduate with this certification that allows them to obtain a job as an EMT on ambulance services around the country.
By Shaun Gladney