Students at Union Academy now have the opportunity to become certified EMTs while also completing their high school degree. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction approved Union Academy to be an NC EMT Academy, which will allow the school to offer college-level classes for students to become certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
“This will give our students the ability to go directly to work after graduation from high school,” said Union Academy principal Diane Cotton. “It is a well-paying job in high demand at this time. We are thrilled to offer this opportunity for success to our students and provide well-trained personnel to our community.”
Diana Cabe will serve has the instructor for the program and will be joined by several local paramedics to help students with certifications of skills.
The first module in the curriculum teaches basics from the history of emergency medical services to how to perform CPR. Then, the students start more advanced learning which includes ride-alongs with medical professionals from Macon County Emergency Medical Services. At the end of the school year, students will have to pass an end-of-course test and a state exam to earn EMT certification. For those who are not yet 18 years of age, their certification will be held until they reach the minimum age.
“We appreciate all the support from Todd Doster with Macon County EMS, Jeff Ledford with Cherokee County EMS, and Colleen Strickland, Career and Technical Education Director with Macon County Schools, have given us in order to get the program started,” said Cotton. “With this much community support, the inaugural class will be a great success and we will be able to provide this training to our graduates for many years to come.”
Duties of an emergency medical technician include performing immediate first aid and triage, and providing hospital transportation in response to medical emergencies. The job requires proper training and certification along with mental and physical stamina. Additional training after graduation can allow EMTs to advance to paramedic level.
For students who might not wish to pursue a career as an EMT or a paramedic, the new course offerings provide valuable skills for any student interested in pursuing a career in the medical field.