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Kickstart to Careers: EMT

Students can earn EMT certification before the end of high school
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 4:22 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2021 at 4:28 PM CST
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TIOGA, La. (KALB) - All this week Rachael Penton and photojournalist Ben Gauthier highlight ways for students to “Kickstart their Careers”.

According to the National EMS Academy, the demand for EMTs and paramedics is expected to continue increasing over the next decade, leading to more training for these professionals that ultimately leads to higher salaries. The U.S. Department of Labor says job openings in this field are expected to grow 15 percent by 2026. Tioga High School has partnered with Acadian Ambulance to help students earn their EMT certification and interview for jobs as soon as they get their high school diplomas.

Students at Tioga High School start by learning their ABC’s. That stands for airways, breathing, and circulation, part of the school’s first responder and emergency medical technician class that’s in its first year at the school.

“They graduate. They get their certification. They go straight to work,” said teacher Cody Adams.

Tioga has partnered with Acadian Ambulance to teach the students the skills they need to earn their EMT certification while still in school.

“Very high-demand field,” added Adams. “There’s always a shortage of EMTs and a hiring demand for paramedics.”

The students learn things like CPR for both adults and children, how to treat cardiac arrest, and how to stop a baby from choking.

Tioga High School students learn what they need to know to earn their EMT certification.
Tioga High School students learn what they need to know to earn their EMT certification.(KALB)

Senior Kartina Loyd plans to work as an EMT while she goes to college to become a nurse, but said the skills she’s learned in this class are useful for everyday life.

“I have little siblings, little cousins so if anything does go wrong I’m able to take control of the situation to further help them,” said Loyd.

Brianna Corwell, also a senior, said she initially had no interest in the medical field. However, she said she fell in love with it after taking this class and joining the Acadian Explorers. Now she plans to become a travel nurse.

“It makes me feel good to know that I helped somebody,” Corwell said. “It makes me feel good to know that I’m the reason that somebody is moving on and living another day. I plan to into school as an EMT hopefully and kind of do that to keep me afloat. You know I don’t want to be a broke college student and I just feel like it’s good to get the experience for when I finally get onto the medical floor at hospitals.”

After earning the EMT certification in this class, students can start work right away or put in more time to become a certified paramedic.

“You can make an excellent career out of this,” said Adams. “There are 30 or 40-year paramedics on the trucks now but it’s a good starting point if you’re going to nursing school, med school.”

The demand for EMTs and paramedics has grown even more due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Acadian Ambulance, paramedics and EMTs can earn signing bonuses worth thousands of dollars for job postings across Louisiana and southeast Texas.

Tioga High School is holding an open house for the Career and Technical Education program on Thursday, January 21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Prospective students and the public are both welcome.

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