Students in the Emergency Medical Sciences track at the new Northern Wake College and Career Academy got to show what they've learned so far Wednesday in front of the pros they want to work with.
And in return, Wake County Emergency Medical Services trotted out several of their fancy trucks and medics for the session that was designed to publicize the new program that is being operated jointly by the Wake County Public School System and Wake Technical Community College.
The students, wearing Wake Tech EMS T-shirts and the blue plastic gloves that every paramedic dons while working on patients, performed resuscitation on a life-size mannequin used to train life-savers.
Then, while other students and school officials and working EMS staff applauded, they bundled their patient onto an EMS stretcher and wheeled him out of the school gym to what would be a waiting ambulance if they get the jobs they hope for after graduation.
Wake Tech students studying emergency medical sciences acted as supervisors.
The academy opened last month in a former Winn-Dixie grocery store on Durham Road, just west of Capital Boulevard. It had been used first as a ninth-grade center for Wakefield High School.
It has freshmen, sophomores and juniors, and the oldest will be the first senior class next year.
Students who come out of the EMS program will have learned what they need to pass the state’s emergency medical technician (EMT) certification test and will be eligible to work with a municipal EMS service or with private sector transportation or patient care companies.
Or, they can apply to Wake Tech’s two-year program to earn an associate of applied science degree in emergency medical science.
They will have some college credit and will know some of the Wake Tech faculty because they are teachers in the academy program’s junior and senior curriculum.
“There is high demand for EMT’s around the region,” county EMS Deputy Director for Operations Seth Komansky said. “There’s going to be more demand” as the region keeps growing, he added.
Assistant Chief Jeff Hammerstein, spokesman for Wake EMS, said the department and local squads that work within the system, handled 101,537 calls in 2016.
“In everything we do, we collaborate,” academy Principal Elizabeth Battle said. “That’s what we want to do to prepare students for the 21st century.”
“I wish we had something like this when we were in high school,” Komansky said.