High school students are learning to save lives in the school’s new emergency medical technician course that ends with each student becoming a certified EMT after passing the state certification exam.
Nine students are earning high school credit for the course that is offered after school twice per week and taught by Nassau County EMT trainer Jason Vitulli.
Earning EMT certification while still in high school has many advantages, Vitulli explained. He said that those who plan to pursue careers in the medical field will be ahead of their peers who often start medical school with no actual medical experience. Students can work on an ambulance while attending college, and often colleges will offer tuition breaks for trained EMTs. The certification also provides an opportunity for community service by serving in a volunteer fire department.
The high school’s course is no different from the EMT courses offered elsewhere. Students are required to complete the same training, which includes working at least one shift in a hospital emergency room.
The class roster includes a few future doctors, a current volunteer firefighter and several students who realize holding this certification may help them in the future. Class time includes learning how to properly apply bandages, stop bleeding and provide basic life support.
“This is a course that will make a difference in the lives of the students and others they care for in the future,” said high school principal Patrick DiClemente. “We are thrilled that the class has been a success and will look to continue offering it as part of our academic program.”
The district administrators are looking into offering the class during the school day, allowing more students to participate. For those active in extracurricular activities, taking the course after school was not an option.
“We’d like to open it up to more students,” DiClemente said.