Ambulance Donation Provides EMT Students

Spartanburg, S.C. – “One of the things we cannot simulate in a classroom is the experience of trying to save a life in the tight space of a moving ambulance,” said Angie Colbert, an instructor for Spartanburg Community College’s Emergency Medical Technician program at the Cherokee County Campus in Gaffney.

Now, thanks to a donation from Upstate Carolina Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Services, SCC students will have the opportunity to train as EMT’s in a real ambulance.

The 1997 Ford E-350 ambulance was taken out of rotation at the beginning of the year and instead of selling it, Mitch Stewart, director of Emergency Medical Services for the hospital, contacted the college with the offer.

“Now that SCC has opened the Cherokee County Campus, we felt it was important to step up and be a good community partner,” said Stewart. “Performing CPR in the back of a moving vehicle is totally different than doing it on the ground. There’s only about 20 inches of room between the stretcher and the bench, and new EMT’s who haven’t had any training in a moving ambulance are often surprised at the difficulty.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for EMT’s and paramedics is expected to grow by 19 percent between 2006 and 2016, faster than the average for all occupations through 2016.

The college’s EMT program is offered through Corporate & Community Education, SCC’s continuing education division. Graduates of this 148-hour program are eligible to sit for the National Registry Exam that is required in order to become a South Carolina EMT.

Gaffney resident Monica Case is currently a student in the college’s EMT program. She knew that working in the medical field was her calling from an early age.

“Both of my parents are disabled and I’ve cared for them since I was 12,” said Case. “A few years ago I rode along with a first responder on a call. I liked it, so I got in touch with the Cherokee EMS services and scheduled a few ride-alongs. After that, I knew this was my calling. I plan on going to the next level and becoming a paramedic. Helping people is a passion for me.”

The ambulance will be delivered to SCC’s Cherokee County Campus on Wednesday, April 8 at 5 p.m.

About SCC’s Corporate and Community Education Division
SCC’s Corporate and Community Education annually serves more than 15,000 students in continuing education and lifelong learning programs. For more information visit www.sccsc.edu/cce.

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