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RCHS is preparing tomorrow’s emergency medical technicians

The RCHS EMT class of 2024 (left to right): Roanan Bartlett, Nathan Tien Nguyen, Tuck Williford, Henry Pausback, Bella Sassali, Madi Krom and Amanda Barthdio.

In its third year, the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program at Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) continues to make significant progress in preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals. A collaboration between the Douglas County School District and Arapahoe Community College, it is a concurrent enrollment program designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and hands-on experience for a career in emergency medical services.

The classes extend through the academic year and consist of five sequential courses. Upon completion, students earn 12 college credit hours, getting them ready for the exam provided by the National Registry of EMTs.

EMT teacher Mathew Price shared what a difference his students are making already.

“A student working at a fast-food place helped a coworker who was having a seizure; he felt calm and ready, crediting the EMT class for knowing exactly what to do until help arrived.”

Enrollment in the program comes with requirements, including obtaining educational materials and equipment such as textbooks, safety gear and uniforms. Additionally, students must be compliant with vaccinations and pass background checks and drug screenings to meet industry standards and regulations.

The curriculum blends didactic learning with practical skills training, covering topics like emergency medical services and care, anatomy and physiology, disease processes, patient assessment and transportation procedures. Classes are structured into quarter segments, about six to eight weeks each, with the EMT clinical course taking up the entire second semester.

Students practice with state-of-the-art equipment, including manikins, virtual reality systems and simulation scenarios that mimic real-life emergencies. This approach ensures students can apply their knowledge in practical settings, preparing them for real-world challenges.

Mathew reflected, “A student convinced a family member to call 911 during a medical crisis, recognizing signs of a heart attack. It is a real testament to the value of our program, potentially saving lives by applying what we teach in class.”

The RCHS EMT Program not only trains future medical professionals but also builds a compassionate and dedicated community to significantly impact emergency medicine. Graduates can work in various settings such as hospitals, fire departments, ambulance services, ski patrols, and search and rescue teams.


Article and photo by Dani Salas 



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