A new generation of EMTs get their education in an ambulance, thanks to a donation of a decommissioned ambulance from a local county commission.
The Bannock County Commission had the option of repurposing and selling the 21 year old ambulance, but decided to donate it instead as a real world learning center for students preparing for careers in emergency services in the Pocatello area.
The donation of the ambulance was made possible by the Pocatello Fire Department, the Bannock County Ambulance District and the Bannock County Commission.
“This is huge,” said Rhonda Naftz, career and technical education coordinator for District 25. “If you were teaching a student how to use Microsoft Office, you would need a computer lab. The ambulance would be the same thing for EMT students.”
Seniors from all three Pocatello public high schools can enter the 1st Responders Academy. Approximately 15 students are enrolled in the EMT program. The yearlong instruction includes classroom lessons and riding along with local paramedics and firefighters. After they complete the program, they can be certified as EMTs once they pass the exam the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.
Instructor Mark Brood finds that the ambulance is an important tool for simulating the treatment and transportation of patients in the real world. The ambulance is permanently parked inside the academy classroom, making a 911 call easy to simulate“
The students have to know how to load a patient into an ambulance, then they have to keep patient care going,” Brood said about the classroom simulation with the ambulance. “The students have to unload the patient, and then I pretend to be the doctor and they have to give me a report about the patient.”