EMT program enhanced


Students enrolled at Parkland College have a new tool to help them train for a career in emergency and health services.

The College recently received a donation of an ambulance from Moose Jaw & District Emergency Medical Services. It will serve as a hands-on learning device for students in several programs, including Primary Care Paramedic, Emergency Medical Responder, Firefighter, Practical Nursing, and Continuing Care Assistant.

"We're very pleased to be able to use the ambulance as we continue to grow these programs," said Larry Pearen, Manager of Protection and Emergency Services Training at Parkland College. "It's very important to provide our students with real life equipment on which to train."

Historically, the College would rent ambulances from SIAST's paramedic programs for a couple of days at a time. With one now readily available at Parkland College, Pearen explained that students will have many more opportunities to advance their abilities.

The ambulance was a front-line vehicle in the Moose Jaw fleet until early in 2011. Kyle Sereda, owner/operator of Moose Jaw EMS and a former Yorkton resident, made the donation as a way of giving back to the community where he first honed his skills as a paramedic.

"We were very happy to have the opportunity to donate an ambulance to the program," said Sereda.

"We believe having the tools to simulate the environment and variables that exist in the pre-hospital profession of paramedicine will equip the students well for employment in the field," he continued. "The intensity of the program demands that students be as prepared as possible for the uncontrolled environment that often occurs on the side of the highway or in the middle of the street. The exposure to simulation is critical in that preparedness."

Sereda noted that Moose Jaw EMS often works collaboratively with other stakeholders as vehicles or equipment age. Once they are replaced, the old tools find new homes in training institutions such as Parkland College, adding value to both the retired equipment and the student learning environment.

Sereda maintains a connection to the Parkland Region by also acting as a practicum host for students, and often hires graduates from Parkland College.

"Being a first responder is a very demanding career," he explained, "but these students work to be well prepared for the real world when they graduate from Parkland."

The ambulance will be decorated with the College colours and logo. When not being used by students and instructors, it will be featured at career fairs and other events to help Parkland College market its emergency health programs.

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