Here’s the EM-TEA



Here are few students that take EMT at West Boca wearing their uniform.

Catarina Ferrao, Editor

Many students that are part of the Medical Academy wonder what the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class consists of. And many of those who are not, wonder what makes the class so appealing that would make seniors want to stay in school until 4pm just to take it. 

To start things, do you have any idea what an Emergency Medical Technician is? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, an EMT is “a specially trained medical technician certified to provide basic emergency services (such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation) before and during transportation to a hospital.” They normally work with other paramedics to respond to emergency calls. 

Surprisingly enough, this class is offered at our very own West Boca. This class though, is not taught by one of our staff and it’s actually lectured by an actual paramedic, Captain Burns. Seniors stay from 1-4pm on odd days and those hours are filled by lectures and labs. 



Requirements to attend this class are being a senior in the Medical Academy and taking the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) the previous year and passing it with an A or B. After meeting those requirements, students are hand-picked by the Medical Academy coordinator Mrs. Stiepleman. 


What happens inside the classroom: 

A normal day in the classroom consists of roughly three hours of lecture. Captain Burns goes over the chapters from our textbook and helps us relate it to scenarios we could see in real life in the back of an ambulance. Some days, the classroom turns into scenarios for more practice. Students are divided into three squads and work together on providing the best care to their patient. Labs range from learning how to set up a saline bag to walking into dark rooms to save your victims. 


Coral Springs Fire Academy 

During days when students are out of school, such as Veterans’ Day, EMT students go to the Coral Springs Fire Academy to experience more hands-on learning. They spend the day there along with paramedic and firefighter students. They run real scenarios with students as patients and get to meet real life paramedics and firefighters. 


Clinicals outside of school 

Besides many busy days at school, students are required to complete five ride times and three hospital clinicals. The ride times are 12-hour shifts at different Coral Springs Fire Stations. They run from 7am-7pm and students get to experience a realistic day in the life of an Emergency Department worker. They bring students along to every call they receive and let them perform many skills including taking vital signs. 


What Happens After Class

After the course is done, students take the EMT certification exam. When they pass it, they officially become EMTs. Some go on to Fire Academy to become firefighters or paramedics. Others can go on to places that hire EMTs and can work there. 


Medical Academy Recognition

One of our own students, Brendan Wood, got recognized for helping a victim last year. He stopped his car to assist a woman who was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle. He held her skull together which was suffering from major bleeding and waited for paramedics to get there. He used his medical skills learned in class.

Another Medical Academy student was awarded with a special recognition. Carolyn Schuster was recognized for saving her own life with information she learned in EMR class with the Stop the bleed lecture. She helped control her own bleeding before paramedics arrived to take her to the hospital. 

They both later got awarded a certificate from the Medical Academy for assisting in saving a life.