Austin Tucker and Faith Robbins

Austin Tucker and Faith Robbins, both adult students, are enrolled in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program at Red River Technology Center. The duo recently took first as a team in a virtual Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) competition. 

Two local students took first as a team in a virtual Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) competition.

Rita Livingston, Public Information Officer for Red River Technology Center (RRTC) said this is the first year for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program at Red River Technology Center.

“It is open to adults and high school seniors who will turn 18 by March 1,” Livingston said.

Students Austin Tucker and Faith Robbins, both adult students, are enrolled in the program.

“Austin and Faith placed first as a team in the Emergency Medical Technician competition at the State HOSA-Future Health Professionals contest, which was held virtually,” Livingston said. “They qualify for the National HOSA-Future Health Professionals contest, which will also be held virtually, this summer.”

Jeff Prater, instructor at RRTC, said it’s been exciting to be apart of the first year EMS program and getting it established.

Prater said they have some great equipment for the students to work with.

“Red River’s been very supportive in equipping the program for a real world learning experience,” Prater said.

According to Prater, students have taken a multiple of classes during the fall semester.

“The students have been exposed to Anatomy/Physiology class, medical terminology, HAZMAT, NIMS and TIMS (National Incident Management System and Traffic Incident Management System) and they’ve gone through those courses and then they’ve also completed an EMR (Emergency Medical Responding) course — that comes with a certification,” he said.

For the spring semester, Prater said it consists of the EMT program.

“Were getting close to getting that finished,” Prater said. “They’re working on their skills right now.”

Students are developing skills which include intense textbook training, which takes a lot of time, study and discipline.

“There’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with being an EMT,” Prater said.

In June, Robbins and Tucker will compete at the international level.

“Faith Robbins and Austin Tucker placed first in the skills state level of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America),” Prater said. “They are preparing to get ready to go to the International Leadership Conference and that will be virtual.”

According to Prater, they will showcase their EMT skills first in writing, and if they place in the written portion, they’ll move on to the performance test.

“That’s what they did for state level, they placed in the top five of the written and then they competed,” he said. “We videoed them doing a given scenario from the state level, submitted it and then they won first place on their assessment of their patient, which was a broken leg with an arterial bleed.”

According to Prater, the students had to treat and package the patient for the competition.

Tucker said the classes are going well for them and they are learning a lot.

“It’s really just an excellent class,” Tucker said. “I’d recommend it to anybody who wants to take it and get into the medical field, it’s a great first step.”

Tucker said he loves the hands-on experience he get with the program.

“The biggest thing for me is you see in the movies how to stop bleeding and all that cool stuff — but, when you actually get to do it, it’s so much cooler,” Tucker said. “You’re learning how to save somebody’s life.”

Tucker said he loves how they are learning the base of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology and what doctors call things.

According to Tucker and Robbins, learning the medical terminology and knowing what the doctors are saying has been really helpful.

“My favorite part of the entire class is the clinicals, so far,” Tucker said. “That’s when we go out and we actually get on the ambulances and we ride around.”

Tucker said because he grew up in area, he likes to be able to see the people of Duncan and be able to help them.

“I’ve lived around here all my life and you see people all the time, but actually getting to help those people, give back, that’s why I’m in this class, that’s why I’m in the field, because I want to help,” Tucker said.

Robbins said she started in the medical field two years ago and she’s been at Red River since her junior year.

Since beginning in the CNA class and taking the phlebotomy class, Robbins said when this program became available she jumped on it.

Robbins said she’s always wanted to be a flight nurse.

“You can work as an EMT for five years on the the ground and then you can transfer to begin a flight nurse,” Robbins said. “It’s really cool, because when you get to be a flight nurse — people that really, really need you, they’re having the worst day of their life and it’s like their possibly bleeding out all over the helicopter, but you have to take them to the place that they need a lot of help that we can’t offer them around here in Duncan.”

Tucker said it’s great training for him, as he wants to become a fireman.

“If you have your EMT, you instantly become more hirable and you’re desirable,” Tucker said.

Tucker said these are career jobs.

“That’s why I love this school,” Tucker said. “This school doesn’t give you job opportunities, it gives you career opportunities — it’s a vast difference between them and that’s awesome, because this is building life career stuff and that’s what’s cool about it.”

Robbins said with any course you take at RRTC, they give you life experience.

“Any course you take that you complete, you can literally step foot off campus and there’s literally somebody out there right now in the world we live in today that will hire you,” Robbins said. “Anything that they offer here at Red River.”

Tucker said he has learned many skills at Red River will help him in the future.

“The skills I’ve acquired here at Red River, I know I’ll never be out of a job,” Tucker said. “That’s a piece of mind it’s hard to find anywhere else.”

According to Prater, the program is open to high school seniors.

“They have to be 18 by the end of March,” Prater said. “That’s for clinicals, because they actually do ride outs on an ambulance — 48 hours of clinical experience with a certain number of patient contacts that they have to have as part of their experience, part of their certification.”

Prater said this will get the students ready for their national exam.

“For the fire departments, if they’ve got junior firefighters that are high school or anybody, doesn’t matter how old they are, if they’re interested, they can come through the program,” Prater said. “It’s three hours a day, five days a week.”

Beginning in August, Prater said students can begin enrolling in the one year, two semester program.

“It’s a great program to be involved in,” Prater said. “It’s exciting, it’s fast-paced, it’s very informative, the structure that we have placed in the fall semester really prepares you for the EMT level to make that class a little bit easier.”

For more information about enrolling in classes and to speak with a counselor, contact RRTC at www.rrtc.edu or at 580-255-2903, ext. 230.

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