In partnership with Humble ISD, the Atascocita Fire Department AFD) began EMT classes for high school seniors Aug. 17.

“This is the third year that AFD has offered this program which includes students from Atascocita High School, Humble High School, Kingwood High School and Kingwood Park High School. Upon successful completion of the course in the spring of 2021, the students will be eligible to take the National Registry Exam to become certified as emergency medical technicians,” said Jerry Dilliard, public information officer for the AFD.

The course is offered to a limited amount of high school students from around the district, who are hand-picked to participate in the program.

“Each week, we have our students in class for a couple of days a week and they are administered a standard EMT curriculum,” said Lt. Hans Grider, program director.

“This year, we have 13 incoming students, which is an increase from last year’s graduating class of eight,” said Grider. Completing an EMT course during one’s high school curriculum saves both time and money in the future, as programs can demand over a hundred hours of participation and thousands of dollars in costs.

“The program is sponsored and paid for in full by the school district,” added Grider. “Students can take advantage of this program without any financial repercussions, making this an extra-special opportunity for those interested. A lot of our students see this class as an opportunity for an early advancement in their medical careers. Having an EMT license on your transcript greatly assists in medical school applications, and these students are fortunate to obtain it before their undergraduate years, thereby reducing their future workloads. With an EMT certification, a medical student is able to interact with patients in a way that makes them stand out on applications.”

A quick Google search renders that “One of the biggest negatives about being an EMT as a pre-med is definitely the time commitment,” an obstacle which is easily overcome because the students in attendance are able to dedicate their high school hours in a manner that they perhaps could not while attending undergraduate programs.

Grider explained that although not all students in attendance are interested in the medical profession, it is nonetheless a great opportunity to expand their future career and opportunities. At a minimum, they have gained a valuable certification and experience that may be of use forever.

Grider mentioned that despite the setbacks suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the students in the incoming 2020-2021 class have elected to attend in-person classes at the AFD location, despite being given the option to take the course remotely.

“The thing I like most about this program is the enthusiasm and the excitement of our students. They show up to class every day dedicated and motivated to work and to succeed in the course,” concluded Grider.

Because students are hand-picked for the program, contact a counselor for further advice.

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