New facility opens for OCCC paramedics training

Wednesday, October 15th 2008, 7:33 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma college is top-notch when it comes to training and graduating paramedics.

Oklahoma City Community College has a new facility with impressive tools for students to use.

Students started using the new facility just two weeks ago. It's more technologically advanced than most, if not all schools in the state.

OCCC's program prepares soon-to-be paramedics and EMTs for real life-and-death scenarios.

"It's as realistic as you can get without someone laying on the ground in a full arrest situation," student Zach Bruhn said.

The high-tech patient is a mannequin that can blink, breathe, has a pulse and responds to whatever the students do.

"The equipment we use is real stuff, its real drugs, its real electricity," Professor of Emergency Medical Sciences Brent Stafford said.

They even have a real ambulance, donated by Tulsa Life Flight and St. Francis Hospital, to practice in and a mock apartment to learn about obstacles in the field.

"When I get out there it's going to be me and my partner and I want to feel competent in my skills and know that I'm able to perform and save someone's life if it comes down to it," student Sean Oats said.

That's what the program aims to accomplish.

"We're going to give them a multitude of scenarios so they're going to be confident and comfortable with having to make those quick, split second decisions," Director of Emergency Medical Sciences Program Leaugeay Barnes said.

The program takes two to three years to complete. Then, out into the real world they go.

"By the time you leave the program you feel pretty confident that you can get out there and do what you need to do without hurting somebody and actually making a difference and helping people," Bruhn said.

The school is also trying to address a local and national paramedic and healthcare worker shortage. The new facility allows them to train more people. They also started a pilot program that's partially online, so it's more convenient for students.

The nursing, occupational and physical therapy students also use the facility. Oklahoma City Community College has the only nationally accredited paramedic program in the state.