Going the extra mile, learning to save lives
By Whitney Mayfield
“We do 12 hours shifts on our own time, we have to get a certain amount of patients, and a certain amount of hours to get our certification,” says Senior Kassidy Mumphrey.
“We just get pretty much an open view of what the paramedics and EMT’s go through, and they tell us we see things that are totally different than what the nurses at the hospitals see. We pretty much go into like, a war zone, of what we see, like with car accidents. It’s just a good program to be in because you get to be exposed to other things than what other programs here offer,” says Garcia.
This is the first time the program has been offered to students here at Chapel Hill. These select few students were chosen to be in this program, an opportunity not given to many.
“All the students that are in the program, they’ve put a great amount of effort into everything they do, and it’s not normal for high school students to do as much as what we do, because the majority of us all have two CTE classes and certifications that will help us. And I feel like that gave them clarity, like ok if they can do this in one year … it just helped them believe in us,” says Garcia.
There’s also another group of students at CHHS that are enrolled in the EMT program at Tyler ISD, meaning they get out of class at Chapel Hill and finish their day in their EMT program at another district. They go every single day. Talk about working hard, right? Stacey Leon is part of the Early College program here at Chapel Hill and was able to start attending classes for her EMT certification.
“At first they told us we couldn’t do it at all, because we were taking so many other classes, to graduate with our Associates Degree, but somehow Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Juarez were able to work it out to where we could fit it into our 7th and 8th period, so now we have after school to work on our college classes and our EMT classes", says Leon, "So for me, I have four different college classes and then this is another college class added onto that, heading into next semester.”
Being a part of this program doesn’t leave much time for a social life, something this group of ladies said there would be time for later. In fact, they laughed when asked what they do for fun.
“I’m here at 7 in the morning. On Mondays and Wednesdays until 10 o’clock,” says Garcia, “There’s no time for a social life.”
Mumphrey added, “Besides, each other, no. Our class is a 5-hour class, then we also have to do the clinicals, and study on our own time.”
“I feel like this class is a lot more intense than other classes. It’s definitely a lot more reading. The class that I’m doing along with three other students is 7th and 8th period, so we actually go to the Tyler ISD campus, and we haven’t started our rotations yet, so right now our teacher is preparing us and showing us what all we’re going to be doing, what we’re expected to do once we start clinicals, but it is a lot of reading", says Leon, "We have two or three tests every week.”
“You have to put your own time into it because for me I work, I have school during the morning, and then after school, so you have to balance everything and make sure you study, just do what you can,” says Senior, Samantha Soledad.
These students are not just doing this to stay busy, they’re forming a habit, a way of life, and paving their way for their future ahead.
“I feel like it was a really good opportunity and gateway into the medical field because you’re really exposed to a great variety of things, I want to be a doctor but I feel like EMT is a good background to have,” says Mumphrey, “You see stuff … before it gets cleaned up and taken to the hospitals so you get that perspective, that side of it. “
“It helps me pick my pathway of where I want to go, if I want to do trauma or no trauma, if I can handle it or not", says Garcia, "And I think that is what’s eye-opening for all of us and hopefully for all the students that come in to the program, they’ll get to take advantage of this opportunity as well.”
By the end of the program, these high school seniors will all have put in 96 hours of their time. In one semester, they will be certified, and by the time they graduate, they will likely all have full-time jobs.
So what advice do they have for students considering coming into the program next year?
“I would just say stay focused and don’t do it just because your friend is doing it. It’s a lot of work. And it’s not something that you’ll want to do if you’re not passionate about it; if you don’t have the motivation you’re not going to want to do the work that’s expected,” Mumphrey added.
“You never expect high school to be full of literal school, especially in your senior year. Most people will say take it easy, but sometimes you are so focused and you have that mature mindset that you want a job right after school, and you have to be passionate for something like that,” says Garcia.
Leon added, “You definitely have to have that maturity inside of you because you have to know that going into this EMT class you are going to see things you don’t see on a regular basis, you will have a patient’s life in your hands.”
Mumphrey says that Mr. Langley and Mrs. Foster are working hard to get a program here at Chapel Hill and she hopes they can do that for future students coming in. They all extended sincere gratitude to both Langley and Foster for believing in them and allowing them to participate in these classes to help better their future. Mumphrey says a lot of time and effort has gone into making this possible.
“They called us in the summer saying, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? But, still pulling us in, and making us a priority and it’s very rare for you to see that. They’ll be getting a big gift, I know that,” said Garcia with a smile.
Congratulations to all the students participating in the EMT programs that are currently being offered and taking advantage of the short little time that is their high school career. Life comes quick and fast, and these students are heading into the world fully prepared and ready to face it head-on.