Grayson College trains students with ambulance simulator

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- If there's one job that isn't going away anytime soon, it's the guys and gals that are on call day and night, braced for an emergency.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the job outlook for EMTs/paramedics is far above average, expecting growth of 33 percent by 2020.

Right here in Texoma, Grayson College is using some of the latest technology to train the first responders of tomorrow.

"Trauma, patient assessments, airway management, and we're getting into more advanced practices now," student Bob Sailors said.

For forty EMT students at Grayson College, class meets in an ambulance simulator.

"We try to use what they're using in the field, so when they get out and they get a job, hopefully, it's familiar to them," Grayson College Clinical Coordinator Wesley Reed said.

Before paramedics can respond to a real emergency, they have to go through training.

Grayson College's new ambulance simulator looks a lot like the real deal.

"It's made quite a bit of a difference whenever we're out in the field," Sailors said.

This $25,000 ambulance simulator is equipped with monitors, IVs, cameras and even a dummy patient that has symptoms.

Reed was a paramedic for years and says this simulator is a great training ground.

"It's about as close as you can get to actually putting them in an ambulance. It puts them in an area where they have to work closely together as opposed to just sitting in a classroom, listening to it," Reed said.

Sailors is not only a student, but has real-world experience as a volunteer fireman.

"It can be traumatic experience to walk in without knowing where everything is. It helps to know how to use a monitor. Whenever you use one of the monitors, it's best to know that your first experience with it isn't in the field," Sailors said.

Reed says students trained on the simulators are more marketable, echoing what one employer said about his students.

"Productive faster, didn't take as long at orientation and he felt like putting them in a primary role quicker," Reed said.

The simulator was paid for through a vocational grant.

This ambulance simulator is cutting-edge training technology that's only being used at a handful of colleges in the area.

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