It’s a windy afternoon on the football field at Marshall High School and EMT students are gathered around an orange backboard practicing patient transport skills on one of their classmates.
This is the first year an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course has been offered in Northside ISD and it is currently only at Brennan and Marshall high schools. Twelve students are enrolled at Marshall and under the guidance of teacher Billy Soliz, are learning entry-level patient and emergency care. The course, which spans two class periods each day, builds upon skills learned in the pre-requisite course Health Science Theory.
Upon completion of the course, students can schedule a computer-based national registry test and apply for state certification as an EMT-Basic. The EMT-Basic certification means students could be hired by private ambulance services, volunteer fire departments, or as an ER tech at a hospital. Paramedic training is a more rigorous college-based program.
“You’re work ready with an EMT-Basic certification and it can be used as a stepping stone to move on to other things in your career, including nursing, medical school, and even physician’s assistants programs,” Soliz said. “In this class you can fine tune patient care and communication skills.”
Seniors Jasmine Lopez and Yann Aguirre both hope to use what they’re learning when they join the military. Lopez is also looking forward to ride-along opportunities with the San Antonio Fire Department later on in the course.
“Getting certified in anything looks good on your resume and gives you more opportunities outside of high school because you have experience,” Aguirre said.
Soliz has held both paramedic and EMT-Basic certifications and is able to share his experiences in a very meaningful way in the classroom.
“He’s basically seen it all and has answers to some of our what-ifs,” said Lopez. “In this class you get hands on experience, learn the proper way to do things, and you will know whether you want to continue and find it interesting.”
To learn more about certifications and career training programs offered in Northside ISD, including fire science and law enforcement, visit the Career and Technical Education website.
Pictured during an outdoor skills lesson are students Alexus Salas and Jasmine Lopez with teacher Billy Soliz.