WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Some Wichita Falls ISD students are learning how to help victims during an emergency. It is a curriculum made possible by the Career Education Center.
Students, like David Perez, in the Emergency Training Program use hands-on learning in realistic situations.
Perez,18, is a senior who says he has always dreamed of working in the medical field.
"Seeing my aunts and uncles and even my mom and dad do it is just something I've always wanted to do," he said. "To start off so young and kind of have these types of stepping stones to build up in your career is awesome."
He said his goal is to one day become a medic in the military.
"It comes from my dad because he was a U.S. Air Force medic," Perez said.
He said he remembers he even trained as a kid to become an EMT.
"I was in Boy Scouts and one of the merit badges was emergency preparedness," Perez said. "My dad was one of the counselors for that and I would help him teach that course. There were cots to carry patients through the woods."
He said to finish the journey he started to take advantage of the program.
The EMT students in the program have begun to learn how to evacuate a victim from a wrecked vehicle. The students need to know how to immobilize the neck which is called the c-spine.
Medical professionals say one wrong move can cause injury to the spinal cord which may paralyze the victim.
This kind of training was not possible before in the area. It is the first high school program in the city that gets students steps away from becoming a professional.
"They're doing the same thing they do in college but they're starting to learn in high school," Autumn Weber the CEC Law Enforcement teacher said. "They only have to do six months of practical work so they're probably a good one year ahead of the people going to Vernon College."
Perez said he will take his clinical hours, which are ride alongs with professional EMTs, at the college.
"After that, I'll take the state registry and probably enlist," Perez said.
Something he said made his dad proud to hear.
"He was excited you have no idea. He was like shocked."
Ron Gordon, the EMT training class, said students who want to take his class need to speak with their counselor and take at least three prerequisite classes, like Med Assistant and Pharmacy Tech. He said they also have to be at least 18.