May 13, 2022
The 20 recent graduates of AACC’s paramedic program have faced their fair share of difficulties – difficulties that could have kept them from reaching their ultimate goals. That makes this year’s EMS Week theme, “Rising to the Challenge,” particularly fitting.
“My first time in college, I bombed it so bad. I screwed up a full ride to college and everything,” said Patrick Martin, one of the recent graduates. “I had to figure out how I learned first … and then I just had to block out all distractions.”
Martin’s classmate Christina McNeil found the biggest challenge to be balancing school with competing priorities.
“To try to juggle between family, home life, and work and school, it’s just a lot,” McNeil said. "We managed it, but there were definitely some bumps along the way.”
To get through the bumps, students relied on their families, instructors and each other.
“My classmates were like, ‘Listen, we got it. We came in together, we’re all going to leave together,’” McNeil said.
Not only did the group make it through the program, but they left prepared. A working ambulance outside the new Health and Life Sciences Building and a simulated ambulance space in the Emergency Medical Sciences Laboratory provided opportunities for hands-on practice.
"During my ride-alongs and stuff like that, it was never a time where I was like, ‘I don't really know what to do in this call or situation’,” Martin said. “I feel like … I'm going to be a big help to the mission of the department and my station.”