Jeissi Vasquez knows she wants to enter the military after high school graduation, and a new class at Clinton High School is helping guide her on the right path.
Junior and senior students at the local high school now have the option to take classes that are part of the public safety academy. The academy, according to teacher Lee Coleman, consists of three classes — Public Safety 1, EMT 1 and EMT 2. At the completion of the EMT 2 class, students are able to take the North Carolina state EMT test for public certification.
“This class is preparing me to go into the nursing field, whether or not I pursue a career as a military nurse or just a nurse,” Vasquez said.
Vasquez, a senior, says the class has taught her the rules and regulations of being an EMT, and despite having only been enrolled in the class for three weeks, feels she has been equipped with the knowledge needed to continue in the Public Safety Academy and pursue nursing.
At the completion of the three courses, Coleman said students will be trained to enter the workforce in one of the three areas. The first course students take is Public Safety 1.
“The public safety class introduces the student to career fields related to public safety including, but not limited to, fire, EMS, law enforcement, legal services and emergency management,” Coleman explained. “We go over types of careers, roles and responsibilities and job requirements for each career field.”
After completing Public Safety 1, students then take the EMT 1 and EMT 2 classes.
“The EMT 1 and EMT 2 classes are basically the full length college EMT class broken down into two classes,” Coleman said. “At the end of EMT 2, the student is able to take the North Carolina state EMT test if they passed the two EMT classes.”
The curriculum taught at the high school level, Coleman explained, is the same material taught at the college level. It is designed to be taught in two classes to give students an opportunity to better learn the material.
“It is still the college level class being taught at the high school,” Coleman said. “The purpose of the public safety class is to expose young adults in high school to careers in public safety that they may be interested in and possibly lead them in the direction they need to go to pursue that career.”
Like Vasquez, senior Lillian McNeil knows she wants to do something in the medical field, but isn’t sure the exact path she wants to take.
“I’m still undecided about the exact path I plan to pursue,” McNeil said. “I do have a better understanding of what is required for an EMT and a nurse to help me make my decision.”
Coleman and his students have been donated items to assist with learning the skills of an EMT by local rescue and fire departments.
“I am taking a CNA class at the college, and still exploring my options,” junior Kara Turlington said. “The Public Safety Academy is good opportunity for me to look at the medical field and make a decision about the path I want to take.”
The objective of the Public Safety Academy is to guide students and help make decisions about their future.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.