(BROWNWOOD) – Texas State Technical College’s Emergency Medical Services program celebrated its new ambulance simulator with an open house on Wednesday.
The Brownwood Municipal Development District and the city of Brownwood provided about $50,000 in funding for the simulator, said Andy Weaver, TSTC’s statewide director for Allied Health and Emergency Medical Services.
“This will help grow the program for students to have better learning opportunities,” Weaver said.
He said students will get as close to a real-life experience as possible while working in the simulator, which is roughly the size of an ambulance without the cab and engine.
Ray Tipton, executive director of the Brownwood Municipal Development District, said the organization is committed to helping educational entities develop skills to drive economic development.
“TSTC has been a valuable partner with Brownwood in developing technical skills,” he said. “We have a lot of highly technical-skilled jobs here. TSTC is a tool we use a lot to talk to companies when recruiting.”
Some students said they have enjoyed being in the simulator, which features operational blue and red lights.
Kaitlyn Gipson, 21, of Brownwood is a certificate student in the technical program she described as intense and fast-paced.
“It gives us a real look in the ambulance and how we do certain things,” she said. “You have to be committed to this field to work in it.”
Gipson said she was inspired to pursue the field because some of her relatives are in the medical field.
“I wanted to be on the front lines,” she said.
Ethan Rhodes, 18, of Brownwood is studying to earn an emergency medical technician certification to help him become a firefighter. He said he likes being in the simulator because he can learn with his hands.
The simulator is in the Emergency Medical Services program’s new lecture and lab space in TSTC’s Welcome Center. The program also has a new mock emergency room and video capability for lessons.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to www.tstc.edu.