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EMS students at Cape Fear Community College tour NHRMC helicopter

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 2:48 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Hands-on learning is an important part of education, especially when your path is leading you to a career of saving lives.

EMS students spent Wednesday morning in the training lot for truck drivers at Cape Fear Community College, but they weren’t driving trucks. Instead, they were checking out a helicopter.

Students at various education levels got the chance to talk to first responders operating the AirLink helicopter and get a closer look inside the aircraft. First responders showed the classes the equipment on board and talked about a variety of scenarios they’ve seen on the job, giving students an idea of what their day-to-day life might be like after walking across the graduation stage.

One student graduating next spring says it helped her visualize what to expect when she’s in the EMS in the helicopter one day and reignited her excitement for her future.

“You have to adapt to your treatment care, which is easier to do in the back of an ambulance because you have a little bit more room to work, but back there, you don’t have a lot of room to do IVs or do anything,” said Abigail Lademacher, who graduates next spring. “You have to be on your toes and really use what you’ve got to work with.”

The school partners with New Hanover Regional Medical Center to give students more exposure to the careers they’ll enter after graduation. Leaders in the program say it’s meant to give students the chance to build their confidence in their ability to perform well in the field and get more of a hands-on experience in their education.

“It’s really important to do that because when you get out into the field and haven’t interacted with anybody before, that can affect how you take care of your patients,” said EMS program director Alan Brook. “You want to get that continuity of care, so dealing with the helicopter, dealing with people in the hospital when they do their hospital time. Building those relationships kind of helps build that continuity of care, makes sure patients get the best care possible.”

This is the last EMS class for 2021. You can still enroll for the next class this coming spring.

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