5 students complete paramedic program

Published 5:36 pm Friday, December 9, 2016

Five students graduated from Beaufort County Community College’s paramedic course on Dec. 1.

Alexandria Askew of Kill Devil Hills, Lauren Bystrack of Washington, Derrick Jones of Pinetops, Michael Stox of Washington and Michael Weatherington of Washington were honored at the ceremony.

Dr. David Thomson, medical director for Vidant EastCare, was the guest speaker for the graduation.

Billy Respass, director of EMS programs, addressed the class during the first completion ceremony for the paramedic program. This cohort was only the second to complete the program. Representatives from regional EMS departments attended the ceremony.

“You may be walking into the chaos (of your patient’s life),” Thomson said. “Along with providing care to them, you need to makes sure that you are providing care to yourself, your family and your colleagues.”

The course readies students to provide advanced medical care for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency services. Paramedics function as part of a comprehensive EMS response under medical oversight. They perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance.

EMS students at BCCC in the future practice at the college’s new emergency training facility, which will include a driving pad used to teach students to operate emergency vehicles. The facility will also include classrooms and storage space that will allow the college to secure existing equipment like its training ambulance, which are at this point exposed to the elements. BCCC purchased and retrofitted the ambulance this year with an $18,500 grant from PotashCorp.

Successful graduates receive a curriculum certificate and are qualified to seek state certification through the N.C. Office of Emergency Medical Services.

Students interested in more information about the paramedic program should contact Billy Respass at 252-940-6468 or billy.respass@beaufortccc.edu.