For the past few years, Woodland has offered two pathways for students looking to go into the medical field. While the Health Professionals and Certified Nursing Assistant pathways have been great options, a third choice has been introduced, the Emergency Medical Technician Pathway.
Julianna Reichlin, EMT, CNA, and senior, has been at the forefront of the new class. Growing up with both of her parents being EMTs, it is no surprise that Reichlin has followed in their footsteps. She will be returning to Woodland next year to help with the practical skills, and studying processes needed to pass the course.
“I have gained a new headspace on approaching the world, and a way of making sure that I am helping others in ways I can’t help myself,” said Reichlin.
The idea of starting the class was due to an EMT shortage at Beacon Hose Co. 1
“Throughout Beacon Hose the idea has been dropped because we are in need of EMTs and it’s a great way to get your foot in the door with a future career,” said Reichlin
These pathways are a great opportunity for students looking to dive straight into the healthcare field. Many students secure jobs with these certifications straight out of high school, allowing for career options that don’t require an undergraduate degree. It is also good hands on experience that can help students both in the college application process and in their continued studies. The Health Professionals pathway does not offer any certification, but an internship instead. Many people noticed the CNAs walking around in their scrubs, and soon they might start seeing the EMTs in their attire which is polo shirts and EMS cargo pants with boots.
The class is taught with the support of Seymour Ambulance Association, Beacon Hose Co. 1, and Prospect Fire Department. Students who are looking to this career will can enroll in the free program, as opposed to a third party, where the costs would be over a thousand dollars. Additionally, the class runs for one block each day, allowing students to get their learning experience during school hours, instead of going through the school day and still having to go to another class in the evening. Ride time, which is when students are on the ambulance, will most likely be done after school hours, where they will get to observe a call on the ambulance and help out where needed.
Since she has completed both certifications and actively works in both careers, Reichlin has recommendations on which one she prefers.
“You would have more downtime as an EMT and also more options on where you want to work,” said Reichlin. “It gives you more quality time with the patient and makes more of an impact.”
At the end of the year, there will be state practicals and a written exam in order to receive the certification and begin working. Students can speak to their counselor about joining the EMT pathway, the deadline to sign up is February 9th, and applications will be available in the guidance office. The full year class will begin running in the 2025-2026 school year.
“Anyone who wants to save lives and be a great resource in helping someone who can’t help themselves should take the class,” said Reichlin. “If you love having your adrenaline rushing you should do it.”