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02-25-15-ftcc.gifIn the still of night, you awaken suddenly with indigestion, but it’s been hours since you’ve eaten. Then a tightness crawls across your chest, and it’s hard to breathe. Thinking it will pass, you lie still, but after a few minutes, the pain worsens, and you dial 911

.Your teenage son bounces through the door and makes a bee-line for the fridge, hunger overpowering his internal caution to watch what he grabs in order to satisfy his growling stomach. Within minutes, he is flushed, is covered in hives, can’t breathe, and is extremely dizzy. You call 911 while searching for his Epinephrine pen because you know he only has minutes to live

.The family cookout is winding down, and everyone is packing up to head home. Grandma is still napping in her chair, but she looks uncomfortable, slumping somewhat to the side. You rush over to see what’s wrong, and the best response is jumbled as she drools from her crooked mouth and has a hard time swallowing. Immediately you reach for the phone and dial 911.

You’re driving home from work, and you hear a siren in the distance. Checking the rear view mirror, it’s an ambulance racing up the road behind you. Hopefully, you pull over so they can safely pass by, but do you ever wonder about the people inside? Those paramedics are attending to any one of the patients described above, any of whom could be you or your loved one. The situations constantly change, but the need to care for people in need is always present. Most people don’t realize the training required to become a paramedic, typically the most highly-trained medical professional who comes to your door or your motor vehicle collision in times of distress.

Initially, anyone who enters the field of Emergency Medical Services begins by attending and graduating from a 200-hour EMT-Basic course. Others soon come to realize that they have a sincere desire to serve the public and thus enroll in one of the best paramedic programs in the state through the Continuing Education Division at Fayetteville Technical Community College. Both the Basic EMT and Paramedic Courses are offered traditionally and online to include varying schedules during days, nights and weekends.

In the last ten years, the program has quadrupled in size due to the increasing demand for healthcare, longer life expectancy, and population growth in this area. The calling to paramedicine is not accomplished without challenges, as it encompasses 1,200+ hours of classroom, clinical and field internships, plus passing a North Carolina state and/or National Registry exam for certification. Many of our students remain in the field for years, while others move up in medicine to become physician’s assistants — and medical doctors, never forgetting or regretting their experiences as a paramedic.

Not every call is a true emergency. Not every paramedic resembles those on television. So when your emergency arises, be assured that a paramedic will answer your call for help and provide you with the best pre-hospital care possible.

To request information regarding FTCC’s Continuing Education Healthcare programs, please call (910) 678-8251 or visit http://www.faytechcc.edu/continuing_education/fireresc.aspx.

Photo: Anyone who enters the field of Emergency Medical Services begins by attending and graduating from a 200-hour EMT-Basic course.

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