Medical class goes hi-tech

By Jared Amdahl, Opinion Editor

The Emergency Medical Technician class offered on campus has recently purchased new medical training equipment that will allow adequate training for future EMTs produced by the program.

“This new equipment gives us the ability to teach students exactly what they will need to know in the field,” professor Scott Weatherby said.

The new equipment ranges from a former Vacaville city ambulance, to a new gurney with a weight limit of 750 pounds and a life-sized mannequin that will allow medical technician students to practice real medical-emergency scenarios.

“To a certain extent we’re limited because we’re in the classroom, but all three of these items give us the chance to show these students what they’re getting involved with,” Weatherby said. “And it doesn’t hurt that it makes the class a little more fun.”

Joe Torres, a former Contra Costa College student and current medical lab aide, said, “It is very helpful to the whole program to have this equipment. The equipment we used to use was relevant back in the 90s, so it helps the students that they can use the equipment they’re going to need in a real situation. We’re using relevant equipment that can be considered top of the line.”

Former CCC student and EMED campus volunteer Linda Garcia agrees.

“We’re equipped with the latest and greatest now. The last couple of years we were using outdated and broken equipment,” Garcia said.

“You cannot teach students with broken equipment. If you’re training students with inadequate equipment, when they eventually get into the field they aren’t going to have the knowledge they need in some situations, and it looks bad for the program and makes the student look incompetent.”

Weatherby said, “As it sits the ambulance cost us about $5,500, the mannequin about $1,300 and the gurney was about $5,000. We use this stuff every week.”

The automotive department became involved with the ambulance and gave it a new paint job to better represent the college. A local Ford Motor Co. dealership donated time and man hours to get any mechanical problems with the ambulance fixed and up and running, Weatherby said.

“The automotive department did a great job getting that ambulance painted. It looks great,” he said.