New classes will begin this fall at Burnsville High School that will prepare students to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) who can rescue victims. EMTs may be seen on ambulances, fire trucks, helicopters or even on the side of an athletic field. They could be the first responders who make the split-second decisions in medical emergencies.
The class is offered through Inver Hills Community College so students can earn college credit right at Burnsville High School. The Burnsville Fire Department is also a key partner.
“From the beginning of our planning for the EMT classes, we wanted to provide an authentic learning experience for students,” said Kathy Funston, the district’s director of strategic partnerships and pathways. “How much more real can it get than involving the Burnsville Fire Department?”
Funston said the fire department will provide co-teaching, speakers, site visits to the fire department, and ride-alongs in an ambulance. The department has already donated equipment to the high school program.
The EMT classes are part of the school’s Health Sciences pathway. Pathways are offered right at Burnsville High School to help students plan and prepare for their futures.
Students could begin working as an EMT for a fire department, hospital or private ambulance provider after they are 18 years old and have passed the national certifying exam. They could also take further courses to become a paramedic.
Burnsville High School teacher Dr. Anne Werner-Dempsey has been working with a team of paramedics at Inver Hills Community College to prepare for this new program and she has completed 158 hours of coursework to teach the EMT classes. Werner-Dempsey also co-teaches classes in the Certified Nursing Assistant program with Rachel Tushaus RN, along with introductory healthcare classes and chemistry in the science department at the school.
A grant from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education will support the start up of the new program, and the Greater Twin Cities United Way is also a partner in the effort.