Jeff State EMT students to get real-life experience

This fall, Jefferson State Community College emergency medical technician students will get a taste of life on the ambulance.

Jeff State has signed a clinical affiliation agreement with NorthStar EMS that allows EMT students to perform clinical ride-alongs with NorthStar paramedics and EMTs. Students will begin ride-alongs next week.

Director of Business Development for NorthStar, Brent Dierking, said the program is the culmination of a series of discussions.

“Really, we’ve been talking about this for some time, but NorthStar EMS has always been a proud supporter of Jeff State’s EMS training program,” he said. “We reached out to Jeff State, and they liked the idea of allowing their students to ride with us because we have expert paramedics and EMTs on our team.”

EMT students must ride a total of 150 hours in the clinical ride-along program. Not all those hours will be spent with NorthStar EMS, but the hours that are will be worthwhile, Dierking said.

“We’ve spent a lot of time making sure, from a clinical perspective, that the students will have the opportunity to be exposed to those real-life situations to help them become good EMTs and paramedics,” Dierking said. “It’s really a well-orchestrated process.”

Students will sign up for assigned times to go riding. They will also spend time with emergency room and hospital staff members during their clinical time.

Jeff State recently received accreditation from the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions, which ensures the school’s programs meet national quality standards.