North Texas Students Get Firsthand Experience As Emergency Responders

Some students in North Texas received firsthand experience in the medical world for free. With a shortage of healthcare professionals in Texas, state leaders hope this will help the drought.

Video Transcript

- Some students in North Texas are receiving first-hand experience in the medical field for free. And as our Rachael O'Neil explains, with a shortage of health care professionals in Texas, state leaders hope that this program will help the drought.

XAVIER JUAREZ-JACINTO: It was breathtaking, just because I got to do something nobody else gets to do. Like, so few people get to do this. And getting to do it at this age was one of the most amazing things of my life.

RACHAEL O'NEIL: Javier Jacinto is talking about helping deliver a baby last month. He's a part of Northwest ISD's one-year EMT program. The course also teaches students how to perform CPR, deliver oxygen and properly bandage wounds.

GREG ROARK: And we're doing so to give kids a competitive advantage in the marketplace. And when they get out of here, they'll be able to earn their EMT B-certification, which allows them to work in a hospital setting immediately.

RACHAEL O'NEIL: They can also go the military or paramedic route. If the district didn't cover these fees, a course like this would cost between $1,500 to $2,000. This year 40 students took advantage of the opportunity. They say this experience was vital to their futures.

ARIANA BANKS: They made sure that I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field and I had a passion for it.

- They showed me that I'm capable of doing this line of work.

- Getting the hands-on experience and getting to interact with other medical professionals.

RACHAEL O'NEIL: Each student is required to complete 168 hours of coursework, including 48 hours of riding in an ambulance with paramedics. Roark says, their level of dedication has the potential of saving many lives.

GREG ROARK: They're going to make medicine better in the future because of what they've already learned. They're going to have a foot in the door already, and they are going to be some of the best medical professionals.

RACHAEL O'NEIL: Northwest ISD campuses plan to have at least 75 students in their EMT program next year In Trophy Club, Rachael O'Neil, CBS 11 News.