Local firefighter discovers passion for emergency medical services through Blinn's Paramedic Program
'This program teaches us to care for patients as though they were our family,' says Schuyler Holcomb
July 5, 2018
From an early age, Schuyler Holcomb knew his future included a career in firefighting.
The Wimberley native successfully graduated from the Blinn College District’s Fire Science Program in 2016, but walked away with more than just a degree. After taking the required Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course, Holcomb discovered he possessed a passion for the emergency medical services.
"I really loved interacting with patients and administering care," he said. "For so long, I was so focused on fire science that I did not realize EMS was a passion of mine. In the midst of pursuing my dream career as a firefighter, I fell in love with being a paramedic."
A firefighter with the Bryan Fire Department, Holcomb is pursuing his Paramedic Technology Certificate through Blinn’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program. The one-year program provides students the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize, assess, and manage medical emergencies.
Paramedics are advanced providers of emergency medical care and are highly educated in topics such as anatomy and physiology, cardiology, medical procedures, and medications. They are trained to determine the nature and extent of a patient’s condition, give appropriate emergency care, and transport the patient to a medical facility.
"Our goal at Blinn is to educate and equip these future clinicians to perform emergency medical care in the community," said Program Director Zack Varner, a Blinn alumnus and nine-year EMS veteran. "We are passionate about molding our students into professionals who will make sound decisions and perform at a high level while out in the field."
Blinn's Paramedic Program courses include basic and clinical emergency medical technician, clinical emergency medical services, trauma management, cardiology, medical emergencies, and EMS operations. Students also must complete the Paramedic Academy, a three-semester program that prepares students for certification or licensure by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
"My favorite aspect of the program is the instructors," Holcomb said. "They have such a passion for teaching and ensuring we understand the instruction. EMS is not just a simple diagnosis and treatment. This program teaches us to care for patients as though they were our family."
Paramedics are highly recruited in the region, with employment projected to grow 26.1 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley. Paramedic salaries can range from $34,000 to $50,000.
Graduates who pass their certification and licensure exams are eligible to work in the ambulance service industry, local governments, outpatient care centers, and hospitals.
Individuals interested in entering Blinn’s EMS Paramedic Program this fall must submit their application by Friday, July 6. The application can be found at www.blinn.edu/emergency-medical-services/pdf/paramedic-program-application.pdf.
For more information on Blinn’s EMS Program, its 60-credit hour EMS AAS degree, and certificate programs, visit www.blinn.edu/emergency-medical-services.
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About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,581 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.