By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
It has been a long standing goal to have an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) curriculum at Oxford High School and that goal has finally come to fruition.
In December of 2019, Lisa Butts, Director of Career Focused Education began talks with the Oxford and Addison fire departments about creating a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.
A memo of understanding was signed between Oxford Community Schools and the fire departments in a ceremony on Sept. 25. “This collaboration . . . will greatly benefit our students who are looking to enter the Health Science field and could potentially provide an early entrance into the workforce at the completion of the program and their 12th grade year,” Butts said.
Addison Township Fire Department’s LT. Ben Rice is the course coordinator while Oxford Fire Department’s Sgt. Kelly Kilgore is the lead instructor. Addison Township fire department is licensed by the state to teach EMT level Education. The classes are held at the Oxford Fire Station #1 training facility at 96 N. Washington St.
“For both departments, our hopes are we can recruit the students after graduation with them having a license to practice emergency medical skills,” said Sgt. Kilgore, who is also the department’s recruiter and retention manager.
The school-year-long class “is run very similar to the EMT academy we put on for the fire service. The end goal is to have every student prepared to take the National Registry EMT Test to make them eligible to apply for a State of Michigan EMT license.”
Classes began Aug. 31. Currently, 11 students are enrolled in the course. The class is an elective for eligible high school seniors. Students are expected to spend 270 hours in class. Additionally, students must complete 38 clinical hours, which includes ambulance ride-alongs and hospital time, on weekends.
“I think it’s a win-win all the way around,” said Oxford Schools Superintendent Tim Throne. “This is another great program for our students and another great partnership with our community. We’re taking advantage of local experts to continue expanding our CTE offerings.”
The new EMT program is an extension of the popular Health Science CTE program at the high school. “CTE program opportunities are widely available at OHS for our students to gain the necessary academic, technical and work skills needed to help them succeed in college and/or their chosen career,” Butts said. “Our current programs exemplify the high standards and each pathway provides a collaboration between our industry professionals and the classroom setting.”