EMT program helps students into their career


Quincie Pruitt

EMT student practices skills that they will need in the field. The EMT program gives students a chance to practice real situations so they are confident in their career field.

Cosumnes River College’s Emergency Medical Technology course is designed to provide the student with the skills and knowledge to apply for certification as an Emergency Medical Technician in the State of California.

EMT certification is the first step to starting a career working on an ambulance. It is also a pre-employment requirement for most fire departments.

Being an older program at CRC, the EMT program offers a variety of courses that will help students fulfill the many requirements needed to become an EMT.

“We’ve been running EMT courses at CRC for over 25 years,” Allied Health and Emergency Medical Services Professor Matthew McHugh said in an email interview. “We have grown a lot with more opportunities for students.”

McHugh said that because of an increase in students there has been an increase in available program hours as well.

“The EMT program at CRC has improved by adding more hours to the program over the years, five units to 7.5 units,” McHugh said in email.

With the growth of about 80 to 90 students enrolled in the fall and spring semesters, the program has been able to add more hours and get newer equipment.

“We have purchased a lot of new equipment for students to learn with,” McHugh said in email. “The program is fifth in passing rate out of 200 programs in the state for students taking national testing.”

Ashley Ercololini, an EMT for American Medical Response in San Joaquin, attended the program a couple years ago and said it helped her reach one of her many goals.

“I learned in this program how to become a better student and how far I could push myself because it’s a lot of material in a short amount of time,” said Ercololini in an email interview. “That right there helped me through college, the fire academy and paramedic school.”

Ercololini said the instructors incorporate their experiences into the program and give students real world perspectives that help them in their studies.

“I love how they structured the program,” she said in email. “You learned skills and the material simultaneously so all the pieces fit into the puzzle nicely. You were able to incorporate both together and it helped to understand it better.”

Once the program is completed, McHugh said that students can expect to go straight into the workforce.

“Once students pass the course and national testing they can get certified and be working in the field in less than two months,” he said in email. “There are hundreds of job opportunities for students at the end of the course.”

Ercololini said that she wouldn’t change the experience she had in the CRC EMT program and that it has helped her get into a great career at AMR.

“I absolutely love it. I’m very fortunate to work for such a great company and have a group of friends that I call my EMS family,” Ercololini said in email.

Other EMT program graduates mimicked Ercololini’s views.

“My experience with the EMT program was amazing, one of the hardest but funnest class I had being in college,” said Mauricio Gonzalez, a fire technology major and program graduate, in an email interview.

Students said they appreciated McHugh for the energy and time he put in to make sure the students understood what he was teaching.

“This program did prepare us for our career it made us understand how everything works and where to go for a job and what to do,” Gonzalez said in email.