LAURENS COUNTY, Ga. — Demand for EMTs is growing across the country, and one Central Georgia high school program aims to train more people in the field.
Laurens County created the first Emergency Medical Technician course in Central Georgia, and offers it to high school students. Now, they have their first certified EMT.
Emily Currie has entered her senior year of high school at West Laurens. Now, she's also a nationally certified EMT in the United States.
"This was definitely an experience that was worth it," Currie said.
Students get to practice different skills on the ambulance from CPR to actually treating patients and transporting them around.
What's made the hard work all worthwhile, Currie says, "You can be that one person that will help them. Then, they can go on to do something great that helps somebody else."
Originally, Currie wanted to be a pediatrician, but diving into the EMT course may have set her on a different path.
"You get to see your older adults and your teenagers and things, so you get to interact with all of them instead of one set age group," Currie said.
According to EMS instructor Mitch Cobb, the program took off two years ago. Cobb says they started offering the course because they wanted to bring awareness to what the job entails.
"They see us running up and down the road in an ambulance and all they see is the light and sirens and people driving fast, but that's not all we do. We're trained medical professionals," Cobb said.
He says whether they go into EMS or not, the certification provides students with good skills to have.
"EMS can be a stepping stone to the nursing field, the doctorates. Working in hospital, we train them in hospital and out of hospital as well," Cobb said.
"I still want to spend time in EMT. I don't think I'm ready to move on from that yet. Whatever it is, I am pretty sure it's going to be in the medical field. I just hope I'm happy with it," Currie said.
Cobb says the course is offered to juniors and seniors at East and West Laurens, with about 15 to 20 students per class. If you have a student interested in joining, they can get with their counselor to sign up.