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Ky. Agency Ride-Along Program Aims to Boost Recruitment

Glasgow Daily Times, Ky.

Glasgow High School students in Amy Bowman's advanced medicine class took a field trip to the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services headquarters on Wednesday.

Bowman said this visit was a precursor to their ambulance ride-along program in partnership with the BMCEMS.
"Students are basically going to shadow EMTs during their shifts," she said. "This field trip is part of the introductory experience."

Students have to be 16 in order to participate, and they "will earn patches and achievements during our awards ceremony," Bowman said.

"It's a one-time opportunity," she said. "They wouldn't have any other way to see the inside and how things work with the ambulance service."

Garland Gilliam, operations manager and training officer for the BMCEMS, said they try to attend career days at area schools every year in order to interact with the students.

"For Glasgow to actually have their class come here and tour our facility, actually meet the crew members -- other than one that's sitting up at the career day -- is great," he said. "Having them actually walking through the building and getting to interact is a lot different in this setting than in a gym.

"We're glad that they came and we're happy to do it again."

Gilliam said they are still hashing out the last few details of the ride-along program, "but essentially it's going to be like a job shadowing type thing."

"They'll actually ride a shift on the ambulance with us, and actually get to get out there and see what we do," he said, adding this experience might influence students to become EMTs. "Right now, it's hard for us to recruit people in this field."

Gilliam said students may decide that "this is what I want to do for a career."

GHS junior Jovani Mateo said he wants to become a trauma surgeon, and this opportunity "opens up another career pathway for me." Mateo said he might be interested in becoming an advanced paramedic.

"It makes me open to different ideas and different careers in the medical field," Mateo said. "Now I have more options to look into rather than just becoming a trauma surgeon."

Alexus Sears, a freshman at GHS, has also been thinking about becoming a trauma surgeon, but she said "it would be cool to do this" if she didn't become a surgeon.

GHS freshman Bailey Mosby said she really enjoyed the experience of touring the EMS headquarters and interacting with the crew members.

"I would like to choose this as my career pathway," she said. "To know that you can make a difference in somebody's life or the family's life -- I would love to have that feeling, to know that I impacted somebody."

Asia Starry, a GHS sophomore, said she liked how the crew members demonstrated various exercises with their training dummy.

"It's a really good opportunity," she said. "I learned a lot."

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