(2019) The Petoskey area has 19 newly-trained emergency medical responders (EMRs), thanks to an innovative Health Occupations class offered through Petoskey High School, Char-Em ISD Career and Technical Education, and North Central Michigan College. On May 21, 2019, the students, in grades 10-12, received their certifications during a celebratory ceremony led by their instructor, Jim Cousino; Patti Gabos, Char-Em CTE Consultant; Dr. David Roland Finley, NCMC President; and Dr. Pete Olson, NCMC Vice President. Also present was nurse Diana Tahtinen, who assisted during the program. Most of the classwork took place at PHS; the class culminated with visits to the college for the students to experience the new anatomage table and other college offerings for those planning to pursue careers in the medical field.
With the certificates in hand, the students are now eligible to take the state and national licensing exams for First Responders (those over age 18; those 16-18 have until they are 18 to take the licensing exam). The students spent 80 hours with Cousino learning the basics of emergency response. They practiced scenarios such as treating for diabetic shock, stab and gunshot wounds, placing a patient on a backboard, splint stabilization and much more, depending on Cousino’s lesson each day.
Further, all the students are now CPR certified, as well as “Stop the Bleed” training. Several have taken part in ride-alongs on Emmet County EMS ambulances as well.
Junior Wyatt Wargel said he plans to use the class training as he pursues a career in nursing. “It has gotten us all ready with the basics. It’s really interesting work, and you have to be ready to draw on everything you have learned when you are in an emergency situation. I really just want to help people, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do – that’s my biggest thing.”
Junior Olivia Leidall said: “It’s opened up my eyes to the medical field in general. There are so many opportunities, and it’s nice having these skills – even being out in public and being able to help if something happens.”
Junior Lexi Engler added: “It’s helped us to get a feel for college, too.”
Dr. David Finley: “We’re very, very proud of you. You now have a bona fide taste of college life. You’ve proved that you can do this.”
Cousino added: “This is resume building for all you. This ladders up to who you are a person. We really have great students in this program and a lot of support from the college, including Dr. Finley and Dr. Olson. It has been a lot of fun for me.”
Eighteen of the students in the class attend Petoskey High School; one student traveled to Petoskey from Harbor Springs to attend. Career and Technical Education programs in any district are available to any student, from any Char-Em ISD school.