By Amy Jo Miller
“911. What is your emergency?”
Chances are, if you are hearing these words in Freestone, Limestone, or Navarro county, you may be assisted by one of Wortham High School’s EMT Academy students if it is a medical emergency. Wortham High School is in the 2nd year of this fast growing program. Instructor Teresa McLaughlin is a 32 year veteran in the industry and is the heart of this popular program of study, Emergency Services. Enforcer Educational Services in Fairfield serves as the program coordinator.
Academy Enrollment was 8 students for the 2021-2022 school year and is 14 this year, with dozens more enrolled in the prerequisite classes this year in the lower grade levels. Since the school was starting from scratch, donations, monetary gifts, and hand-me down equipment began filling up the training space within a month of launching the program. The district has purchased additional equipment and supplies and they are looking into some grants to continue to provide additional up to date training equipment.
Students are put through rigorous instruction as well as emergency skills labs before heading out for their clinical rotations on ambulances and in the Emergency Rooms. Participants are expected to complete the recommended courses in the program of study with the addition of Medical Terminology and Pharmacology, thus producing a well rounded and well versed student to sit for the EMT National Registry exam, enter the emergency services field or enroll in a medical related major at a college or university. Wortham EMT academy has an 80% passing rate of those tested!
EMT academy students may be spotted not only in their classroom, but also at football games, track meets, and other local events. College dual credit is available for the medical terminology class as well as the EMT basic class through Navarro College. A student may earn 9 hours of CTE dual credit by completing the program of study.
Pictured is Principal David Hayes who is always willing to be a patient and last year’s class with instructor Teresa McLaughlin.