North Arkansas College's emergency medical technology department received a refurbished ambulance from North Arkansas Medical Center last Tuesday, April 25.
Scotty Trammell, NARMC EMS director, said the 2002 ambulance was decommissioned by the hospital about four years ago. The hospital and the college have been working the last three years to get the ambulance refurbished, equipped and detailed for the college's EMT/paramedic program. He said the ambulance was valued at about $8,000 to $10,000 at the time it was decommissioned.
The ambulance has a customized wrap on the exterior so the public won't be confused and think this is a North Arkansas Regional Medical Center ambulance when it is seen on the public streets and roads, Trammell said. The wrap was designed by Mickie Somers, the college's director of public relations. She said she wanted program students represented in the design and so a picture of an actual student (Nathan) is prominently featured on the vehicle's box. Somers said a Perkins grant paid for the wrap that was produced and installed by Kastle Graphics of Harrison.
Jacob Williams, the college's EMS director, said the ambulance will be equipped just like the hospital's versions. It will have everything in it, as if the students were going to actually transport a patient to the hospital, which they wouldn't.
"We believe in doing an immersive simulation. Students will pick up somebody at campus that we'll stage there. They will be picked up in this and transport them to a makeshift emergency room, at the sim lab, somewhere. It will be just like when they go to work. We train like we want them to do it out there. We can correct any bad habits in the classroom so they don't have them when they come out here when they do real life and death stuff," Williams said.
Trammell said the college program has an ambulance simulator, but it's not quite the same as treating a patient when an ambulance is traveling on bumpy streets and roads.
Trammell noted the hospital's EMS department's staff is made up of between 80-90% of Northark EMS graduates. He said he is one, himself.
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