Training to be at your best when someone else is at their worst. That is what it means to be a Paramedic or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). These trained professionals work in life and death situations on a daily basis, but the training they get in Tulsa Tech’s Paramedic and EMT programs goes beyond learning what is in a book.
“I try to instill compassion for what this job means,” Billy Wilkinson, EMT Clinical Coordinator said. “It is not just trying to find a way to make a living but trying to find a way to make a difference in somebody’s life.”
Compassion and a mission for educating the next generation is what brought Wilkinson back to Tulsa Tech. The proud alumnus is now the Clinical Coordinator for the EMT Program at the Peoria Campus. Wilkinson also brings nearly 20 years of first-hand experience to students in the program.
Walking into the EMT and Paramedic classrooms and labs is like walking into another world. You see a real ambulance, trauma bays and a control center for instructors to keep a watchful eye. All of these tools help to provide students with the hands-on training they need to succeed.
“A lot of people are like me, a lot of what they pick up in a classroom doesn’t really set in until they put their hands on it,” Wilkinson said. It is a hands-on job, so we have to be able to train hands-on. You can’t imagine trying to be a paramedic and not use your hands. Having all this (looking and pointing at the tools around the lab), and the ability to record all of the practice to go back and watch and evaluate is a great tool.”
Not only is the job hands-on, but it is highly in-demand. Nationally, the industry is growing at a faster rate than almost any other. Students at Tech have to opportunity to earn national certifications and become licensed in Oklahoma.
Still, with all of the training, Wilkinson says it comes down to the most basic of human emotions, caring.
“For me, the most important thing is to learn to be a good steward of the community,” Wilkinson remarked. “I like being a servant for the people, that is what I enjoy.”