Medical Careers Students and Professionals Benefit from Expanded Curriculum

DCTC offering new First Responder and Emergency Medical Technician courses.

The Health and Human Services department at Dakota County Technical College is offering two new courses: First Responder and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). The First Responder course will be offered in summer and fall semesters 2008. The EMT course will begin in fall semester 2008.

First responders are first-level professionals trained to handle emergency situations. First responders represent the level before EMT-Basic. With additional training, first responders can advance through several levels of EMT certification. Inspired by the medical profession, many attend college and become registered nurses, physician assistants and doctors.  

EMTs function as primary care providers in pre-hospital settings. EMTs are trained to provide basic life support, including but not limited to patient assessment, airway management and the use of the automatic defibrillator. Equipped to stay poised and focused in demanding and traumatic situations, EMTs must possess sound judgment to match their specialized knowledge and technical skills.

Certified first responders and EMTs hold high-value positions in many areas of the nation’s workforce, including:

  • fire departments
  • police departments
  • hospital emergency rooms
  • ambulance services
  • 911 dispatch centers
  • medical clinics
  • retirement homes
  • group homes
  • treatment centers
  • security services
  • penal systems
  • airlines
  • zoological gardens
  • sports arenas and stadiums
  • public and private beaches
  • ski resorts
  • country clubs
  • forest and park services
  • fishing and hiking guide services
  • coaching and sports training

Dr. Sherralyn Cox, the dean of health and human services at DCTC, reported that demand is pressing for the new offerings, noting that professionals in the industry must seek recertification every two years to remain current.

“We recognize a growing need for our First Responder and EMT courses,” Cox said. “Many students in our Practical Nursing and Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aideprograms have expressed the desire to add these certifications to their skill sets.”

Deb Kaye, the First Aid/CPR instructor at the college, said that the new offerings can be taken as stand-alone courses for medical professionals or volunteers who wish to enhance their capacity to provide service—or for firefighters and police officers seeking certification as an occupational requirement.

Kaye added that volunteer and part-time first responders and EMTs are consistently sought after in rural communities and small metropolitan areas. “As more and more baby boomers retire, the demand for trained medical professionals will increase,” she said. “We offer a number of other courses to keep step with this demand, including Wilderness First Aid, First Aid/CPR and First Aid/CPR/AED for the Allied Health Professional. The First Responder and CPR courses are offered concurrently to meet certification requirements.”

First Responder EMRG 1017

Summer Offering
June 23–August 18
7:00 a.m.–3:55 p.m.

Fall Offering
October 29–December 10
10:00 a.m.–1:55 p.m

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
EMRG 1007

Fall Offering
September 9–December 18
9:00 a.m.–2:55 p.m.