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Teachers from Around State Schooled as EMTs

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. -- Following a successful and energizing school year of graduating several EMT basic students from the health sciences department at Alamogordo High School, the school has graduated teachers from around the state to take the program to their own schools.

AHS received a grant from the New Mexico Department of Health, Bureau of Health Emergency Management and Region II EMS to bring teachers in and work with them for two weeks, said program director Holly Bird.

"Basically we are training teachers in New Mexico so they can start EMS programs in New Mexico," Bird said. "Eventually we want to have a training and certification center for teachers to become instructor certified so they can train students in CPR and firstaid."

Bird also wants to train teachers to train their students to become part of community emergency response teams.

Next summer Bird wants to see teachers certified as EMT basic instructors so they can take that back and teach their students to be EMT basic responders as well.

Participated in the training program this year were teachers and administrators from O ate High School, Hatch High School, New Futures Alternative Program in Albuquerque, Capital High School in Santa Fe and Tularosa High School.

"We have been trying to give them the tools, resources and knowledge to be able to help them in teaching," Bird said.

The course participants said they are excited about going home and imparting their new knowledge to their students. James Brookover, an administrator at Capital High School, said the training has been extremely useful. He said scenarios where participants had to face real life-like emergency situations were the most helpful.

"The training was good, from bee stings to broken legs," Brookover said. "We had some good actors. We made mistakes and were learning from our mistakes."

Brookover said he will be back next year for the additional EMT basic training and to help out with what he learned this year.

"The important thing here," Brookover said, "is everybody here is willing to share."

Tularosa teacher and coach David Velasquez agreed.

"The sharing of information is most important," Velasquez said. "As a pilot project, this gives people tools to implement programs."

Andrea Carpenter from Hatch said her school has nothing like the training AHS has presented, and the training has given her a place to start with her own classes.

The program is designed to fit different communities, Bird said.

"Everybody gives it a different twist and has different reasons to be here," she said. "The program is designed to adapt to different communities."

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