Lincoln Co. Schools, Emergency Medical Services offering EMT certification course to high school seniors

Fives students graduated with their diplomas and EMT certifications in 2022.
Lincoln County schools is working with the county's Emergency Medical Services to train the next generation of EMTs and paramedics.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (WBTV) - A partnership between Lincoln County Schools and the county’s Emergency Medical Services is creating the next class of EMTs and paramedics.

Working in the medical field has always been a lifelong dream for Christyn Boston. She worked full-time as a paramedic with Lincoln County Emergency Medical Services before teaching health sciences in Lincoln County Schools. Boston says she wanted to find a way to share her expertise as a paramedic with students and during the 2021-2022 school year, she started an EMT course at the district’s School of Technology.

According to the school district’s website, the course includes clinical skills in each area as specified by the NC Office of Emergency Medical Services for the successful completion of the certificate. Students will also have the opportunity to earn several other certifications, including CPR/BLS, TIMS, ICS 100, ICS 200, ICS 700, and ICS 800.

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Boston’s first class had a total of 18 students and five graduated with their EMT certifications. Of those five, three work alongside Boston, who is a part-time paramedic, with the county full time.

“Those three students are now on a truck and they run calls with me,” Boston said.

“We actually hired three of them as EMTs and two of them are going to paramedic school already,” said Lincoln County EMS training coordinator Michelle Paget.

The free course now has two class sections with just over 30 students. Throughout the school year, students work hand in hand with Boston and the County EMS to complete over 300 hours of coursework, training and drive times.

“When you take this class at the community college you do have to pay for it. Right now they’re getting it and they don’t have to pay for it. They’re also getting certifications,” Boston said.

Jalen Schooley is one of Boston’s students. Schooley is an aspiring surgeon and says he’s thankful for this experience and that it’s given him knowledge of the medical field before he attends a four-year college or university in the fall.

“Personally I think it’s going to help me learn a lot more about the medical field and take the ride time,” he said.

Students aren’t only getting their diploma, they’re crossing the graduation stage with their EMT certification and if they choose, a full-time job as an EMT.

“They can go and work for local government agencies. It’s really exciting as a high schooler that you can work for a county or city government and retire by the age of 48 with 30 years of service,” Boston said.

Lincoln County EMS training coordinator Michelle Paget says she’s thankful for this partnership with the school district, as it has helped her staff fill vacancies.

“We can hire them as soon as they pass their tests and we put them through a week of orientation and within a month and a half they’re riding second person, taking care of the citizens in Lincoln County,” Paget said.

Lincoln County EMS is actively recruiting and has a total of 12 paramedic and EMT positions open right now.