Community, Former Grads Help GNTC’s Emergency Medical Programs Purchase Simulator

Friday, November 3, 2017 - by Don Foley, GNTC

More than 750,000 people live in the Northwest Georgia region these days. And today, with the Baby Boomer generation beginning to look for extended health care, as well as a large number of industrial workers tackling hazardous jobs day in and day out here in the Tennessee Valley, the need for Emergency Medical Service specialists is greater than ever before. 

This week alone, there are more than 300 EMS openings across the Peach State. When you crunch the numbers, the need for educational programs such as the one offered at Georgia Northwestern Technical College becomes a top priority. 

No one is more aware of that than those who call the region their home. The head of GNTC’s EMS Program, Claudio Leyssens, is one of them. With more than 25 years of experience in Emergency Medical care and instruction, the GNTC Program Director helps educate students enrolled in his certificate and diploma programs. Classes are offered on both the Catoosa County Campus (Ringgold) and Floyd County Campus (Rome, Ga.) throughout the year. 

Two foundations in the Northwest corner of the state have now stepped up to help the EMS program on the Catoosa County Campus in Ringgold. The Pierce Foundation out of Chattanooga, and the Jewell based in Chickamauga, lent a helping hand. The two groups helped purchase the majority of the new simulator from Rescue Simulation Products in McKinney, Texas. 

Betts Berry and Richard Jewell, both with the Jewell Foundation, were both enrolled in the same EMS program when they went to college. “It’s powerful to see these local charities invest in what we do at the college,” said Jason Gamel, Georgia Northwestern Technical College director of Student Recruitment. “Plus, with Betts (Berry) and Richard (Jewell) both having their own experience in training for the EMS field, they really understand just how important this kind of gift is to the program.” 

Mr. Leyssens, at the helm of the program on the Catoosa County Campus and Floyd County Campus, was honored earlier this year for his work in education over the past 15 years. Mr. Leyssens was named the 2017 Northwest Georgia Region 1 “Mike Miller EMS Educator Of The Year.” The EMS Region 1 in Georgia covers, Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield Counties. 

"The simulator was a true need that we know gives our students an upper hand,” said Mr. Leyssens. “Now, students will have real experience working in the small, closed environment of an ambulance. It makes a real difference. It will add a level of realism that cannot be achieved any other way. They’ll be better prepared as they enter the workforce.” 

Mr. Leyssens says the Rescue Simulation Products company which came to install the simulator on the Catoosa County Campus stays very busy these days. “The representatives say they have been sending one installation crew on the road every week for quite a while,” said Mr. Leyssens. “But, they said they are now at a point where the demand for these emergency simulation installations is great enough to have two separate crews hitting the road each week. They flew in on a Monday, worked Tuesday through Thursday, then were back on a plane Friday morning.” 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that the number of available EMS careers in the country will grow nearly 25% from 2014-2024. That’s a much faster rate of growth than that of the average occupation in the U.S. More than a quarter of a million people were employed as Emergency Medical Services specialists nationwide in 2016.        

GNTC offers Emergency Medical Service certificate and diploma programs year round. Plus, the college offers more than 200 other programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
 



Chattanooga State And South College Sign Articulation Agreement

Dr. Rebecca Ashford, president of Chattanooga State and Mr. Steve South, president of South College, signed an articulation agreement between the two institutions on Jan. 9. This articulation agreement will guarantee qualified students enrolled in Chattanooga State’s pre-pharmacy classes an interview with the School of Pharmacy to pursue a doctor of pharmacy degree. The agreement ... (click for more)

GNTC And Foundations Work Together To Train Northwest Georgia’s EMS Professionals

With the population closing in on one million people in Northwest Georgia, combined with the more than 300 EMT openings currently available in the Peach State, it was an easy decision for two regional foundations to team up to make a gift to Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC).   Betts Berry with the Jewell Foundation and Steve Tarvin with the Pierce Foundation ... (click for more)

Bitter Cold And Icy Roads To Continue Through Thursday Morning In Chattanooga; Some Flights Cancelled; Hamilton County Schools Closed

Bitter cold temperatures will continue for Chattanooga, the National Weather Service has warned, The NWS also is advising motorists to watch for patchy icy roads. Hamilton County Schools will be closed  on Thursday " due to areas of the county with too much ice still on the roads for buses to pass safely.    “The roads in many areas of the county ... (click for more)

City Council Considering New 2-Year $600,000 Contract With Father To The Fatherless

The City Council is considering whether to approve a new two-year contract of up to $600,000 with Father to the Fatherless for the Violence Reduction Initiative. Council members had a number of questions during a lengthy hearing on Tuesday afternoon, but Police Chief David Roddy said the program has helped bring a 35 percent reduction in gun-related shootings and a 16 percent ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kids Are Still Funny

I have never seen nor heard of a child actually getting one’s “head pinched off” but by modern-day standards the threat just switched in overdrive. There are children in our communities who haven’t been to school for six long days and the brutal temperatures drove the little darlings to inside where they most predictably stirred up all manner of mayhem. Back when I was in Elementary ... (click for more)