Registration for VCs spring EMT training underway
EMS Program
A student enrolled in EMT training poses in front of an ambulance at Victoria College.

Registration is underway for Victoria College’s EMT Basic Program, which begins Jan. 20 and ends April 20. Classes are held 3 days a week, typically from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The program typically enrolls seven to 12 students each semester but hopes to increase that number to meet job market demand, which is on the rise both regionally and statewide. According to emsi Career Coach, demand for emergency medical technicians and paramedics is expected to grow by 34 percent over the next ten years in the Golden Crescent region.

“Our graduates often find good, steady jobs at area plants, fire departments or private EMS services that do inter-facility transfers,” said Susie Jechow, EMS program coordinator. “Many of these employers are represented on our advisory committee, which helps ensure we’re offering hands-on training that meets their needs.”

Taner Drake, fire chief for the Victoria Fire Department, said he relies on the EMT Basic Program to produce qualified workers.

“The EMT Basic Program at Victoria College is an essential entry-level training for all Victoria Fire Department employees,” said Drake. “EMT training is the first level of training that allows our EMTs and paramedics to respond to emergency events in the community and provide essential life-saving measures. We are proud to partner with and depend on Victoria College to provide essential training programs to fulfill the requirements of our entry-level employees.”

Ace Caballero, who works for US Security Associates as the security manager at Alcoa, completed EMT training at VC in the fall.

“Many of the plants and refineries require their security officers to be EMT-certified so they can also handle emergency and fire response,” said Caballero. “Even when there are plant layoffs, you don’t see a cutback on security personnel. The plants always need personnel to protect their assets.”

The EMT-Basic Program takes one semester to complete and prepares students to sit for the national exam to become EMT-certified, while VC’s Paramedic Program takes a full year and leads to paramedic licensure.

“EMTs offer basic life support, while paramedics offer more in-depth care – like a full emergency room on wheels,” explained Jechow.

Caballero believes it’s a great career choice for those who want to help others.

“EMTs and paramedics are usually extremely caring and compassionate. It’s also important to be able to work under stress and in various situations, such as extreme hot and cold weather, and not let it affect you,” said Caballero. “But it pays well. Security officers who are EMT-certified can start off at $20 an hour.”

For more information or to enroll in the EMT Basic Program at Victoria College, visit or contact Ricki Van Horn at (361) 573-3291, ext. 3470.

Published: Wednesday, 06 January 2016

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