EMS receives donation

The ambulance comes to a halt in front of the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center and the two men inside immediately hop out to unload the gurney.

Their patient, described as a 50-year old male experiencing chest pains, clutches his chest in front of the building.

The two men begin to take his vitals as a student heading for the gymnasium approaches the scene. An instructor who is standing nearby intercepts the student before she passes by.

“There’s nothing to worry about,” Thad Torix, EMS clinical coordinator, tells the student. “It’s just a scenario.”

Ever since Missouri Southern’s Emergency Medical Sciences (EMS) Department received a donated ambulance last spring from Jason Smith, director of Joplin’s Metro Emergency Transport System (METS), the above scene has become a fairly common occurrence on campus.

According to Brett Piene, EMS department head, the donation of this new ambulance has significantly improved the department’s paramedic and EMT courses.

“We could practice all day long sitting in a classroom, starting an IV, but when you’re going down the road and people are turning, it makes it totally different,” said Piene. “It’s more realistic for [the students]. They get that experience now, so they don’t have to wait till they actually go to work to start feelinge what it’s like to work in the back of an ambulance.”

Before getting one of their own, the EMS department had to borrow ambulances from METS from time to time in order to give students any real experience operating in one.

Now that they have their own set of wheels, students get the chance to partake in simulated emergency situations that are designed to test their ability to work in the tight space of a moving ambulance.