LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Being an emergency medical technician or paramedic is uniquely challenging.

You have to assess patients and may have to transport them in an ambulance, all while dealing with chaotic scenes and bumpy roads on the way to the hospital.

But that’s exactly what these students are trained for. Meet three ambitious young first responders who are tackling those challenges while answering the call for more women in emergency medical services.

“My grandpa used to be a firefighter years ago, so I kind of got the inspiration from him. All I want to do is help people, so being able to have that opportunity at my age is amazing,” said Lola Carbonetti, a 17-year-old who completed EMT classes while still in high school, now working to advance to the next level—A-EMT.

“You get to be the first one on the scene, and you get to be the provider, the helper, the person that your patient really needs the most at that moment,” said Jeong Lee, who’s currently at the A-EMT level, working to advance her training.

“Becoming a paramedic, I think it’s a little bit different. Not only are you having to care for patients at a higher level and with more pressure, but you also have to lead the scene, so you have to be able to give orders to the guys that are there with you or whoever’s there, even if they’re higher ranked than you. You have to take command and be in control,” said Sarah Viets, a Henderson firefighter-EMT who has almost completed the paramedic program—the highest level of EMT training.

All three women are furthering their EMT training at the College of Southern Nevada, which offers hands-on training with advanced equipment to make the scenarios as real as possible.

During training, the students assess the patient, determine a treatment plan and transport the patient to the hospital if necessary.

“Lung sounds are clear and equal. Good chest rise and fall,” said a student during training assessing the patient. “The Narcan is working. Let’s go on with the gurney.”

Once the patient is in the ambulance, the providers will put themselves into seatbelts if they can, but that’s not always possible, depending on the situation. They may need to provide CPR or grab a piece of equipment on the way, and this is all while the ambulance is rocking back and forth on the way to the hospital.

That is what makes the ambulance simulator at CSN such a crucial part of training for real-life scenarios.

“The simulator allows us to control the weight of the truck, so it will shift as if the truck is driving,” said the instructor. “There are four mounted cameras in the truck that allow us to visualize the students as they’re doing their assessments. We’re also able to talk to them and hear live feedback. This is key for our students because we’re able to close them into the ambulance as if they’re driving, remove the instructor from the environment as if they’re transporting on a real call.”

“Equipment like this and mannequins that have lung sounds and breathe and blink and turn blue, have pulses. You can get your hands on and actually assess the mannequin like an actual patient. It makes a really big difference as far as experience goes and preparing for the field,” said Viets.

“With the adrenaline, with your partners in the back, with a real patient, and given a scenario – even with the ambulance moving and the lights and sirens – it’s a bunch of distracters,” said Carbonetti. “Definitely not what I expected, but it’s never going to be what you expect, ever.

CSN’s advanced technology and instruction helps the students prepare for the unexpected, so they can provide life-saving aid to the people of Southern Nevada during the most critical of times.

For more information on EMS programs at the College of Southern Nevada, click here.


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