ROANOKE, Va. - Roanoke City high school students are on their way to becoming emergency medical technicians, thanks to a new partnership between the Roanoke Technical Education Center and Roanoke Fire and EMS.
"During the course of this year, they'll be exposed to riding on our ambulances and going out and seeing what our providers do. They'll be assigned job coaches so they can be mentored to be a good EMT," said Chief David Hoback, with Roanoke Fire and EMS.
Last year, Hoback and his team approached Roanoke City Public Schools hoping to start a program that would encourage students to explore life as a first responder, and students from Patrick Henry High School and William Fleming High School jumped on board.
"Medical experience is my biggest thing. I want to be a nurse practitioner and I plan on going to school for R.N. after I get out of high school, but I also want to continue my EMS career because I love to help people," said Zykerius Stockton, a student at William Fleming.
"I've always had a passion for helping people so when I heard about this program I just thought it was the perfect opportunity and I've always wanted to go into the medical field," said Madeline Jones, also a student at WIlliam Fleming.
Eleven students are taking part in the fire and EMS program. And now that Roanoke City's hiring age is 18, the department is hoping some of the students will stick around.
"What we hope this will do is give them inspiration to come to us in the workforce or further their education related to a fire and EMS field and then come back to us," said Hoback.
First responders are hoping to spark students' interests.
Copyright 2017 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.