Just like guardian angels they tend to show up in our time of greatest need. Paramedics. But just like any hero, they spend plenty of time honing their craft. The best of the best come here, the Avera McKennan School of EMS.
"Every day is different, every call is different, I like to have a puzzle to figure out and that's really something that's kind of called to me."
Dan Blodgett is known as the old guy at the Avera McKennan school of EMS. But he, like his classmates are hoping to be know as something else. You see, this school turns average people into heroes.
"The paramedic program we have class three days a week and in addition to that they also do rotations throughout the hospital in many different departments and also spend time with an ambulance service where they function as a paramedic under the direction of another paramedic." Said Don Jones, the program director of the School of EMS.
It's a proven method. Students here have a 100% job placement rating upon completion. Many students are local, but as with any successful program you're bound to draw out-of-towners.
"Many of our students are first career students they're freshly out of high school but we also have students who are involved in their second careers where they are out and a little disillusioned with what they're doing and decide I want to do something else." Said Jones.
For Jodi Fadness it was a chance to expand her knowledge as an EMT and actually deliver the more critical care in those critical cases.
"A lot of times it's about maybe holding someone's hand and reassuring them, but when you need the skills to do more to actually save a life; that's when the rubber hits the road." Said Fadness.
EMS schools can be found in almost every state, but with its top rankings and proven success, the Avera McKennan School is almost impossible to pass up.
"I think price point was also a huge draw especially compared to Minnesota programs. Cadaver availability to do chest tubes and get hands-on and to actually do human anatomy dissections was huge out here. It's not something a lot of programs can offer and it's kind of an honor when you get to do something like that." Said Lindsey Fulton.
Fulton used to work as a dispatcher for Careflight out of the Mayo Clinic. She's hoping to eventually get to see how the other half lives.
"It's one thing to dispatch but it's another thing to go out and play with everybody but it's definitely a much higher level and skill level knowledge level but you have to be at to get there so we've got some ground work to do but definitely air is the ultimate goal." Said Fulton.
The same goes for Blodgett, he also has his eyes on the skies.
"Baby steps basically, I have to get at least two years experience before I can go on to Careflight but I would like to do something like that, do the aviation service part of it." Said Blodgett.
But not everyone is looking to jump off the chopper.
"I love working rural medicine with rural EMS and I think that's probably where my niche is going to be I'm not gonna be doing flights I'm terrified of heights so my feet will be on the ground." Said Fadness.
Becoming a paramedic is a calling and definitely takes the right person, but with their skills in hand, they are more than ready for the chance to save a life.
"Very excited to be done it's been a long intense but very good program." Said Fulton.
Classes start up again in September for both EMT certification as well as Paramedic training. There are also daytime and evening courses to make the schedule flexible. For more information about the school of EMS just call 877-AT-AVERA.