Alexander Bell grew up hearing stories from his mom, who works as a phlebotomist–people trained to draw blood for clinical testing. Many of the patients she told him about were his age, and this inspired Bell to help people who are in need of medical assistance.
Alex Bell, a junior at U-32, has chosen to attend Barre Tech, also known as CVCC (Central Vermont Career Center.) “Barre Tech is a trade school where you choose a profession and then get to learn about and do that profession,” Bell said. Students choose to pursue vocations ranging from Culinary Arts to Electrical Technology. Bell has chosen to study Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
In this program students learn to demonstrate problem solving skills and to deal with real life scenarios. Bell has the opportunity to apply the skills he learns at Barre Tech in his work as a first responder and hopes to become a medic in the United States Navy.
“My typical day can look 2-3 hours on a lecture and 1-2 of hands on practice of what we just learned,” said Bell. In the picture, Bell’s instructor, Kim Richardson is teaching his class to safely put a patient in a “stair chair,” used to take a patient down the stairs of a building without inducing more injury. Once Richardson is done showing how to safely move the patient out of a multiple story building, Bell’s class practices completing the skill.
Right now, Bell’s class is learning about how to treat trauma patients and reacting at a moment’s notice. “Trauma is an injury, not an illness, so sometimes it can be stressful,” said Bell.
Bell’s team uses information to diagnose injury. “We have learned to check vitals signs such as pupils, blood pressure, pulse rate and respiratory rate.”
Bell encourages more people to get a head start on their careers. “I think this is something a lot more students should try because it can really help someone get a basic idea of what they want to do with their life.”
Penny Chamberlin, the director of CVCC, has averaged about 170 students per year, during her tenure. For the students that do get in, they are provided with a great opportunity. Around 90% of the seniors that graduate from CVCC go on to post secondary training, where they can continue to broaden their skills. “If a student then chooses to go on to get their college degree or change fields, they have a solid career to support them while they do this. We open doors.”