TYLER, Texas — UT Health East Texas EMS paramedics will teach roughly 20 EMTs from Guam this summer about specialized clinical training to become accredited in advanced life support techniques.
“They’re going to experience high performance 911 training through UT Health East Texas EMS and receive training from paramedics who are actively working in the field,” said TC Howard, chief operating officer of the School of EMS, which helped coordinate the effort.
According to the announcement from UT Health East Texas, the Guam Fire Department officials contacted Howard over two years ago to transition from basic care to a paramedic level.
Guam is an island territory of the United States in the Pacific Ocean.
Paramedic intern, Patrick Flores, didn’t think twice about traveling 24 hours to East Texas to become a paramedic.
He said he decided to make the move to give his community the care it deserves.
“Over here, we're just given more opportunities and more equipment and medications to offer to give that patient that highest level of care," Flores said
The government of Guam, in conjunction with Guam Fire Department and Guam Community College, wanted to raise the standards to achieve the advanced life support level, Howard said.
UT Heath East Texas' School of EMS worked with those organizations and the Guam EMS Commission to help develop paramedic protocols and education, the statement explained.
“It’s a much higher level of care for their citizens,” he said. “It’s better pre-hospital care and it’s getting more care out to the citizens at first contact rather than waiting until they get to the hospital.”
School of EMS instructors also went to Guam for live training sessions, and the final part of the internship will be conducted this summer with UT Health EMS, Howard said in the statement.
“It’s a matter of them working on site and learning from and working with high-quality individuals that work for a high-performing 911 system who are used to doing this day in and day out so they can take this back to Guam and utilize it,” Howard said. “The School of EMS chose to put them with UT Health East Texas EMS because it’s a high-quality system and because of the trust behind it.”
Paramedic intern, Wayne Matanane, said on his first run, he got to save someone’s life.
“I had the distinct honor, I guess to save somebody in their time of need is what we all strive to do in EMS. Right," Matanane said.
The first group of students came from Guam on June 15 and they will stay about two weeks. Other groups will cycle in throughout the summer to complete their training, according to UT Health.
“We are pleased to partner with the School of EMS and the Guam government to show best practices and advanced life support training,” said John Smith, CEO of UT Health East Texas EMS. “We hope that their experience with our teams helps them bring the highest level of care to their citizens when they return.”