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NEWS | Dec. 16, 2020

Georgia Guardsmen graduate from Grady medical technician course

By Spc. Isaiah Matthews

U.S. Army Soldiers and U.S. Air Force Airmen of the Georgia National Guard graduated from Grady Memorial Hospital Education Center's Emergency Medical Services' Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Program on December 16, 2020, Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Georgia National Guard partnered with Grady Memorial Hospital's Emergency Medical Services to advance knowledge and skillset amongst Army and Air medical personnel. The 10-week course covers pharmacology, pathophysiology, skills dealing with pediatric and geriatric patients, among other topics. After the completion of the course, the Soldiers and Airmen receive an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) certification.

“We realize that the Army and Air Force has a lot of knowledge dealing with trauma patients, and they fall short with medical," said Keith Blalock, the interim program director at Grady Memorial Hospital Education Center's Emergency Medical Services. "So, we try to provide more information and knowledge to bring them up to the AEMT scope of practice."

Typically held twice a year, this course was the only one taught in 2020 due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

During the long, challenging course, service members motivated one another and assisted each other in their studies to eventually see graduation day together. U.S. Army Spc. Rachel Novotny, a combat medic with the Winder-based Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, received a leadership award for her actions during the course.

The National Guard Bureau began the initiative in 2017 through the Chief Surgeon's Office to train more medics with AEMT certifications.

The program bolsters the Guardsmen’s knowledge base and provides training to make them more proficient in their career field. The course makes the medics better professional military leaders and skilled technicians in their craft.

After graduating from the AEMT course, service members become eligible to attend a course at Grady Memorial Hospital to earn a paramedic certification, the highest attainable EMT certification.

The AEMT certification makes the Guardsmen more competitive in the civilian job market. Grady Memorial Hospital even hires some of the service members they personally train and certify through the partnership with the Georgia National Guard.

U.S. Army Spc. Vanessa Young, a combat medic with the Winder-based Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, completed Grady Memorial Hospital's AEMT course in 2019 and is currently completing the paramedic course.

"This program has opened many new doors for me, from being hired at Grady Memorial Hospital as an AEMT to starting their paramedic program," said Young. "There isn't a better way for medics to prepare themselves to move forward. It truly prepares me for success in both my civilian and military career."