Gaston College’s EMS program is benefiting from the donation of an ambulance from Union County EMS.
That’s the word this week from college spokeswoman Stephanie Michael Pickett. The Monroe-based agency is affiliated with Atrium Health, as Pickett informed, adding that the retired vehicle would be used to train students in the emergency medical science program. The ambulance arrived Thursday.
Carrie Gillilan is the college’s instructor and co-ordinator of EMS clinical education. Gillilan said she was grateful for the donation of the ambulance.
“The ambulance will be shared amongst our three paramedic programs and two active EMT classes,” she said. “The North Carolina Office of EMS has placed a mandatory driving component on all EMT courses. It was going to be a challenge to figure out how the college could accomplish this class requirement for all our students, until now. Union EMS has helped the Gaston College EMS program grow so we can produce quality EMT’s and paramedics.”
Union EMS Chief Bryan Edwards shared her enthusiasm. Edwards is a 2004 graduate of Gaston College, where he earned his EMS certification.
“I wholeheartedly understand the importance of having proper resources,” he said. “We look forward to participating in a very small piece of the college’s educational process, which we hope will give those in the emergency medical science program some of the resources needed to continue educating those who have chosen the honored field of pre-hospital medicine.”
Edwards co-ordinated the implementation of the donation with Luke Upchurch, chief development officer and executive director of the Gaston College Foundation.
“We are very excited about the ambulance donation,” said Upchurch, “and we are appreciative of Union EMS and Atrium Health for their support of our outstanding EMS and paramedic training programs at Gaston College.”
Edwards noted that the ambulance’s outward appearance was redesigned to make it consistent with Gaston College, including having it striped on the sides with the college’s colors.
“By working with Carrie Gillilan and Debbie Bowen, the college’s graphic design specialist, we were able to secure the college’s color codes,” he said, “which allowed us to cover the Union EMS logos and colors. Although this is not a new ambulance, I have no doubt it will serve the needs of the college for a good while to come.”
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