Southwest Colorado Community College's emergency medical services coordinator, Troy Salazar, was handed the keys to an ambulance on Wednesday, Aug. 19, that will be used to help train students as part of the college's EMS program.
"This will be great for the EMS program and it gives students a practical tool to learn how to work out of an ambulance," Salazar said.
The 1999 ambulance has been retired from the Ignacio department's fleet.
"It's one thing to learn CPR, but to do it in a moving ambulance, that is another story," said Los Pinos Fire Chief Larry Behrens.
Deborah Schmitt, Pueblo Community College's chief academic officer and currently serving as interim executive dean of the SCCC's branches in Durango and Mancos/Cortez, concurred with Behrens' assessment.
"The college is proud to give this vehicle a second life while providing students a real-life learning laboratory on wheels," Schmitt said. "There is no classroom experience that compares with hands-on, experiential learning."
Salazar said he plans to get the ambulance painted with the college logo and will use it for student trainings at simulations as well as to give them the opportunity to gain additional experience by riding in it.
Fall semester started at SCCC on Aug. 24, and the spring semester begins Jan. 18. Visit www.EnrollSouthwest.org for more information or stop the Durango campus at 701 Camino del Rio or the Mancos campus at 33057 U.S. Highway 160.