NEOSHO, Mo. —
International students participating in Crowder College’s paramedic program were introduced Thursday to residents and members of the college staff during an open house.
Most of the students are from Ireland, with one student each from Argentina and the Philippines. The students last semester participated in online courses before traveling to Neosho this semester. Soon, they will begin training in area hospitals and ambulance services.
Teodora Lacroze was a member of a ski patrol in Argentina. She said she contacted Evan Feuer, with Medic Training International, about the Crowder program.
“We don’t have paramedics back in Argentina,” Lacroze said. She said people may wait an hour or more for an ambulance to arrive, and the ambulance personnel are trained only in basic first aid.
“We’re a Third World country,” Lacroze said. “The equipment you have here — no chance. And the technology. I’ve seen things here I’ve never seen before.”
Gus Flavin is from County Cork in Ireland.
“The training is brilliant” in the U.S., Flavin said. “Any kind of procedure, there’s no shortage of equipment.”
Jess Saldaan is the student from the Philippines. He said Typhoon Haiyan, which struck his country in November, reinforced his decision to get the medical training in U.S. Where he lived wasn’t struck, but he said he saw the professionalism of the U.S. medical personnel in action.
“I’m taking it seriously,” he said.
Kristen Spencer, Crowder paramedic program director, said Feuer brought up the idea for an international paramedic program a couple of years ago.
“I thought to myself, what a concept,” Spencer said. She said they then worked to make it real.
Feuer said the U.S. is fortunate to have a strong emergency medical service program and a strong education system.
He said that when the Irish students were learning anatomy during the first semester, some asked if they really needed to know the information.
“We’re not trying to create nonthinking technicians, but thinking practitioners,” Feuer said he told them.
ALL OF THE CROWDER INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS who took the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam passed it. That is necessary for them to work in hospitals and ambulance services in the U.S.