On Friday, September 24, Cardinal Gibbons High School celebrated the launch of its new Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Program with a special blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony held in its EMT Lab on campus. Cardinal Gibbons is the first private school in Broward County to offer this four-year program.
Through partnerships with Barry University’s Emergency Services Program, Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale and Oakland Park Fire Departments, Cardinal Gibbons’ EMT Program allows students to receive their EMT certification and develop life-saving skills prior to graduation. The program is ideal for students interested in becoming firefighters, paramedics and emergency room medical technicians, as well as those who wish to pursue careers in the nursing, medical and biomedical fields.
“Being an EMT interests me for multiple reasons,” said Matthew Whitlock, a senior at Cardinal Gibbons and one of 12 members of the inaugural EMT Program cohort. “Being the first one on a scene where you and your team are the ones responsible to save someone and get them to the hospital is one of the most rewarding career choices to me.”
In addition to hands-on lab instruction led by veteran paramedics, students gain valuable field experience alongside local healthcare workers and first responders during clinical rotations in the Holy Cross Hospital Emergency Department and ride-alongs with the Fort Lauderdale and Oakland Park Fire Departments. “What they are learning in this program will be the foundation for whichever part of the medical field they choose to go in,” said lead instructor Omar Jirau. “The skills they are learning will be used in every patient interaction they may have.”
Administrators pursued the addition of the EMT Program based on student interest. More than 75 students are already enrolled for future courses. “Providing an innovative curriculum that meets our students’ needs is vital,” said Dr. Katrina Azevedo, Assistant Principal at Cardinal Gibbons. “The EMT Program not only prepares our students for their future careers, it also creates a direct pathway to critical jobs in our community.”
Upon completion of the EMT Program, Cardinal Gibbons students will be prepared to take the National Registry Emergency Medical Technician Exam (NREMT).