(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – Dezeray Collier remembers how first responders treated her grandmother each time they responded to a medical call.

In choosing a career, Collier decided that working as a first responder would be the perfect choice. She is currently a first-semester student in Texas State Technical College’s Emergency Medical Services program, with plans to continue her studies in the college’s Advanced EMT and Paramedic programs.

“My grandmother suffered from diseases, and each time we had to call the paramedics, they would be so nice to us,” she said. “They would always give me tips on how to take care of my grandmother. I want to be the person that gives a kid in need the tips they need to help their family.”

Being still in her teenage years has not stopped Collier from achieving her dream of becoming a first responder. She said her classmates are like family and work to assist each other on different assignments.

“We always talk about what we have learned in class,” she said. “We know that we can depend on each other for help, just like we will have to depend on our team in the field.”

Instructor Tim Scalley and adjunct instructor Miranda Hicks eased any worries that Collier might have had about her career choice.

“We have great instructors who want to see us succeed,” she said. “They are willing to help us to make sure we know the proper way to perform on a call.”

Collier saw that commitment immediately when her class began working on the medical manikins in the labs.

“It helped when we learned how to work with the airways of a person and were able to see what we were doing right and wrong,” she said. “Having this technology is going to make us better.”

Collier and her classmates are looking forward to their first scenario in the Immersive Interactive lab later this year.

“That will be very beneficial to us as students,” she said. “To have realistic situations around us will only make us better.”

Hicks said she sees Collier’s commitment in the lab setting.

“She is a very dedicated student and motivates herself to be better,” she said. “She is not afraid to ask questions because she wants to be able to perform when she is helping someone in need.”

Having cutting-edge technology was just one of the reasons that Collier chose to attend TSTC.

“I looked at another school first, but when I came here to visit, everyone was so welcoming,” she said. “Tim was very generous with his time. Once he told me how everything would work, I was instantly sold on the program.”

When Collier completes her studies at TSTC, she plans to move to Killeen to begin her career as a first responder.

“I know when I complete the entire program, from emergency medical technician to paramedic, I will be ready to help people and hopefully inspire future first responders,” she said.

According to onetonline.org, the need for emergency medical technicians in Texas was expected to grow 11% between 2018 and 2028.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedic, as well as certificates of completion in Emergency Medical Services – EMT, Emergency Medical Services – Advanced EMT AEMT, and Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic. Additionally, the college offers an occupational skills achievement award in Emergency Medical Services – EMT. The program is available at the Abilene, Brownwood and Harlingen campuses.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

tstc logo