Alfredo Hernandez; Bryan Najera

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College will host an Immersive Interactive training lab ribbon-cutting ceremony on its Harlingen campus. The event is scheduled for June 7 at 10 a.m.

TSTC Emergency Medical Services students will use the new lab to train in several virtual environments that can help prepare them for tense and challenging real-life conditions.

The various settings include sounds and odors that will offer realistic situations.

TSTC’s EMS program is the first to provide this technology in Texas.

Kurt VanOordt, a sales executive with Echo Healthcare and the vendor for the EMS equipment and technology, said that the partnership between Echo Healthcare and TSTC is anchored by one overarching ethos: the passion to save lives.

“TSTC has embraced simulation and educational technology as a part of the future,” VanOordt said. “Our mission is to improve patient outcomes and save lives through innovation, education and technology. When it comes to Immersive Interactive technology, TSTC is eager to learn all that they can to achieve the high bar of success they have established.”

Adriana Contreras, a TSTC EMS instructor, said that the new technology will allow the program to introduce a different perspective into teaching scenarios.

“Now we can portray a sunny scene,” she said. “If we inform the student they are responding to a local park, we can incorporate the park. If we say you can smell fumes on scene, the students can actually smell fumes.”

Ruben Ramirez, another TSTC EMS instructor, added that the immersive interactive classroom is going to become a vital piece in training for EMS students.

“The car incident setting is extraordinary,” he said. “It portrays the scene of a car crash. The students will also see a fire department at the scene to handle the same call. Then the students will proceed to examine the patients involved in that traumatic event.”

Amanda Posada, interim provost at TSTC’s Harlingen campus and the college’s statewide dual enrollment executive director, said that the experience that the Immersive Interactive EMS lab will provide to students will be exceptional.

“TSTC is always striving to provide the latest, greatest and most innovative training to our students so that they are prepared to enter the workforce seamlessly,” she said. “This is also a tremendous asset to our community, which will receive our highly qualified and skilled students that were able to utilize the immersive lab as their interactive learning experience.”

TSTC recently held the Immersive Interactive ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the Abilene and Brownwood campuses and received positive reactions.

In addition to the Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedic, TSTC offers several certificates of completion in Emergency Medical Services at the Abilene, Brownwood and Harlingen campuses.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, visit

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