(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Wind Energy Technology students know that safety is a top priority.
During the program, they hear daily about safety precautions. However, one aspect that students learn outside of the lab is what to do if someone is having a medical emergency.
The training by Joni Coons, leadership coach for TSTC Residence Life and Engagement, helps students complete their cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Coons, a licensed paramedic, takes pride in teaching others CPR.
“I want to make sure our students and the public know what to do in case of an emergency,” she said. “That makes me feel good knowing that when someone completes the training, they will be ready to perform on the spot.”
At TSTC’s Sweetwater campus, Coons teaches CPR to all Wind Energy Technology students and residence hall assistants.
“Joni’s style of teaching CPR made me feel comfortable in knowing I will be able to perform it,” said Manuel Gurrola, a Wind Energy Technology student. “It was interesting to learn what we would have to do in case of an emergency.”
Israel Lopez, also a Wind Energy Technology student, said having the CPR training will help him when he begins his job search in the spring.
“It will look good on my resume that I have my CPR card,” he said. “It will also be good if something happens away from the job. I will be able to help people if they are suffering from an emergency.”
Coons said one reason students need the training is that they might be the first responder if something happens in the dorms or on campus.
“I want them to be prepared for whatever might happen,” she said. “Even though it is a requirement in their curriculum, it is important that people learn the CPR basics.”
Coons also provides safety presentations for students in other programs, including Automotive Technology and Diesel Equipment Technology.
“I want everyone on campus, and in the community, to be safe and healthy,” she said. “The more people that know CPR, the better this community will be.”
Coons has provided CPR training for several years not only at TSTC, but also in the community. Some employees at Buzzi Unicem, Georgia-Pacific, Ludlum Measurements and U.S. Gypsum have earned CPR cards at Coons’ training sessions.
“I have also provided training to churches, day-care centers, churches and banks,” she said. “It makes me feel good to see people take the time to learn CPR. A lot of the people come in really nervous, and by the time they leave, they have confidence in knowing they will make a difference.”
One Georgia-Pacific employee took the time to let Coons know how important the training was for him.
“I have kept his email because it makes me feel good about what I am doing,” she said. “We wrote that he is 100% prepared to use the skills I taught him.”
When teaching anyone CPR, Coons reminds everyone that they can make a difference.
“We cannot prevent an emergency from happening,” she said. “But with the basic understanding, we will be able to help our neighbor if they need it.”
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.