That is why more than 40 CCTE students teamed with the EPISD’s Transportation Department to ensure all 350 buses are properly equipped with first aid kids, body fluid kits and fire extinguishers.
“CCTE reached out to us because they wanted to go out and inspect every bus we have,” fleet coordinator Edgar Carrasco said. “We took them to all three bus yards to make sure our drivers have all the supplies they need in case of an emergency.”
The idea for the collaboration stemmed from the HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) competition, where the EMT students placed first and qualified for state.
“At HOSA they do an MRC (Medical Reserve Corps) partnership event, so they worked with the Border Regional Advisory Council to come up with community service ideas,” EMT teacher Rebecca Manriquez said. “From the first meeting, it was a whirlwind of ‘we are going to do this, we are going to do that.’ I really didn’t know the magnitude of what this was going to turn into.”
Although the community service project was spearheaded by the EMT students, CCTE students from the pharmacy, CNA and sports medicine programs also volunteered to help.
“We assigned everyone a checklist and divided students into groups of three. Each group was assigned 25 buses,” student Amber Ledesma said. “Us being in healthcare now we notice the little things to maintain safety.”
The students inspected buses in all three EPISD bus yards throughout the city, taking time out of one of their Saturday mornings to get the task done.
“I was impressed by the students. They were very professional and proactive,” Carrasco said. “It felt good to work with them and getting involved in real-life scenarios. They went above and beyond what we asked.”
The students provided a special presentation for EPISD drivers at last month’s in-service.
“They did a power point presentation, conducted a test and answered any questions drivers had,” Carrasco said. “The drivers were really engaged by the student presentation. It reminded us why we need to make sure we do our job as best as possible because these are our future nurses and doctors. It had a big impact on us.”
At the request of the transportation department, students also created a safety information video for new employees.
Student Tiana King and her classmates had never created a video, but that did not stop them. They made use of CCTE’s animation class to get the job done.
“I was really surprised because I didn’t think they were going to take us that much into account. I thought it was going to be a one-time thing, but it showed me that they do care when they asked us to make a video,” King said. “It was fun putting the video together and sharing information with the bus drivers of what we did and how they can improve their bus. We included how to deal with someone who is having a seizure or someone that is choking, as well as how to manage wounds. We also reminded them to use only EPISD-approved cleaning products on the bus.”
Senior Malia McNair appreciated being able to use what she has learned at school to give back.
“We have been able to impact our school and our community because these are the buses we ride every day to school,” McNair said. “It was a good relationship because they allowed us to come out and give them recommendations and were very open to what we had to say.”
In addition to the video, the students are going to create a pamphlet with first aid FAQs and other important information.
“What they have done here has shown an incredible amount of leadership. I know whatever they set their minds to out there in the real world, it’s going to happen because they did this with minimal guidance from me,” Manriquez said. “This has been student-run class since the beginning. The leadership among the group has been amazing.”