Rescue Helicopter lands on PRC campus to discuss emergency healthcare
Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 9, 2017
Students at Pearl River Central High School got the chance to hear from the crew of a rescue helicopter Monday afternoon.
The Southeast Mississippi Air Ambulance crew landed on the front lawn at the school’s campus with the purpose of educating students about their jobs to give students more options to consider in their career path.
“Usually, students hear about the well-known jobs in healthcare, but to show them that there is more out there is what we wanted to accomplish,” Jennifer Spence, the school’s health science teacher who is also a registered nurse, said.
The Southeast Mississippi Air Ambulance District is based out of Hattiesburg and covers the counties of Covington, Forrest, Greene, Marion, Stone, Perry, Walthall, Jefferson Davis and Pearl River.
The rescue crew, consisting of three individuals, gave a brief overview of how they found their path to emergency healthcare.
“I’ve been in this business for a while now and to be able to be an air rescue paramedic, you have to go through a lot of steps and gain experience,” Lindsey Hill, rescue paramedic, said.
The pilot said he came to the job straight from the military and had to have a minimum of 2,000 hours of flight time, which equates to over 12 years of piloting experience.
“We have to be on our game every day. But what we do is very rewarding,” Hill said.
The paramedics work 24-hour shifts at a time, while the pilot works 12-hour shifts. Crews typically respond to 50 to 60 calls per month.
Spence wanted to provide this experience to the students because “it’s the ideal way to spark a passion. You can’t find passion inside of a textbook,” she said.
The crew told the students that it’s important to find their passion and pursue it with every fiber in their body, something the crew members all did, which landed them their dream jobs.
“Emergency healthcare is a very rewarding field, but not a lot of students fall into it because they are not aware of it or are not educated on the real aspects of the job before college,” Hill said. “That’s why we are here.”